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Oakley Goes Low to Win Delaware Valley Open at Radley Run CC

West Chester, PA – Nearly four months after it’s originally scheduled date, the Delaware Valley Open (DVO) was finally contested at Radley Run Country Club on Monday, September 23rd. With a field consisting of nearly 80 players from across the Philadelphia Section PGA everyone was excited to play in the beautiful, albeit warm, weather for the first day of fall.

Host professional Brett Melton (Radley Run CC) was in the first pairing of the day and posted the score to beat with a 3-under (69). Melton’s card had 3 birdies and an eagle 2 on the par 4-15th hole, but two bogies would come back to haunt him later in the day. He managed to stay on top of the leaderboard for most of the day, with those coming close falling short by one or two shots. Zac Oakley (Bidermann Golf Course), finally knocked him from the top with a 4-under (68). Oakley started off slow carding a bogey on his second hole, but quickly followed with two birdies, making the turn at 1-under. His back nine was bogey free and he added three more birdies to his total reach his 4-under par. With only a few more groups to finish, no one else got close to Oakley’s 4-under.

According to Oakley; “I started out the day slow, but by mid-round I was able to get used to the green speeds. I felt like I struck the ball decent the whole round, but I was able to make a lot of my putts on the back nine, which helped. I finished my round with a birdie on 18 which, it turned out, I needed. The course was in great shape, and it is always fun playing with my college teammate Will Scarborough (Peninsula G&CC).”

A pair of players shared the top spot in the tournament’s Senior Division, Dave Quinn (Laurel Creek CC) and Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) both carded 2-under (70). Quinn card had five birdies, two on the front and three more on the back, but had three bogies, the last one coming on the 18th hole for his 70. Ingraham’s scorecard had four birdies, one on the front, and three on the back, but he had two bogies with his final one also coming on the 18th. Mike Moses (Concord CC) finished in third two shots back at even par 72.

The PAO (Player’s Assistant Organization) also joined in, with twenty-four of their group playing in both events. Since Zac is also a PAO member, he took home first in both events. Jeff Herb (Waynesborough CC) came in second with a 2-under par 70, followed by Alex Knoll (Glen Brook GC) and Mike Little (Lookaway GC), both at 1-under par 71.

The Section would like to thank our tournament sponsors Jack Jolly & Son, Golf Pride Grips, Morell Studios, Mizuno, and PGA Tour as well as the membership and staff of Radley Run Country Club. The Philadelphia PGA returns to action on Thursday, September 26 for the A.B. Thorn Memorial Pro-Am at Lancaster Country Club. For complete coverage of the Philadelphia PGA be sure to follow us on our Social Media Channels Facebook / Twitter / Instagram.

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Brian Kelly Goes Low and Edges Field at TaylorMade Classic 

Mt Laurel, N.J. – The annual TaylorMade Classic, was played on Monday, September 9 at Laurel Creek Country Club in Mount Laurel, NJ. The event featured over 100 players and was a combined event with the Section’s Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization (PAO).

Playing early in the day, Brian Kelly (Bucknell Golf Club) posted a number for everyone to chase. Kelly made his way around the par-71 6700 yards long course relatively unscathed finishing with a score of 5-under (66). Kelly carded four birdies and one bogey on his outward along with three birdies and one bogey on the inward nine to reach his final number. Kelly’ seven birdies were the most of any player in the field. However, with much of the field still to play, Kelly needed to watch the leaderboard throughout the afternoon to see if his number would hold.

The first player to make a run at Kelly was Rich Steinmetz (Spring Ford Country Club). Steinmetz was able to overcome an early bogey on the par-4 second hole, his only blemish on the day, by scattering five birdies throughout his round. Unfortunately for Steinmetz, he fell one shot shy of Kelly finishing with a final score of 4-under (67).

