Billy Stewart Uses Late Surge to Capture His First Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship
Concordville. PA – September 21, 2018 – Billy Stewart (The ACE Club), is the winner of the 97th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship, at Concord Country Club. Stewart will lead 12 Philadelphia PGA Professionals to compete in the 52nd PGA Professional Championship, next April 28 – May 1, 2019 at Belfair in Bluffton, South Carolina.
Stewart came into the third and final round of the Championship with a four shot lead but as he made his way around the Flynn designed course he got off to a slow start. Through sixteen holes Stewart had posted 15 pars and 1 bogey and was sitting at 5-under for the Championship. However, Stewart saved his best for the final two holes. On the seventeenth hole, Stewart made a lengthy downhill putt for birdie. While on the eighteenth Stewart reached the closing par-5 in two and after two putts he carded his second consecutive birdie bringing him to 7-under (207) for the Championship.
While a number of players gave it their best shot throughout the day, only one managed to temporarily grab the lead. Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) found himself at the top of the leaderboard after the twelfth hole, thanks in large part to the four birdies he had made up to that point. However, a bogey on the sixteenth hole coupled with birdies by Stewart on holes 17 & 18 ultimately dropped Ingraham from the top spot and a chance at his third Philadelphia PGA Championship although it was good enough for a solo second place finish.
The biggest move of the day came from Brian Hollins (Links Golf Club). As play began on day three, Hollins found himself at 2-over and in 22nd place. However, when play ended Hollins had moved up nineteen spots after he posted a championship best 5-under (66) moving him from 22nd place into solo third place.
When all was said and done Stewart was able to walk away as the Champion of the 97th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship, the first of his career. Along with Ingraham and Hollins, Stewart will be joined by Mark Sheftic (Merion Golf Club), Mike Ladden (Whitford Country Club), Rusty Harbold (Philadelphia Cricket Club), George Forster (Radnor Valley Country Club), Terry Hertzog (Country Club of York), Rich Steinmetz (Spring Ford Country Club), Alex Knoll (Bethlehem Golf Club), Mark Anderson (Philadelphia Cricket Club) and Ashley Grier (Overbrook Golf Club), the only female professional playing in the Championship, who birdied the first sudden-death playoff hole to win a spot in the National event next year. She has already earned a spot in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship also in 2019.