Benny Cook wins the second Michigan Major of 2021 and is the state’s PGA Player of the Year

by | Sep 30, 2021 | PGA

Benny Cook had an unforgettable summer on the golf course.

A native of western Michigan in Caledonian, Cook won the Michigan PGA Match Play Championship at the Country Club of Lansing on Wednesday, earning the Michigan PGA Player of the Year title.

Cook, who turned 28 on Wednesday, also won the Michigan PGA Professional Championship in 2021, and was the low-club professional at the PGA Championship on Kiawah Island, finishing 44th in a tournament that Phil Mickelson aged won out of 50.

“I really am playing the best golf of my life right now,” said Cook.

“It was great to win that and keep the momentum going.”

On Wednesday, Cook defeated Warwick Hills’ Darren Husse 3 and 2 in match play after winning Midland Country Club’s Jim Deiters 2 in the semifinals.

Cook took home the first place award of $ 3,200.

Husse, 38, who beat two-time defending champions Scott Hebert of Traverse City (7 and 5) in his semifinals, earned $ 2,100 for second place.

“You have to wake up very quickly after beating a player like Scott in the morning and then playing against Ben,” said Husse.

The match play final was postponed for a week due to the heavy rain earlier this month. It is considered one of the four majors of the Michigan PGA, with Cook winning two this year. Bradley Smithson of Grand Rapids, a player from the state of Michigan, won the 2021 Michigan Open, and Otto Black of Pinckney won the TOC.

Cook, who is connected to Yankee Springs in Wayland, is now traveling to Florida for the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying School in mid-October. The next leg of the Korn Ferry Q School is also Flint’s Willie Mack III, who made his debut on the PGA Tour this year.

Chips & Divots

► Cantons James Piot’s fantastic golf summer continued in early September when he was co-medalist at the Island Resort Intercollegiate Championship in Harris, Michigan. He shared his Michigan State teammate, Troy Taylor II, with a 54-hole score of 209. Michigan State had five players in the top 10 and won the championship by 23 strokes. Among other things, Piot won the US Amateur that year.

►Golf Digests annual list of the 100 best public golf courses in the United States was released in September, with Arcadia Bluffs No. 14, Forest Dunes No. 33, Arcadia Bluffs South No. 52, Forest Dunes Loop No. 59 and 78, Bay Harbor Links / Quarry No. 63 (previously No. 80) and Marquette Greywalls No. 67.

►Oakland Hills hosts one of 10 regional qualifiers for the national drive, chip and putt finals. Qualification takes place on October 16, with the best boys and girls in each division moving into the finals at the Augusta National Golf Club the next spring before the Masters start.

► Lorenzo Pinili of Rochester Hills and Lauren Timpf of Macomb won the Golf Association of Michigan’s Junior Invitational at Forest Akers, East Lansing earlier this month.

►Dean Kolstad, Golf Director at Gull Lake View, was named Golf Professional of the Year by the Michigan PGA.

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