ROCHESTER — The 93rd Michigan PGA Professional Championship starts Monday at Oakland University. In addition to being a state championship for Michigan golf professionals it serves as the starting point to the 2015 PGA National Championship next year at Whistling Straights in Wisconsin.
Matt Pesta of Lincoln Hills in Birmingham will be part of a field of 141 professionals playing in the 54-hole $53,000 championship on the Katke Cousins and R&S Sharf golf courses at Oakland University. The low nine golfers, besides Pesta and former national club pro champions Scott Hebert and John Traub who are exempt, earn spots in the PGA Professional National Championship later this summer at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. The low 20 there move on to Whistling Straits.
Also back at Oakland University is 2013 champion Brian Cairns, who won his third Michigan PGA Professional title last year (1996, 2000, 2013), and is fresh off winning the recent Michigan Senior PGA Championship at Birchwood Farms in Harbor Springs.
Cairns is one of eight former champions in the field, including six-time winnerHebert of Grand Traverse Resort & Spa (2006, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’11, ’12), Joe Pollack of Greg Norman Collection in Grand Rapids (2004), Tom Harding of Kendall Golf Academy in Ypsilanti (1997), Steve Brady of Oakland Hills Country Club (1993, ’95), Barry Redmond of Boyne Golf Academy (1990), Jack Seltzer of Kendall Golf Academy (1988) and Traub of Detroit (1984).
The championship has a rich and storied history. Past champions include golf legends Walter Hagen, Horton Smith, Chick Harbert, Jimmy Demaret, Wilfred Reid, and Al Watrous, who won it a record seven times.
Oakland University is hosting for the third consecutive year. Half the field will play the Katke Cousins course, and half will play the Sharf in the first round and switch for the second round before a 36-hole cut to the low 60 scorers and ties. The final round will be played on the Sharf course.