Egypt Valley Country Club to host Michigan PGA Professional Championship

    ADA – Egypt Valley Country Club will be the site of the Michigan PGA Professional Championship for the next two years, Kevin Helm, executive director of the Michigan Section of the PGA of America announced today.

   The 94th Michigan PGA Professional Championship is scheduled for Aug. 17-19, and will be played on the Valley and Ridge courses at Egypt Valley, a 36-hole facility designed by Arthur Hills and celebrating its 25th year this summer.

“We are excited about Egypt Valley Country Club hosting the Michigan PGA Professional Championship in 2015 and ‘16,” Kevin Helm, the executive director of the Michigan PGA said. “It is an outstanding facility with a rich tournament history and we are proud to add to that tradition. Our PGA Professionals are going to enjoy the beauty and the challenge that Egypt Valley offers”.

  A field of approximately 140 Michigan PGA professionals will play in the 54-hole championship. The championship determines the top Michigan Section player, and top finishers qualify for the PGA Professional National Championship where they can earn a spot in the PGA Championship to play with the top golfers in the world.

  “Egypt Valley is excited about bringing the Michigan PGA Professional Championship to West Michigan,” General Manager Bo Picklesimer said. “It’s a way for the Egypt Valley membership to contribute to Michigan golf and see the top golf professionals in the state play their great golf courses. The tournament will add to rich tournament history in a year when Egypt Valley celebrates 25 years in our current Ada Township location.”

  The championship was played the last three years at Oakland University in Rochester Hills and has been played at many of the state’s top golf venues in its previous 93 years.

  Scott Hebert, recently named the head professional at Traverse City Country Club, is the defending champion and expected to return to defend his title. He has won the championship seven times since 2006, just two short of the record nine won by Michigan golf legend Al Watrous. Brian Cairns of Fox Hills in Plymouth, the 2013 champion, and Ron Beurmann of Country Club of Jackson, the 2010 champion, are also expected in the field at Egypt Valley.

  The PGA Professional Championship dates to 1922 and past champions include Walter Hagen, Chuck Kocsis, Jimmy Demaret, Chick Harbert, Horton Smith, John Barnum, Marvin Stahl, Randy Erskine, Buddy Whitten and Lynn Janson, all Michigan Golf Hall of Fame members.

  Janson, currently the owner of Hastings Country Club, is a four-time former champion who was the head golf professional at Egypt Valley and Green Ridge Country Club for 32 years. Green Ridge of Comstock Park was where the EVCC membership was first established as a club in 1931 with a purchase of the then Masonic Country Club. The Green Ridge site was sold for development in 1990 and the membership moved to the newly purchased site bordered by Egypt Valley Road in Ada Township.

  Other past champions with Egypt Valley ties include Tom Harding, who was an assistant professional at Egypt Valley when he won in 1997, and Joe Pollack, another former assistant professional who won his PGA title in 2004 when he was teaching at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Grand Rapids.

  Egypt Valley has a rich tournament history in just 25 years, including being host of a Champions Tour (then Senior PGA Tour) event from 1994 to 2003. Winners at Egypt Valley included Tony Jacklin, David Stockton, Gil Morgan, George Archer, Larry Nelson and Jim Thorpe.

  The club also hosted the 2010 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, which was won by Jim Liu, most recently a Stanford University golfer, and included in the field current PGA Tour standouts Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.

  Egypt Valley also hosted the Michigan Amateur Championship in 1994 and will again in 2017. The 1994 Amateur was won by Brian Atkinson of Cassopolis, then a University of Illinois golfer, who beat Egypt Valley member Kurt Hassberger in the championship match. The Michigan Women’s Amateur has been played at the club twice (1996 and 2007). Then EVCC member Stacy Slobodnik (Stoll), who is now the head women’s golf coach at Michigan State University, won in 1996 and Laura Bavaird of Grosse Ile won in 2007.

 The Michigan PGA Professional Championship will be presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz and OMEGA with supporting sponsors Titleist/Footjoy, Nike Golf, TaylorMade-adidas, Ashworth Golf and the PGA Tour.  Justin Phillips of the Michigan PGA will be the tournament director.