Note: This story originally ran in the April 2020 issue of PGA Magazine. In advance 2020 PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac, Club Car and OMEGA, we're taking a look back at four defending champions making their return to Barton Creek.
Defending Champion No. 2 for the 2020 PGA Professional Championship is Scott Hebert, PGA Head Professional at Traverse City (Michigan) Golf & Country Club. Hebert made history by authoring a third-round 63 and a closing 67 to rally for a four-stroke victory in the Senior PGA Professional Championship last October on Barton Creek’s Fazio Foothills and Coore Crenshaw Cliffside courses, the same that will challenge players in the 2020 PGA Professional Championship.
On the historic front, Hebert’s 63 on the Fazio Foothills Course was the lowest third-round score in Championship history, while his closing 36-hole total of 130 and his 72-hole aggregate of 16-under-par 270 were also records for the Senior PGA Professional Championship. Hebert, the 2008 PGA Professional Champion (at Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia), also jumped into the history books as only the third PGA Professional to win the PGA Professional Championship and Senior PGA Professional Championship, joining Steve Schneiter (1995, 2016) and Bob Sowards (2004, 2018).
Hebert is enthusiastic about returning to Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa after turning into a birdie machine last October in the Senior PGA Professional Championship.
“Barton Creek is a really cool property – interesting golf with great views, and I have some great memories from the Senior PGA Professional Championship there,” explains Hebert. “The Fazio Foothills Course is great for a national championship, with holes down the stretch that can really make for an interesting finish. There are many chances for birdie, but one or two flinches can make for some huge swings on the leaderboard. I agree that players who played in the Senior PGA Professional Championship will have a slight advantage with course familiarity, but our PGA Members are great players and they will figure it out.
“The winner will need a well-rounded game, while being tested in putting, driving and second shots. The PGA always does a great job of setting up our championships to not favor any particular type of player.”
Hebert has made 13 starts in the PGA Professional Championship, with seven top-25 finishes to complement his victory in 2008. Over the years, he has built many memories competing against his peers.
“One special memory I have was in Hershey, Pennsylvania, at Hershey Country Club (in 2011),” recalls Hebert. “Club Car, one of our longtime sponsors of the PGA Professional Championship, was giving away a golf car for a hole-in-one. I had just made the cut and was in the early groups before the television cameras were on with pretty much just my playing partners and my mother watching.
“I hit a 3-iron from 215 and asked my caddie Dave, ‘what color Club Car do you want?’ Surprised, my mother asked me where it went. ‘Right into the hole,’ I told her. It was a hole-in-one and it propelled me into a playoff for the Top 20 finishers, and a spot in the PGA Championship that year.”