Prestwick’s Dan Urban Wins Michigan PGA Professional Championship in Sudden-Death

  ADA TOWNSHIP – Dan Urban of Prestwick Village Golf Club in Highland made a birdie on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the 94th Michigan PGA Professional Championship Wednesday at Egypt Valley Country Club.

  The 35-year-old second-year assistant professional hit a pitching wedge to three feet at No. 18 on the Classic course and made the putt to beat three-time past champion Brian Cairns of Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth.

  Urban, who worked as an assistant professional for one season (2012) at Egypt Valley, lived and worked in the Grand Rapids area for 15 years and attended Grand Valley State University, shot a closing 4-under-par 68 to finish with a 5-under 211 total.

  Cairns, fresh off playing in the PGA National Championship, shot 69 for 211 and forced the playoff.

  Urban pounded a drive on the 404-yard uphill par 4 hole and had just 130 yards remaining in the playoff. Cairns hit his approach shot to 18 feet, but missed the birdie putt. Then Urban knocked in his birdie for his first major win in Michigan, the $6,400 first-place check and his name on the Gilbert A. Currie Trophy.

  “This means a lot,” Urban said. “Look at the names on the trophy, the past and the recent, that’s nice company to have. This will be great for my confidence in the game. I always knew I was capable of doing it, but actually doing it is another thing.”

  Crystal Mountain Resort’s Brad Dean, who either had or shared the lead the first two rounds, suffered putting woes through the day and shot 74 for 213 and tied for third with Lochmoor Club (Grosse Pointe Woods) professional Kyle Martin, who shot 72.

  Matt Pesta of Lincoln Hills Golf Course in Birmingham shot a 69 for even-par 216 to round out the top five.

   In the tournament inside the tournament – determining the nine golfers who advance with Cairns and former national  champion Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club to the PGA Professional National Championship – Urban, Dean, Martin, Pesta will be joined by Chris Johnson of Thousand Oaks in Grand Rapids (69-217), Gary Lewandowski of St. Ives Golf Club at Tullymore Resort in Stanwood (72-217), Lee Houtteman of Manitou Passage in Cedar (74-218), Al Kuhn of Fountains Golf and Banquet in Clarkston (75-219) and John Seltzer of Blythefield Country Club in Belmont (73-220). Seltzer beat Kevin Muir of The Wyndgate in Rochester Hills in a playoff for the final spot.

  Urban, who won the 2012 Michigan PGA State Pro-Am with amateur Mike Doan of Holland, said he thought playing from behind after an opening 76 in the tournament made it easier for him to catch the leaders.

  “You can go after birdies instead of trying not to make bogeys,” he said. “Normally four shots back to start the final round is not the easiest, but I only had a few guys in front of me. It just took a couple bogeys by them and a couple birdies by me. I got a few birdies on the front side (33) and then just kind of held on there on the back nine.”

  Cairns, 51, said he felt good for Urban.

   “I knew I had to make a birdie on the playoff hole after he hit it way down there,” Cairns said. “I missed my chance. I almost closed it out right.  I had a lot of good chances today and just didn’t get enough of them. Dan hit a great drive and a great shot in there. That’s the way you win playoffs.”

  Dean, 49 and the director of golf at Crystal Mountain, said he missed two putts of two-feet in length in his round.

  “Just nothing with the putter,” he said. “I’m very happy with the way I hit it for three days, and I had the ball in position a lot of times for birdies, but just nothing.”