Scott Hebert wins sixth Michigan PGA Professional Championship title

ROCHESTER – Grand Traverse Resort head professional Scott Hebert started the day three shots off the lead and knew he needed a little help from others if was going to win the Michigan PGA Professional Championship for the sixth time in the last seven years.

  He got it, and helped himself along the way with a final-round 3-under-par 69 on the Katke-Cousins course at Oakland University Wednesday.

  His round was just one of four rounds under par on the final day, and put him at 8-under-par 208 for the three days, and four shots ahead of Ian Ziska, the head professional at Katke Golf Club at Ferris State University, who closed with a 75.

  “It’s nice to be No. 1 among your peers,” Hebert said after collecting a $6,000 first-place check, a crystal trophy and earning another inscription of his name on the Gilbert A. Currie Trophy.

   “To win at this point in my career when I don’t put as much effort on my game feels great. To come out and get to 8-under on two good golf courses is something to be proud of.”

   Matthew Zavadil, a teaching professional with the host Oakland University Golf & Learning Center, shot a closing 71 for 214 and a tie for third place with Tom Harding of Kendall Golf Academy in Ypsilanti.

   Harding was the leader at the start of the day, but missed an early birdie chance at No. 2 and struggled in shooting a 78.

     “Whatever went right the first two days sure didn’t go right today,” he said. “I think I had 38 putts. I missed about a five-foot putt for birdie straight up the hill on No. 2 and never made a birdie, never got comfortable.”

   Crystal Mountain Resort’s Brad Dean, who shot 78, TJ Roberts of Walnut Hills Country Club in East Lansing, who shot 74, Scott Schulte of Country Club of Detroit, who shot 72, and John Seltzer of The Polo Fields in Ypsilanti, who shot, 75, finished in a tie at 215.

   Hebert, who also has six Michigan Open victories in his career, said he hit his driver well all week, and made critical putts when needed.

   “I was proud of how I hit it,” he said. “It was nice playing out of the fairway most of the time. That has been my problem all summer, and not to do a commercial, but the new Titleist driver was phenomenal. Plus, I made a lot of four-footers, the kind you have to make when you really need to make them.”


   Hebert, as a past PGA Professional National Champion (2008), is exempt for the 2013 PNC.

   The next 10 golfers in the state championship for club and teaching professionals earned exemptions, which means Ziska, Harding, Zavadil, Dean, Roberts, Schulte, Seltzer, Lee Houtteman of Grand Traverse Resort, Kyle Martin of Lochmoor Club in Grosse Pointe Woods and Matt Pesta of Beacon Hills Golf Club will make the June 23-26 trip to Sun River, Ore., for the national event.

   Houtteman, Martin and Pesta won their spots in a four-golfer playoff for three spots. George Bowman of Oakhurst in Clarkston will be the first alternate.

   “We’re going to send a strong group to Oregon,” Hebert said. “We’re all proud of our (Michigan PGA) section, and I’m proud to be on top right now.”