Throughout the afternoon several additional players made a run at Kelly and the top of the leaderboard. Billy Stewart (The ACE Club), Brian Bergstol (Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort), and Michael Tobiason (Deerfield Country Club) all tried to earn a victory at Laurel Creek but unfortunately for the trio they all came up one shot short with a score of 4-under (67).

With no players able to match Kelly at 5-under, he earned his first win of the 2019 season as well as his first TaylorMade Classic win. The victory was twice as nice for Kelly as he also took home the top spot in the tournament’s senior division. Finishing in solo second place with a score of 3-under (68) was Greg Farrow (Deerwood Country Club). Four players finished tied for third after posting a score of 1-under (70). Included in that group was Rick Flesher (Phila PGA), Eddie Perrino (Eagle Rock Resort), John Appleget (The Shore Club), and George Forster (Radnor Valley Country Club).

Despite falling just short in the overall tournament, Don DeAngelis (Spring Ford Country Club) took home the top spot in the Super Senior division after posting a 4-under (67).

Played in conjunction with the TaylorMade Classic, the Section’s Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization (PAO) also held their own tournament. With most players playing in both events, the PAO field was one of the largest of the 2019 season. At the end of regulation, three players found themselves tied at the top of the PAO leaderboard with matching scores of 4-under (67). However, only two players remained at the course at the end of the day to compete in the payoff. After two holes of a sudden death playoff, Michael Tobiason (Deerfield Country Club) defeated Brain Bergstol (Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort) with an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole. Finishing in third place in the PAO tournament was Billy Stewart (The ACE Club).

The Section would like to thank our tournament sponsors TaylorMade Golf and our Section representatives Mike Zupi and Jay Junkin as well as our supporting sponsor BagBoy.

The next event on the Philadelphia PGA tournament calendar is the 98th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship set to be played September 16-18 at Union League Golf Club – Torresdale and Riverton Country Club.

For complete coverage of the Philadelphia PGA be sure to follow us on our Social Media Channels Facebook / Twitter / Instagram.

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George Forster birdies seventh playoff hole to win $100,000 first prize at Haverford Philadelphia PGA Championship

By: Joe Juliano

George Forster was hoping to leave the stress of competition behind as he traveled Wednesday to Sunnybrook Golf Club to continue a playoff for the title of the Haverford Philadelphia PGA Championship. But with $100,000 on the line, it wasn’t easy.

Ultimately, what began as a seven-man playoff came down to Forster, the long-time head professional at Radnor Valley Country Club, and Philadelphia Cricket Club assistant pro Rusty Harbold, and went to the seventh extra hole before Forster knocked in a 12-foot birdie putt for the victory, his second in the event.

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Teams from Stone Harbor and Commonwealth Win at Summer Pro-Lady Team Championship

Plymouth Meeting, Pa. – The second Pro-Lady Team Championship was held on Wednesday, August 29 at Sunnybrook Golf Club. The summer Pro-Lady Team Championship featured 48 teams from across the Philadelphia PGA, featuring one PGA Professional and three female amateurs. The Pro-Lady Team Championship featured both a Gross and Net competition.

Leading the way in the Net division was the team from Stone Harbor Golf Club featuring Professional Jay Gross and his partners Carolyn Gavaghan, Martha Freda, and Anne Oberg who posted a team score of 15-under (57) to win by two shots. Finishing just behind Stone Harbor in a tie for second place were a pair of teams that finished with a score of 13-under (59). The first team to get to 13-under was from Lehigh Country Club and featured Professional Chris Wegner and partners Linda Epstein, Erica Hyman, and Debbie Hawk. Joining Lehigh at 13-under was the team from Woodstone Country Club with Professional Ray Silnik and his partners Barbara Barry, Terry Zerby, and Suzy Armbruster.

