Lochmoor Club’s Kyle Martin wins Michigan PGA Match Play Championship

By: Zachary Manning | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 6, 2020

 Lochmoor Club’s Kyle Martin takes a shot during the Michigan PGA Match Play Championship Sept. 22-23 at Country Club of Lansing. This is Martin’s second time winning the event.

Lochmoor Club’s Kyle Martin takes a shot during the Michigan PGA Match Play Championship Sept. 22-23 at Country Club of Lansing. This is Martin’s second time winning the event.

Photo by Greg Johnson/Michigan PGA

GROSSE POINTES — If you ask any top-notch golfer, they will tell you having a consistent short game is key to having success on the course.

In the Michigan PGA Match Play Championship at Country Club of Lansing Sept. 22-23, Lochmoor Club’s Kyle Martin showed exactly why.

He wasn’t hot off the tee or putting the ball within 5 feet of the hole every time, but he was able to get hot with his wedges and putter around the greens, which led to a bunch of birdies and pars.

His strong play around the greens and his ability to find a spark on the back nine in each match helped him secure his second Michigan PGA Match Play Championship. His last was in 2015.

“In the time I have between running tournaments and giving lessons, I go to the putting green where I can chip and putt, so I can keep the feel around the greens,” Martin said. ”Guys at our level can get it out there with some type of swing … but you can lose that touch and feel around the greens and that feel with your putter.”

Though he was playing well, the title was far from easy to come by. Martin noted that the level of competition in the field was very high.

He knocked off Jordan Young, of Jordan Young Golf, 1-up in the round of 16, while defeating Matthew Zavadil, of R&S Sharf Golf Course on the campus of Oakland University, 2-up in the quarterfinals.

In the semifinal, he eliminated Scott Cook, of Thornapple Pointe Golf Club, 3 and 2 and took down five-time Michigan PGA Match Play Champion Brian Cairns, of Fox Hills Learning Center, in the championship 1-up.

“That match, and a lot of them never go past 1-up or 2-up or 1-down or 2-down,” Martin said. “The pressure is high, so your nerves have to be settled, which, for some, can get to them. For me, I enjoy that, I thrive on that.”

Martin likes the level of competition and the seriousness of the tournaments, but he also enjoys the fact that he gets to play with guys he’s gotten to know and can now consider friends.

He said over the years that he’s been playing in these tournaments that he’s gotten to see a lot of highly skilled players.

“Always fun to play your buddies. Obviously, somebody has to win,” Martin said. “If I can get one of the guys who’s been there for a long time and has won multiple times, you know you’re at the best in your game and you’re playing the best.”

In terms of what’s next, Martin doesn’t have a concrete plan, but he knows golf is a part of it. He is in his first year as the head golf professional at Lochmoor Club.

He has qualified for the PGA National Championship in previous years and hopes to do that again, with the opportunity to play in the PGA Championship.

“Qualifying out of (the PGA National Championship), they take the top 20 out of 312 and those 20 play in the PGA Championship. That would be phenomenal to do that,” Martin said.

Outside of that, Martin hopes to stay in the Player of the Year points race to give himself an entry into the Rocket Mortgage Classic qualifier.

“To play in the Rocket Mortgage Classic in your hometown, so to speak, where your members could come over, it would be quite the show,” he said.