Former Clemson Tiger All-American Ben Martin sank a 46-foot eagle putt on the par five 16th hole on Sunday then went on to win the Shriner’s Hospital For Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was the first PGA Tour win for Martin, who is in his third year on the PGA Tour.
The win puts Clemson back on track to be considered among the most influential NCAA program on the PGA Tour.
A Clemson golfer had won at least one PGA Tour event over nine consecutive years – a streak that ended after the 2012 season when Kyle Stanley won the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Two different Tigers won an event in 2011, as Jonathan Byrd won the season opening Hyundai Classic in Maui and Lucas Glover won the Wells Fargo Invitational in Charlotte.
Byrd (5), Glover (3), D.J. Trahan (2) and Stanley (1) and now Ben Martin (1) have combined for 12 PGA Tour wins since 2002. Trahan won the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in January of 2008 and then finished fourth at the United States Open. Byrd won the Justin Timberlake Invitational with a hole in one on the third playoff hole in 2010, the only time in PGA Tour history that has happened. He then won the first event of the 2011 season when he won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Maui in another playoff.
Back in Las Vegas, Ben Martin had rounds of 68-66-62-68 to finish with a 72-hole score of 264. He played the final four holes in four under par, as he rolled in a birdie putt on the 18th hole from 20 feet to close out the win in style. His 62 on Saturday tied his career best and tied for the best ever by a former Clemson golfer on the PGA Tour.
With the victory, Martin is now exempted into the 2015 Masters, the 2015 PGA, and the 2015 Players Championship. His PGA Tour Card is now guaranteed through the 2016-17 season. He collected $1,080,000, obviously the biggest check of his career, and 500 FedEx Cup points.
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