In the Gross division, it was the team from Commonwealth National Golf Club featuring Professional Patrick Shine and partners Kere Averett, Karen Siegel, and Shannon Reilly that took home top honors after posting a 7-under (65). The Commonwealth team narrowly edged out a trio of teams who all finished with a score of 6-under (66). Commonwealth reached their magic number in large part because of a stretch of seven consecutive birdies towards the end of their round. The teams finishing one shot back included a team from the Philadelphia Cricket Club with Professional Michael Ferguson and partners Marji Goldman, Joanne Bidwell, and Soohee Lim. A team from Spring Ford Country Club with Professional Rich Steinmetz and partners Gwen Ward, Anne Giannopoulos, and Michelle Finley as well as a team from RiverCrest Golf Club and Preserve and Professional Mike Matson and partners Allie Robertson, Toni Barbine, and Delia Keys.

The Section thanks our tournament partners Lincoln Motor Company, SynLawn and Jo-Fit as well as the membership and staff of Sunnybrook Golf Club for their support of the Philadelphia PGA and the Pro-Lady Team Championship.

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Terry Hertzog Wins 2019 Pro-Am for Wishes on First Playoff Hole

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WEST CHESTER, Pa. – On a cool, late summer day, the second and final round of the 17th Pro-Am for Wishes was played at Penn Oaks Golf Club in West Chester, Pa. The second round of the 36-hole tournament featured 50 Section Professionals and one amateur, who qualified because of his performance in round one.

Sitting atop the leaderboard as play began on day two was Zac Oakley (Bidermann Golf Club) who posted a 4-under (67) on day one to lead by two shots. Joining Oakley in the tournament’s final pairing were Michael Little (Lookaway Golf Club) and Dustin Wallis (Dustin Wallis Golf) who both posted an opening 2-under (69). A pair of veteran players also found red figures on day one. Rich Steinmetz (Spring Ford Country Club) and Dave Quinn (Laurel Creek Country Club) each posted a 1-under (70) and were playing in the penultimate group.

As players made their way around the course it was a name that was just outside the top of the leaderboard that made the biggest move. Terry Hertzog (Country Club of York) posted an opening round 1-over (72) and found himself five shots behind Oakley. However, as Hertzog played his second-round things got off to a quick start after a birdie on the opening hole. Hertzog added an additional birdie on the par-4 eighth hole and made the turn at 2-under bringing him into red figures for the tournament.

As Hertzog played his way back to the clubhouse, he added three additional birdies, including one on his closing hole helping him to overcome a late bogey and bringing his two-day total to 3-under (139). Although he was now the low man in the clubhouse, there was a lot of play behind him meaning Hertzog would have to wait to see if his number was good enough.

Overnight leader Oakley got off to great start with two birdies and an eagle against only one bogey on his outward nine which brought him to 7-under for the tournament. However, Oakley was unable to find any more birdies and unfortunately for him a couple of bogeys as well as a double on his closing hole dropped him into a tie with Hertzog at 3-under (139).

With no other players left on the course, Hertzog and Oakley headed to the first tee at Penn Oaks to start their sudden death playoff. After both players found the fairway with their tee shots, Hertzog hit his approach shot close and was able to convert his birdie putt giving him the win and title of 2019 Pro-Am for Wishes Champion.

Rounding out the podium in the Professional division was John Appleget (The Shore Club) who posted the only other sub-par round on day two helping him to move up the leaderboard and bringing his 36-hole total to 1-under (141).

Hertzog and Appleget also finished first and second in the tournament’s senior division and were joined by third place finisher Dave Quinn who posted rounds of 70-74 to finish with a tournament total of 2-over (144).

Next up for the Philadelphia PGA is the Summer Pro-Lady Team at Sunnybrook GC on Wednesday, August 28 in Plymouth Meeting, Pa. The Section would like to thank everyone involved in the Pro-Am for Wishes, including Penn Oaks Golf Club and all the supporting sponsors.

