Notes: Hall's playoff appearance puts him in September Finals' picture

July 02, 2013

BEN MARTIN PREVAILS – It took 73 holes and an extra night in Evansville, but 2009 Clemson grad Ben Martin recorded his first Tour win on Monday at the rain-impacted United Leasing Championship presented by PTI.  Martin made a routine par on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff, while Joe Affrunti, Ash Hall and Billy Hurley III struggled on the par-4 18th at Victoria National Golf Club, making bogey or worse. The runners-up were also seeking their first Tour win. A final-round 67 on Sunday allowed Martin to make up five shots on Hurley, who led Affrunti by two at the start of the day. The latter two golfers were tied for the lead before both succumbing to double bogeys on the 71st hole.

MORE ON MARTIN – Evansville was Ben Martin’s 40th Tour start. His best previous finishes were a third at last year’s Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open at TPC Sawgrass Dye’s Valley course and a T4 last week in the Rex Hospital Open. Martin has six top 15s in his last eight starts. He is now fourth on the money list, up from 21st last week. Having been runner-up at the 2010 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament, Martin is zeroing in on a return to the TOUR.

359 – Bill Haas, who played the Tour in 2005, claimed the 359th PGA TOUR title by an alumnus on Sunday with his AT&T National victory. Haas has contributed five TOUR titles to the count.

PLAYOFF NOTES – 1) The United Leasing Championship playoff was the first of the year on the Tour.  It came in the 14th event. The fewest playoffs in one season was two in 1997.  2) The four-man playoff ties the Tour record for most players in a playoff.  It has now happened 13 times. The last one came at the 2007 WNB Golf Classic in Midland.

ASH HALL – Aussie Ashley Hall’s playoff appearance came with little advance notice. The 30-year-old from Melbourne had made just four cuts in his previous 13 events on the year, with a T41 in Wichita last month his best.  Hall posted Sunday’s low score, a 66, and soon found himself in the United Leasing Championship’s four-man playoff. A check for nearly $45,000 jumped him from 167th in earnings to 55th and into the September Finals’ picture, which will include the 75 leading money winners from the Regular Season.

GOOD WEEK ON THE CALENDAR – Sunday’s runner-up finish was Billy Hurley III’s best in 38 starts on the Tour. The 2004 U.S. Naval Academy grad enjoyed his career-best PGA TOUR finish the same week last year – a T4 at the AT&T National.

QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT APPS NOW AVAILABLE – Applications for the 2013 Tour Qualifying Tournament are now available on PGATOUR.COM ( Tour home page > Tournaments > “Online Application”) or click here for application. Similar to the former PGA TOUR “Q-School” format, there will be four stages – Pre, First, Second and Final. All Finalists will earn 2014 Tour membership. The Finals will take place Dec. 12-17 at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.

NEAT PROMO – and the Tour have introduced a promotion whereby the winner of each remaining 2013 event will be featured on NASDAQ’s Marketsite headquarters building in Times Square in New York City the Monday after the tournament.

PATRICK CANTLAY / BACK ISSUES – The Tour’s youngest player, Patrick Cantlay, has not teed it up in a Tour event since the Stadion Classic at UGA in early May. According to his agent, the 21-year-old has been experiencing back discomfort and is resting and rehabbing. He is expected to return to play in the coming weeks. The former No. 1 amateur in the world is 13th on the money list.

THE LAST TIME – The last time there was a Monday finish on the Tour was the 2006 PalmettoPride Classic in Charleston, S.C. After the final two groups completed play, Michael Sim defeated Ken Duke in a playoff.

DID YOU KNOW? – 1) The playoff loss was Joe Affrunti’s second on the Tour, the first having come to Scott Gardiner in the 2010 Chattanooga Classic. 2) The United Leasing Championship was the 14th of 21 Regular Season events. The final third of the season begins next week in Utah. The Regular Season will be followed by four Tour Finals events played in Fort Wayne, Ind., Charlotte, N.C., Columbus, Ohio and Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

NEXT WEEK – The Tour goes west to the Salt Lake City area for the Utah Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission (July 11-14) at Willow Creek Country Club in Sandy.