John Pillar Captures Philadelphia Senior PGA Professional Championship;
Earns Berth in 31st Senior PGA Professional Championship
(Malvern, Pa.) (August 20, 2019) – John Pillar of (Hawley, Pa.), winner of the Philadelphia Section Senior PGA Professional Championship August 19-20, 2019 at Applebrook Golf Club will lead seven Section PGA Professionals to compete Oct. 3-6, in the 31st Senior PGA Professional Championship.
The national Championship, presented by Cadillac and supported by Golf Channel and John Deere, will be held at Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas.
Pillar turned in a winning total of 8-under-par 134 to capture the Philadelphia Section Senior PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac. Bob Lennon of (Wilmington, Del.) finished three strokes back at 5-under-par 137. They are joined by Brian Kelly of (Lewisburg, Pa.), Terry Hertzog of (Lititz, Pa.), George Forster of (Blue Bell, Pa.), Dave Quinn of (Marlton, NJ), Eddie Perrino of (Mountain Top, Pa.).
“I feel grateful to join the list of Philadelphia PGA Senior Champions,” commented Pillar of his win. “We have such a strong contingent of senior players in our Section and to be considered in the same sentence as those legends is truly an honor. “I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize everyone at Woodloch Springs, especially my staff, who do such an outstanding job at home allowing me to compete in these events. I also need to thank the membership and staff of Applebrook Golf Club for providing such an outstanding venue for us to play these past two days. I am looking forward to the National Championship and playing with the best players from across the country.”
Pillar now joins a short list of players who have won both the Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship (2009) and Philadelphia PGA Senior Championship.
The Senior PGA Professional Championship brings together a field of 264 contestants representing the PGA of America’s 41 nationwide Sections and features a total purse of $300,000. The first two rounds will be conducted on the Foothills and Coore Crenshaw Courses. The first cut will be made after 36 holes of play to the low 90 scorers and ties. The second cut will be made after 54 holes of play to the low 70 scorers and ties. The final two rounds will be played on the Foothills Course.
Designed by Tom Fazio, the Foothills Course was recently ranked as one of the top courses in Texas by Golf Magazine. The course is protected by cliffs, waterfalls and creeks, making for a beautiful, scenic round, but also emphasizes the importance of accuracy. Drives from the elevated tee boxes must be precise to hit the fairways, and even more so when approaching the small greens. Previously, the Foothills Course was home to the PGA Tour Champions Legends of Golf tournament from 1990-1994.
A collaboration between course architect Bill Coore and two-time Masters Champion, Ben Crenshaw, the Coore Crenshaw Course is designed with the ideology that nature is the best architect. Although the holes feature lush, wide fairways, the dense trees to their sides will swallow any ball that misses its mark. However, the real challenge is found on the large, undulated greens that are sure to stump and frustrate players. The course’s beauty is really seen on the signature 18th hole. Running slightly uphill, approach shots must carry a creek to the low-lying green which is designed to appear as though it was carved into the hillside.
Begun in 1989, the Senior PGA Professional Championship is modeled after the PGA Professional Championship, with a field of 50-and-older senior PGA Professionals who advanced through 41 Section Championships conducted from June through August this year.
The top 35 finishers in the national Championship earn a berth in the 81st KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, which will be conducted in May 21-24, 2020, at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
The top five finishers earn an exemption into the final stage of the 2020 PGA Tour Champions National Finals in November 2019. Since its debut, many participants in the Senior PGA Professional Championship have used their success in the event as a springboard to a PGA Tour Champions career.
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