Golf Recruiting

Golf: Martin’s imminent exit will have golf agents salivating over the possible ‘next Sergio’

by Jason Wulterkens

While much of the sports world is currently abuzz over whether or not college basketball freshmen phenoms Greg Oden of [the] Ohio St. University and Kevin Durant of Texas will decide to turn professional by declaring for this June’s NBA Draft, the golf community received a shock this week when one of the biggest names in collegiate golf said adiós to campus life, and hola to the pro ranks.

Golfweek’s Ron Balicki broke the news Tuesday that Oklahoma St. junior and Malaga, Spain-native Pablo Martin will forego his final year of eligibility with the defending National Champion Cowboys and turn professional following the Division I-A Championships during the first week of June. The 20-year old Martin, a two-time All-American who captured both the Jack Nicklaus and Fred Haskins awards last season as the nation’s most outstanding player, has won four tournaments at OSU and ranks first in stroke average for the Cowboys this season (71.08). Martin has competed and won around the world on every level he has competed at thus far. Though still an amateur, Martin tied for 63rd at the PGA Tour’s Mayakoba Classic in Mexico this past February. Additionally, in lieu of playing for the Cowboys this spring, he will be in Portugal competing in next two PGA European Tour events.

A quick email to Balicki confirmed that no one has yet heard anything relating to possible sponsor and representation-related suitors. Indeed, until Martin is actually done with the NCAA, such courtship is a tricky song and dance. But here’s a guess that Martin will follow in fellow countryman Sergio Garcia’s shoes (Sergio hails from Castellón in Northern Spain) and end up with IMG (whose website is newly revamped, by the way). IMG seems to have had the edge on most of the big names in golf in recent years, especially among the younger, foreign contingent, snapping up the likes of Adam Scott and Camilo Villegas, among others. And Martin should be impressed by what IMG has done with its foreign stable. Garcia may never win a major, for example, but his Q rating remains high, if nothing else than for his memorable Michelob spots with jaw-dropping models. Likewise, Scott (Burberry) and Villegas (J.Lindeberg) have both shown that even if one doesn’t rack up victories a la Tiger or Vijay (also both IMG clients), one can still make a splash, and plenty of bank, sporting classy outfits and looking suave and sophisticated, albeit in defeat.

2 replies on “Golf: Martin’s imminent exit will have golf agents salivating over the possible ‘next Sergio’”

[…] Pablo Martin, Oklahoma St.: This past April, the two-time first-team All-American and 2006 Jack Nicklaus Award recipient (college golf’s player of the year award) became the first amateur ever to win a European Tour event when he shot a 7-under 277 to beat Raphael Jacquelin by one stroke at the Estoril Open de Portugal. Although the victory earned Martin exempt status on the European Tour through 2009 (starting next season), he isn’t yet sure where he’ll predominantly play for the rest of this season (aside from trying to qualify for the U.S. and British Opens). That said, ultimately expect Martin to play a heavy schedule on the PGA Tour. And as I wrote not too long ago, don’t be surprised if IMG inks him. […]

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