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PGA Junior League All-Stars from the Penn State League Advance to the Regionals after Winning the Philadelphia Section Championship

Lower Gwynedd, Pa. (August 23, 2019) – On a warm and humid summer day, eight PGA Junior League All-Star teams from across the Philadelphia Section gathered at Cedarbrook Country Club in Blue Bell, Pa., to compete in the PGA Jr. League Philadelphia Section Championship presented by National Car Rental. Teams earned their spots in the Championship by winning one of four qualifying spots in the two Divisional Qualifiers (West Qualifier – Out Door CC & East Qualifier – Penn Oaks GC) that were played in the weeks leading up to the Section Championship on August 19.

In the Championship’s first matches, teams from the East Qualifier (HVCC 1 vs Jersey Shore and Radnor vs North Philly 2) played the front nine (holes 1-9) at Cedarbrook Country Club while teams from the West Qualifier (Penn State vs Scranton and Lancaster vs Phoenixville) played the back nine (holes 10-18). At the end of the morning matches, HVCC 1 advanced after winning 8.5 to 3.5 over the team from the Jersey Shore league and Radnor advanced after posting 10 points to North Philly 2’s 2 points. In the West side of the bracket, Penn State moved on to the semifinals by winning 10 points to 2 points over Scranton and Lancaster advanced by beating Phoenixville 8 to 4.

As play moved to the afternoon and the semifinal matches, the four remaining teams switched sides of the golf courses giving each team a new look at Cedarbrook. Throughout the semifinal matches the four remaining teams should a lot of grit but in the end advancing through the East bracket was the HVCC 1 league after they beat the Radnor all-stars 8.5 to 3.5. In the West bracket the all-stars from Penn State found themselves in the Championship match for a third consecutive year after they outlasted the team from Lancaster earning 7.5 of the 12 available points.

After storms delayed the start of the Championship match, the teams from Penn State and HVCC finally got on the course at 4:00 pm. As the teams played their third match of the day, they were battling more than just their opponents, they were also battling exhaustion after playing golf in the 90-degree temperature all day. However, both team put forth a valiant effort but, in the end, it was the all-star team from Penn State that came out on top besting the team from HVCC 9 to 3.

The Penn State team will now travel to the Region 2 Championship where they will play for one of 12 spots in the 2019 PGA Jr. League Championship presented by National Car Rental at Grayhawk Golf Club (Scottsdale, Arizona) Oct. 11-14. This year’s Region 2 Championship is scheduled to be played on September 14-15, 2019 at Seaview Golf Club in Galloway, NJ and in addition to the Philadelphia Section PGA will feature teams from the Central New York Section PGA, Metropolitan Section PGA and the New Jersey Section PGA.

Led by coach Steve Wager, PGA the PGA Junior League All-Star team from the Penn State League was comprised of Isaak Bloom (Bellefonte. Pa.), AJ Corson (State College, Pa.), Crosby Denis Duncansville, Pa.), JP Hay (State College, Pa.), Luke McGraw (Boalsburg, Pa.), Nate Price (State College, Pa.), Kevin Stolberg (State College, Pa.), Brady Wager (State College, Pa.), Maxwell Wager (State College, Pa.), Reese Walizer (Mill Hall, Pa.).

The PGA Jr. League Postseason presented by National Car Rental is designed to celebrate the recreational spring/summer season held in March through July, as well as provide a fun and welcoming environment for the 19 percent of PGA Jr. League players who identify as competitive golfers. Following the regular season, 10-player All-Star teams were formed from a combination of players in each local league.

PGA Jr. League brings friends and families together around fun, co-ed team golf experiences, all with expert coaching and instruction from PGA and LPGA Professionals. Kids wear numbered jerseys and play on teams with friends, using a scramble format for competition that encourages mentorship and promotes sportsmanship. A record 50,000 boys and girls participated in PGA Jr. League last year, growing from 42,000 players in 2017. For more information on PGA Jr. League, visit PGAJrLeague.com.

