The mid-Michigan golf destination welcomes the final players in the 2018 championship event next week.
By Greg Johnson
Eagle Eye Golf Club in Bath, Michigan is hosting one of the final major championships of the state’s season as it welcomes the Michigan PGA Section Match Play on Monday, Oct. 1 and Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018.
Presented by the PGA Tour, the Michigan PGA Section Match Play Championship consists of a bracket of 16 final golfers who have advanced from chapter or senior organization match-play rounds to battle for the Jim Picard Trophy and a $3,600 first place prize. Of the 16 players who will take to the field on Monday is defending champion Scott Hebert of Traverse City Golf & Country Club, who will join three others who advanced from the Northern Chapter bracket.
Last year Hebert made history with a 19-holes win over John Seltzer. It was a record-setting 16th Michigan Section major championship for Hebert, eclipsing the previous mark of 15 he had shared with Al Watrous and Jeff Roth. His first Michigan PGA Match Play win also gave Hebert the career grand slam of Michigan majors. In addition to his Match Play win last year, he has won eight Michigan PGA Professional titles, six Michigan Open titles, and a Tournament of Champions title.
The event will also feature five-time, Match-Play-Champion Brian Cairns of Fox Hills Learning Center in Plymouth, Michigan, who won in 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, and 1997. Lee Houtteman of Manitou Passage in Cedar, Michigan—Michigan PGA Professional champion and the 2012 Match Play champion—is also among the six former event champions to have reached the final 16 participants.
The group of former champions also comprises John Seltzer, head golf professional at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Ron Beurman, PGA professional and director of golf at the Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, Michigan; and Kyle Martin, PGA professional of the Lochmoor Club in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan.
Other players comprise Ian Ziska of Katke at Ferris State University, Northern Chapter; Kyle Wittenbach of Katke at Ferris State University, Northern Chapter; Harry Dixon of Walloon Lake Country Club, Northern Chapter; Cody Haughton of Red Run Golf Club, Eastern Chapter; Josh Fryer of Franklin Hills, Eastern Chapter; Brent Goulding of Prestwick Village in Highland, Eastern Chapter; Scott Cook of Thornapple Pointe Golf Course, Western Chapter; Luke Emrich of Sunnybrook Country Club, Western Chapter; Kevin Muir of The Wyndgate Country Club, Senior Organization; and Frank McAuliffe of Meadowbrook Country Club, Senior Organization.
Eagle Eye, a previous host for multiple Michigan PGA Professional Championships, was designed by Chris Lutzke in collaboration with Pete Dye. It is a rolling links style design with multiple tee options. It has consistently won awards and received top ratings since it was founded in 2003.
Among its most notable holes is No. 17, a 146-yard par 3 that Lutzke designed as a replica of the famous Dye-designed island hole 17th at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Florida. Dye’s testy par 3 has beguiled the best golfers in the world, and the replica at Eagle Eye has the same effect.
The round of 16 matches and the quarterfinal round will be played on Monday, with the semifinals and championship match on Tuesday. Gallery is welcome free of charge.