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Monday, July 1, 2013

United Leasing Championship

I haven't spent too much time on covering the Web.com Tour in this space in 2013, but wanted to comment on the 2013 United Leasing Championship won by Ben Martin. With his win in a four-man playoff, Martin locks up his PGA TOUR card for 2013-14. My comments are geared more towards next year and how I will likely project him.

I had the opportunity to join Martin for four holes on our home course the week after his T11 at the WNB Golf Classic and just before his T11 at the South Georgia Classic. It was one of those random things where our twosome attached to his during a lengthy wait. It goes without saying that I was impressed with his game, but I enjoyed picking up on some of the intangibles in that setting.

When we were talking about his year, he commented that this was his second full season on the Web.com Tour and it was much more comfortable having played the courses and been to the cities before. Next year will be his second year on the PGA TOUR (he was a rookie in 2011), so the same could be the case there as well.

The other thing that really stood out to me was his demeanor. He was sincere. He smiled more than most people do. He carried himself confidently without being arrogant. I've been trying to put my finger on a good comparison in that department. The first name that popped to mind was Matt Kuchar, but that's not quite it. Then it hit me. Bill Haas.

With 10 top-30 finishes, seven top 25s, three top 10s and a win in the bank in 13 Web.com Tour starts while leading the Tour in GIR and ball-striking, there's plenty to like. We'll see how the remainder of the year plays out, but I would expect him to have a solid 2013-14 year on the PGA TOUR and retain his card.

Either way, I wish him well!

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