Cairns wins his third Michigan PGA Championship
Brian Cairns, carded rounds of 72-68-69 for a 7 under-par 209 total to win the Gilbert A. Currie Trophy at the Michigan PGA Championship on Aug. 21.
His 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole of the final round gave him his first lead and the victory in the 54-hole championship. The tournament is contested over three days on the Sharf and Katke courses at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.
Cairns said he didn’t know the scoring situation until standing on the 18th tee. “We had been passing scoreboards and saw the lead a 9-under at one point,” he said. “Once I heard that I had a chance, I was jacked up. It was time to finish with a birdie.”
After three perfect shots got him to the par-5, 18th green, Cairns and his caddy agreed it was a perfect one cup- referring to the amount of break in the final putt.
“This is good, just a good feeling,” said Cairns after his birdie putt went in. “I birdied four of the last five holes, and that’s the way to finish.
“This is what I want to win every year,” Cairns said. “To me this is bigger than the (Michigan) Open, bigger than everything else.”
This victory gives Cairns the major share of the $42,000 prize money, and sends him to the PGA Professional National Championship once again.
The top nine finishers, who were otherwise not exempt, earned spots in the national championship for club and teaching professionals next May in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Cairns, a professional from Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center in Plymouth, Mich,, came from six shots back- but his rally was almost too late.
Scott Hebert, the defending champion and winner of six of the last eight Michigan PGA Championship’s carded nine birdies in his first 14 holes and posted a tournament low round of 66.
Hebert, who had only 23 putts during his round said, “I didn’t push it any more than I normally do, I just made more putts.
“Where I goofed up was on the last three holes. They are all possible birdies and not to make one in there, well, it’s just not good enough to win.”
Hebert, is exempt for the Professional National Championship as the 2008 winner.
Matt Pesta of Beacon Hill Golf Club, who was a co-leader heading into the final round, had it at 8-under-par through 12 holes, but a pair of double-bogeys at Nos. 13 and 17 gave him a closing 73 and a 211 finish for third place.