Gerina Piller is one of the Americans that will be competing in women’s golf at the Olympics. It’s an incredible accomplishment for the LGPA golfer, who never even started playing golf until she was 15, an age when many golfers are already qualifying for LGPA tournaments. She worked incredibly hard to get to where she is.
Golf is a big part of her life – her husband, Martin Piller, is also a professional golfer with championships of his own. The constant travel of golfers can make it awfully difficult for two golfers to sustain a relationship, but more than 5 years into their marriage, the Pillers are thriving. And not only is Gerina playing the best golf of her career, but so is Martin.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. He Has Won 5 Web.com Tour Wins in His Career
Martin Piller went pro as a golfer in 2008 and went through his share of ups and downs on the PGA and Web.com tours. He’s on a bit of a tear right now, as his career stats would show. That is reflected in the fact that this year, he reached an all-time high at a PGA tournament, coming in 4th place at the 2016 Valero-Texas Open.
On the Web.com tour, however, Piller has had even greater success. He has 5 wins on that tour in his career. His first two came in 2010, when he won both the Stadion Classic and the Cox Classic. After going several years without a championship, he returned to the top in 2014, winning News Sentinel Open. He followed that up with an even better 2015, taking first place in the Albertsons Boise Open and the Digital Ally Open.
2. He Has Made Over $781,000 on the PGA Tour in His Career, and Over $1 Million on the Web.com Tour
Those Web.com Tour victories, as well as his various impressive finishes on the PGA Tour, have helped Piller haul in a lot of earnings. On the PGA Tour, he has made over $781,000 alone in earnings. The bulk of this came in 2011 and so far in 2016 – in 2011 he made the cut in 7 tournaments, with 1 top 25 finish, to earn nearly $141,000. In 2016 so far, with 3 top 25 finishes and 2 top 10 finishes, he has already made over $570,000.
Having had greater success with the Web.com Tour, he has unsurprisingly made even more money from them. His 5 first-place finishes, 1 second-place finish, 1 third-place finish, 14 top 10 finishes and 27 top 25 finishes, Martin Piller has made just over $1,000,000 from the Web.com Tour.
3. He Has Been With Gerina Piller Since 2009, and They Were Married in 2011
In 2009, both Martin Piller and Gerina Piller (then Gerina Mendoza) were already professional golfers. Late that year, both of them were at an event involving golfing with NASCAR drivers. Originally not terribly impressed, Gerina grew to like him quite a bit, and vice versa. It wasn’t long after that the two began dating.
The relationship progressed quickly. They were engaged in August of 2010, in front of Gerina’s family home in New Mexico. Faking as though he couldn’t find a golf ball in his bag, he asked her for help. She found not a golf ball, but a ring. She said yes, and the two were engaged to be married. The marriage also came soon after that; touring schedules made it difficult for them to get a concrete date in the distant future, and so in January of 2011 they were wed.
4. He Considered Quitting Golf After Poor Years in 2012 and 2013
Piller has had a lot of incredibly admirable accomplishments as a pro golfer. But he also hasn’t been without his struggles. All of his experience on the Web.com Tour was, in fact, due to him being dropped down from the PGA Tour, something he only recently regained. 2012 and 2013 were particularly tough years, unable to achieve success even on the Web.com Tour. Piller eventually started reconsidering golf altogether. Though he didn’t have a back-up plan in mind, he did say “Absolutely you have those thoughts of, ‘If I can’t play, I just need to find something else to do.’ So those thoughts certainly crossed my mind.” He of course did not, and has successfully worked his way back to the PGA Tour.
5. He and Gerina Started a Retreat For Women College Golfers in 2015
In 2015, Martin And Gerina Piller decided to host a retreat with the College Golf Fellowship, something many other pro golfers on the PGA Tour had done. The Pillers’ retreat was something the Fellowship had never done, however: it was a retreat entirely for women golfers. 30 women golfers from various Texas universities came to Fort Worth for the retreat. Seemingly, the retreat was a success. Gerina told Golfweek that “I would do it again in a heartbeat,”