Trainer gets first PGA TOUR win at Puerto Rico Open
February 24, 2019
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
Martin Trainer birdies No. 18 to clinch win at Puerto Rico
RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – Martin Trainer finally feels like he belongs on the PGA TOUR.
A win will do that to a guy.
Trainer, who won twice on the Web.com Tour in 2018, shot a 5-under-par 67 Sunday to win the Puerto Rico Open by three shots.
He had 230 text messages waiting for him after his round completed, and put in a quick call to his Mom before picking up the trophy and settling in as a PGA TOUR winner.
“I never thought that I would be able to win on the PGA TOUR,” said Trainer. “I managed to do it today and that's just incredible.”
Trainer had made only three cuts on TOUR so far this year and said he started the year struggling with his game.
He took a break after a busy Web.com Tour schedule last winter and returned to France – Trainer was born in Marseille – for some family time before getting back to work.
With the win Trainer earned 300 FedExCup points (moving to 39th in the FedExCup standings) and will be exempt into THE PLAYERS Championship along with the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Realizing how much his life had changed, he said, was still settling in.
“I never had the luxury of making a plan… I was just trying to play as many events as I could,” said Trainer. “So now I guess that will be a little different, I'll be able to pick and choose where I want to go and have a little more flexibility with my schedule. It's just such a great feeling to be able to have that.”
Trainer finally allowed himself to realize he was a TOUR winner on the 18th hole despite battling nerves all day.
His caddie, Ryan Ellerbrock (who plays on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica) was a fill-in for this week since his regular caddie was off sick. They’re friends and had some chemistry together when Ellerbrock caddied for Trainer during last year’s Web.com Tour Finals.
Ellerbrock helped Trainer to relax by referring to Coco Beach Golf Club as ‘Mazatlan’, a course Trainer won on in 2016 on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica.
He said Coco Beach GC was a carbon copy of that layout.
“We had good vibes going into this week,” said Trainer. “I'm just happy it worked out.”
He tipped his cap to the Puerto Rican fans as he approached the 72nd green, and another dream was realized.
“The players are so good, they're the best in the world,” said Trainer of his TOUR competition. “And I was able to, I guess, prove that I belonged today.”
Daniel Berger fired a 6-under-par 66 Sunday to move into a tie for second with three other golfers as he makes a return from an injured wrist.
Berger said he’s finally feeling healthy and will be playing the next four events. He’s only played three times since October and added the Puerto Rico Open to his schedule because he wanted to get his season kicked into high gear.
“I’m fresh and I’m ready to play,” said Berger. “Usually at this point in the season, I’ve played more so, I kind of just wanted to get some reps in, and it was a great week, so I'm excited that I did make the stop here.”
Berger finished tied for second with Johnson Wagner, third-round leader Aaron Baddeley, and Roger Sloan, whose T-2 result was his best-ever finish on the PGA TOUR.