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Martin Wins Second Event on Tour

Martin Wins Second Event on Tour

PITTSBURGH, PA – Former Clemson All-American Ben Martin fired a 4-under 67 Sunday and won the Mylan Classic near Pittsburgh by five shots, collecting his second win of the year on the Tour. He is the third former Tiger to win at least two tournaments in a year on the Tour, joining Kevin Johnson and Charles Warren.

With the victory, Martin moves from fourth to second on the money list and he is now just over $34,000 from leader Michael Putnam for the 2013 season. Martin finished at 17 under par at 267, one shot off the tournament record. He collected $121,500 for the win. He won by five shots over Kelly Kraft, who was the only player within nine shots of Martin when the event ended.

Martin had rounds of 66-67-67-67 for his 267 total. He is now 96 under par for his last 24 rounds. He has won over $396,000 for the year, the most in history for a former Clemson golfer on the Tour.

With five top-6 finishes in his last six starts, Martin is the talk of the Tour. He has 13 top-30 finishes in 17 events this year and 10 top 15s in his last 12 events.

Most of Sunday, and much of the week belonged to Martin, who started the last round at Southpointe Golf Club up by four shots after closing with consecutive bogeys Saturday.

“I got a text from my friend Charles Warren (former Clemson All-American) who told me that if I went out and shot the best round of the day today I’d probably be okay,” said Martin. “My caddie and I talked about playing today like I was one shot behind. Starting off with a four-shot lead, sometimes you can get defensive.”

Martin pulled away late with a chip-in eagle at No. 15 and closing birdies at 17 and 18. He hit his approach on the 17th hole to a foot and made a 10 foot birdie putt on 18. “I was a little more nervous this week because in Evansville I was chasing the lead,” said Martin, who came from five back on the final day to get into a four-man playoff there. “Playing with the lead all day is probably a little tougher.”

Martin chooses not to look at the electronic leaderboards during his rounds. “I glanced at one on the 12th tee and saw that Kelly Kraft was 11-under and I was 14,” he said. “I was just trying to stay in the process of each shot. I hate to use the phrase ‘one shot at a time’ but that’s what it was.”

Martin started Sunday quickly with three birdies on his first five holes and opened up an eight-stroke lead at one point. Consecutive bogeys, followed by seven straight pars and Kraft’s birdie barrage narrowed the margin to two after 14 holes. Just about the time Kraft was making bogey at No. 16 Martin chipped in for an eagle from 20 at the 311-yard, 15th hole.

“I chipped in for eagle at the 15th hole in the final round last week in Boise and I just tried to feed off those good memories,” said Martin, who was T6 a week ago. “I kind of had that thought in my head. It was similar but this one didn’t have as much green to work with.” Martin bumped his wedge and saw it hit the pin and disappear into the cup.

“That was huge,” said Martin. “After something like that you can get to up but I just try to flatline and told myself ‘let’s finish this thing right.'”