St Charles, MO—Mikel Martinson had not played in a competitive golf tournament since November 2017. After bogeying the final two holes, losing a one-stroke victory, Martinson birdied the 73rd hole to claim the largest paycheck in All Pro Tour history, bringing $40,000 dollars home.
“I haven’t been in a tournament in a while. So I didn’t really feel a lot going on. I told myself to stay in the moment, it’s a little cliché, just take it one shot at a time, and you know it worked out,” Martinson explained.
The Texas native shot seven under, five under, and six under in his opening three rounds. He built up a three-shot leading heading into the final day, the day after turning 34 years old.
His stapled consistency held on the front nine.
Charlie Holland opened the final round with a birdie, cutting the deficit to two strokes. Martinson responded with aggressive driver play. Where the field mostly took irons, his big stick set up a 60-yard wedge and a green side up and down for birdies on the par 4 6th and 7th. He found the green in two on the par 5 5th with a 4 iron that grazed the trees, nestling twenty feet from the cup that he went on to two-putt.
Holland birdied 3 of the last 4 holes to hold the deficit at three shots, stuffing it at the par 3 8th and converting a short up and down on the 9th after finding the trees left off the tee.
The Victoria Open runner-up blasted his driver over the back of the 10th green and got up and down for birdie. His birdie putt on the 11th lipped out and spun 180 degrees around the cup, as Martinson missed a six-foot right to left slider to hold off Holland.
The Dallas Texas Native kept it at two strokes on the back 9, holding serve until the 15th, when he rolled a 15 foot left to right breaking uphill putt to slash Martinson’s lead in half. With a one-stroke lead, and both players escaping the par 3 16th with par, the nerves arrived to center stage.
The Final Two Holes
The 34 and 32-year-old found the trees on the right. Martinson’s back was the tree, and he punched out to next to the 10th green. Holland hit a punch shot to the left side of the green.
After surveying his lie, Martinson’s 50-yard chip was left 20 feet short of the flag. Holland, searching for his first APT career win, had a 20-foot chip that rolled 15 feet past the cup.
Both players missed, and it was on to the 72nd hole.
Holland had honors and dropped an iron into the middle of the fairway. Martinson stepped up, and his lack of recent tournament experience caught up to him.
“I’ve hit the same club every day. Obviously, I didn’t factor a little adrenaline off the tee.”
Hopping over the bunker and into the waterfall, Martinson took a one-stroke penalty. He hit his wedge to 18 feet, and Holland had a 12 footer for birdie.
Both players went on to miss, and they loaded up to drive back to play the hole over again.
Martinson took one less club off the tee and hit his approach to where Holland had his tournament-winning opportunity the hole prior. He rolled the putt home to uproarious applause from the members looking on around the scenic 18th green.
Holland had matched his fellow Texas Native all day but couldn’t muster it one last time. His bid slid hard left of the cup, and Martinson was crowned champion.
The Bogey Hills Invitational Champion heads to the Texas State Open next week, looking to build off his APT victory.
APT returns for its next tournament in two weeks at Texarkana Country Club and Northridge Country Club for the Texarkana Open.