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The name Ben Martin may not be familiar to that
many Alabama natives, but this PGA Tour player is
especially familiar with the University of Alabama
and the city of Tuscaloosa. Allow me to tell you why.
Martin's father Jim attended Alabama in the mid-
70's, as did his brother Les, a couple of years later.
"Our family grew up in Brewton and had long
been indoctrinated in Alabama football," Jim Martin,
who lives in Greenwood, S.C., said.
"Ben was a very good player (in high school), but
not a nationally ranked player," Martin continued.
"He never played outside of our home state of South
Carolina except in two U.S. Juniors and thus was not
The timing was such that Ben, now 26, was com-
ing up around the same time as Alabama golf coach
Jay Seawell was just getting his feet wet in his then-
new job. (Another South Carolina connection is that
the Seawell family is from the Palmetto State).
In due course Martin, who indicated when we
talked last year after a Web.com Tour win that he
would have been ﬂattered by a serious Alabama of-
fer, ended up at Clemson, a highly touted golf pro-
gram in its own right.
He was part of a large class of ﬁve incoming fresh-
men and proved he made the right choice by being
a four-year starter (after his redshirt freshman year),
earning All-Conference awards three years and Hon-
orable Mention All-American his senior year.
Jim Martin remembered Ben's ﬁrst college event
"It was Georgia's event at The Farm and Ben shot
64 in only his second round of college golf. It came
to the last day and Clemson were paired with Ala-
bama in the ﬁnal wave. It was the ﬁrst time in my life
that I didn't cheer for the Crimson and White!"
Ben has also played in two U.S. Opens and a
Masters. The ﬁrst Open and the Masters appearance
were courtesy of his runner-up ﬁnish in the 2009 U.S.
Amateur, while he qualiﬁed for the next Open.
Upon graduation in 2010 he played the e-Golf
Tour with some success, before breezing through all
three stages of "Q" School. He had his PGA Tour card
fresh out of college.
He played solidly enough in 2011, but did not re-
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Ben Martin is making his mark on
the PGA Tour