Golf notes: Benny Cook wins second Michigan major of 2021, is state's PGA player of the year
Benny Cook has had a summer to remember on the golf course.
Cook, a native of Caledonia in west Michigan, won the Michigan PGA Match Play Championship on Wednesday at Country Club of Lansing, and in the process he wrapped up Michigan PGA player of the year.
Cook, who turned 28 on Wednesday, also won the Michigan PGA Professional Championship in 2021, and at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, he was the low club professional, tying for 44th place in a tournament won by Phil Mickelson at age 50.
“I’m really playing the best golf of my life right now,” Cook said.
“It was great to win this and kind of keep the momentum going."
On Wednesday in the match play, Cook beat Darren Husse of Warwick Hills, 3 and 2, in the final, after beating Jim Deiters of Midland Country Club, 2-up, in the semifinal.
Cook took home the $3,200 first-place prize.
Husse, 38, who beat two-time defending champion Scott Hebert of Traverse City, 7 and 5, in his semifinal, earned $2,100 for the runner-up finish.
“You have to wake up really quick after beating a player like Scott in the morning and then having to play Ben,” Husse said.
The match play final was delayed by a week because of heavy rain earlier this month. It's considered one of the Michigan PGA's four majors, with Cook winning two this year. Grand Rapids' Bradley Smithson, a Michigan State player, won the 2021 Michigan Open, and Pinckney's Otto Black won the TOC.
Cook, who is affiliated with Yankee Springs in Wayland, now heads to Florida for Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying School in mid-October. Also making the next stage of Korn Ferry Q School is Flint's Willie Mack III, who made his debut on the PGA Tour this year.
Chips & divots
►Canton's James Piot's fantastic summer of golf continued in early September when he was co-medalist of the Island Resort Intercollegiate championship in Harris, Michigan. He tied his Michigan State teammate, Troy Taylor II, with a 54-hole score of 209. Michigan State had five players in the top 10 and won the championship by 23 strokes. Piot, this year, won the U.S. Amateur, among other tournaments.
►Golf Digest's annual list of the top 100 public courses in the United States came out in September, with Arcadia Bluffs No. 14, Forest Dunes No. 33, Arcadia Bluffs South No. 52, Forest Dunes Loop No. 59 and 78, Bay Harbor Links/Quarry No. 63 (up from No. 80) and Marquette Greywalls No. 67.
►Oakland Hills hosts one of 10 regional qualifiers for the national Drive, Chip and Putt Finals. The qualifier is Oct. 16, with the top boy and girl in each division advancing to the finals at Augusta National Golf Club next spring, ahead of the start of the Masters.
►Rochester Hills' Lorenzo Pinili and Macomb's Lauren Timpf won the Golf Association of Michigan Junior Invitational earlier this month at Forest Akers in East Lansing.
►Dean Kolstad, director of golf at Gull Lake View, was named the Michigan PGA's golf pro of the year.
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