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The Next Stillwater Superstar

College Central presented by PINGIn 31 seasons as a head coach at Oklahoma State, Mike Holder and his teams have done things most others can only dream of doing. With eight National Championships and more than two dozen conference titles, Holders resume is as good as it gets. But like in any sport, you are only as good as your players. From Bob Tway and Scott Verplank in the 80s, to Charles Howell III, Hunter Mahan, and Casey Wittenberg in recent years, Holder has always had a knack of getting the best junior players.
In my many conversations with Holder over the years, I have always heard the same thing from him when discussing his superstars. I am here to help these players become better golfers and people. When the time comes for them to make the jump to the professional level, I will support them in the decision. Holder told me this when Mahan and Wittenberg both left school early over the last two seasons to pursue a professional career.
Well it appears as if Holders eye for finding the talent is as good as ever, as freshman Pablo Martin captured medalist honors this past week at the PING/Golfweek Preview. A native of Malaga, Spain, Martin earned the teams last spot in qualifying, and has now almost certainly locked up a spot on the traveling squad. Rich with tradition, the win by Martin was the first by a Cowboy freshman since 1996, when Edward Loar won twice.
Highly regarded as a junior golfer, Martin showed me and the rest of the country, that he is as good as advertised. The transition to the college game usually takes time, regardless of how many junior events a player might have won. But Martin may be an exception.
After opening with rounds of 69 and 66, he carried the lead into the final round. With the likes of UNLVs Ryan Moore and Texas Matthew Rosenfeld making a charge for the title on the last day, Martin showed a lot of poise down the stretch, hitting his approach to 3 feet on the last hole, securing the win for himself and his team.
While it still may be too early to tell just how good Martin can be, I feel safe in saying he is well on his way to being another in the long line of superstars who spent their college days in Stillwater under the watchful eye of one Mike Holder.
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