UPDATE – If you’ve read this post since May 2013, you know that I didn’t keep my promise below to keep my info updated on Ben’s success. Ben had an outstanding finish on the Web.com Tour and won the right to advance to the PGA Tour in 2014! Congrats Ben! We’re all pulling for your continued success!
Greenwood, SC native and Clemson Alumni Ben Martin is one of my favorite professional golfers. I have known his mom and dad since I was young and had the privilege of getting to know Ben and his brother Matt while serving as a volunteer at Greenwood High School. Along with many other SC golf enthusiasts, I have taken interest in Ben’s career and decided to write about his growing success. This article will be updated with current results as the 2013 golf season progresses. (Latest results at top)
Currently on the 2013 Web.com Tour money list: Up from 58th to 45th, to 29th, to 23rd place! Earnings now equal $57,358. Highest ranking statistics: 4th in Greens in Regulation (78.15%), 15th in Total Driving (82), 3rd in Ball Striking (19), 8th in Total Birdies (96), 15th in All-Around (313, Top 8 stats combined), 11th in Scoring Average with a Sub 70 Average of 69.89. Next event: The BMW Charity Pro-Am, May 16-19, headquartered at the Thornblade Club in Greenville, SC.
The week of May 2-5 brought Ben Martin to Athens, GA for the closest event to home so far this season. The Stadion Classic at the University of Georgia proved to be a wet one, especially with the final round being cancelled due to over 3 inches of rain in a 24 hour period. It was determined that the tournament would be decided by the totals following round 3 and Martin finished Tied for 8th, another best of the season! Ben continues to improve on his finish position for each cut he has made and this week he added another $16,200 to his earnings total. His success in 2013, especially over the last three events, has propelled him to 23rd on the money list and into the very sought after “Top 25” which will determine the players earning a PGA Tour card for next season.
After a week off, the Web.com Tour players returned to action at the South Georgia Classic in Valdosta, GA. At the April 25-28 tournament held at the Kinderlou Forest Golf Club, Martin matched his performance from the previous event by finishing Tied for 11th for the second tournament in a row. He shot 69, 72, 71, 70, a 6 under 282 for the tournament, earning a $14,300 pay day!
It was fun to watch tour updates as Ben Martin made strides this weekend at the Western National Bank Classic at Midland Country Club in Midland, Texas. The April 11-14 tour stop proved to be his best leader board finish of the 2013 season so far, Tied for 11th, and his second best 4 round score of the year at 278 (best was 276 at Chile Classic in March). Ben shot 71-68-67-72, with the 67 being his second best single round this year (1st round 66 in LA Open) and he secured a nice paycheck of $13,200! He may look back and give credit to his green “Masters Week” socks he mentioned on Twitter: @Ben_Martin87 “Even though Im in Midland,TX I can still rock the green @kentwool socks on Masters Sunday, right? @golfsockguy pic.twitter.com/lRxZlsLqN0” (Martin played in the 2010 Masters with Brother Matt on the bag!)
After surging in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, Martin flattened out a little to begin round 4, suffering bogeys at 5, 10, and 11. But in dramatic fashion, Ben surged once again and closed out Midland CC with Birdies on three of the last four holes – the par five 15th, and the par four 17th and 18th! A great week in Texas and I am sure that Ben looks forward to playing a little closer to home – the next 2 tournaments in Georgia and then Upstate, South Carolina!
April 4-7, Ben Martin and fellow golfers journeyed back down to South America for the Brasil Classic held at the Sao Paulo Golf Club. Martin got off to a good start in Round 1 with a 69, but followed on Friday with a 74 (143), missing the cut by 3 strokes. Ben’s twitter account (@Ben_Martin87) read, “When a black cat ran across the 1st fairway as I was over my tee shot, I had a feeling today was going to be an uphill battle #74”
The first 2013 Web.com Tour event held on U.S. soil was March 21-24. The Chitimacha Louisiana Open was played at Le Triomphe Country Club in Broussard, LA, and was the site of Martin’s most successful tournament to date. He scored an opening round 66 (his best this season), followed by 67-71-71 (275), finished T22nd, and earned a $5,000+ paycheck.
The first full week of March 2013 led players to the Prince of Wales Country Club in Santiago, Chile for the Chile Classic. Ben Martin posted rounds of 68-71-68-69 (276), placing him in a tie for 26th for the tournament.
The second tour stop for 2013, the Columbia Championship in Bogota, Colombia, proved too tough for Martin as he was cut after rounds of 72 and 70 (142).
Martin tied for 28th, finishing +1 (281) in the 2013 tour opener, Feb 21-24, at the Panama Glaro Championship in Panama City, Panama. Web.com Tour players will see big changes in 2013 as this tour becomes the path to achieve the elusive PGA Tour card.
Martin returns to the Web.com Tour off a strong finish at the close of the 2012 season. He battled hard to finish 3rd in the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open, the final “regular season” tournament of 2012, which secured the 60th and final qualifying position for the Web.com Tour Championship the following week at TPC Craig Ranch. He finished the championship tied for 13th and a placement of 54th on the final 2012 Web.com Money List, totaling $112,570 for the year (according to pgatour.com).