Ben Cook wins 99th Michigan PGA Professional Championship in record fashion
Ben Cook had quite the week.
After getting married on Saturday, the newlywed blitzed the competition to win the 99th Michigan PGA Professional Championship at Flint Golf Club with a record-setting performance.
Cook, the 26-year-old Yankee Springs Golf Course professional and former Ferris State University golfer, shot a 7-under 65 on Wednesday to set the tournament scoring record at 20-under and won by a record margin of eight strokes.
“Because I had a big lead I was just trying to keep moving forward and there were a couple of guys who played extremely well and potentially could have caught up if I had a couple mishaps,” said Cook, who earned $7,000 in prize money and whose wife, Miah, served as his caddie.
“I was playing solid, so I was seeing how many birdies I could make, and once I got to 18-under I was trying to get to 20. I didn’t know it was a record, but when that last putt went it I was really happy.”
Cook’s 20-under total broke the previous scoring record of 18-under, which was accomplished twice — first in 2001 by winner Jeff Roth at Shanty Creek Resort and in 2014 by winner Scott Hebert at Oakland University. The eight-shot scoring margin in victory bested a 6-under total Hebert set in his 2014 win.
John Seltzer of the Seltzer Golf School in Grand Rapids, the 2017 champion, shot a final-round 63 and took second place with a 12-under 204.
“I don’t think anybody was going to beat Ben this week, 20-under that’s just unbelievable,” Seltzer said.
“If I could have been seven or eight under the first two days and then play the way I played today, then maybe I could have made it interesting. But 20-under – that’s not an easy one to catch.”
Five-time winner and defending champion Jeff Roth of Boyne Golf Academy tied with Adam Schumacher of Point O’Woods Golf and Country Club in Benton Harbor at 9-under. Roth shot a closing 71 and Schumacher a 67.
Eight-time champion Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf and Country Club and Josh Fryer of Franklin Hills Country Club each closed with a 68 to finish at 8-under.