As the Official Partner of PGA Jr. League, National Car Rental is committed to growing future business leaders by growing junior golf. National Car Rental helps provide fun, engaging and welcoming experiences for PGA Jr. League golfers and their families all season and postseason long.

Eric McNamee and Partners Win 2019 AC Team Stableford Championship

Cape May Court House, N.J, – Nearly two months after its originally scheduled date, the 2019 Atlantic City Team Stableford was played at Union League National, a new venue for the Philadelphia PGA, on a warm and humid summer afternoon. For this rescheduled event, 25 teams traveled down the AC Expressway to the New Jersey shore for the championships that pairs one PGA Professional with three amateur partners playing a stableford points.

In the Net division, Eric McNamee (Golf Galaxy – Montgomeryville) and his amateur partners Joseph Boyle, Walt Hoffner, and Jesse Brookreson combined for a team score of 94 points, four more than their closest opponent. Each member of the team contributed to the overall score including every member of the team carding a natural birdies.

In the Gross division, the team of Eric Figueroa (McCall Golf and Country Club) and his amateur partners Jon Stein, Pat Reynolds, and Russ Loue took home the tournament’s top spot. While each member of the team contributed to the overall score, it was the fantastic play of Figueroa, who posted a 4-under (68) on his ball that led to the team’s first place finish.

The Philadelphia PGA would like to thank our tournament sponsors the Morell Studios, Maui Jim, Red Arrow Markers, and Morgan Stanley for their support of the AC Stableford Team Championship. The Philadelphia PGA also thanks the membership and staff of Union League National for their support.

The next event on the Philadelphia PGA calendar is the Philadelphia Senior PGA Professional Championship set to be played on August 19-20 at Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, Pa.

For more information, visit www.philadelphia.pga.com or follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Shawnee’s Bergstol Wins Doylestown Open on the First Playoff Hole

 

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. – As the calendar turned to August, the Philadelphia PGA once again returned to Doylestown Country Club for the annual Doylestown Open. The one-day stroke-play tournament featured more than 90 Philadelphia PGA Professionals and served as the seventh event in the race for the Omega Player of the Year presented by the Haverford Trust Company.

Early in the day, current Philadelphia PGA Omega Player of the Year points leader Michael Little (Lookaway Golf Club) got things going after posting an impressive 4-under (68). Little posted back to back birdies on his front nine to make the turn at 2-under. As he made his way back to the clubhouse, Little added an eagle on the par-5 14th hole as well as another birdie on the short par-4 16th to reach 5-under. However, an untimely bogey on the par-5 18th hole dropped Little back to 4-under and in the end that proved to be a costly stroke.

As play continued, word started to spread that there was a player on the course who was having an impressive round. Brian Bergstol (Shawnee Inn & Resort) got off to a flat start but was able to turn things around on the par-4 6th hole carding his first birdie of the day. Bergstol added two additional birdies over his next three holes to make the turn at 3-under. After a couple of bogeys on holes 10 and 12, Bergstol was able to right the ship and posted three consecutive birdies on holes 13-15 before adding a final birdie on the par-5 18th hole to finish with a 5-under (67) and take over the clubhouse lead.

“I haven’t been playing on that well recently,” commented Bergstol on his round. “I have been very inconsistent with my driver and the only time I have been able to practice is during events. Today I was able to recover nicely from some of those poor drives and made some putts which helped a lot.”

Playing a couple hours after Bergstol, a second player was able to get to the 5-under (67) mark. Ben Schlesman (Manufacturers Golf & Country Club) is in his second year as an Assistant Professional in the Philadelphia Section. Like Bergstol, Schlesman played his outward nine in 3-under par after posting four birdies and one bogey. As he played the inward nine, Schlesman added four additional birdies but paired with two more bogeys Schlesman also finished at 5-under (67). Schlesman’s eight birdies were the most of any player in the field.

With no other players able to match or pass Bergstol and Schlesman, the pair headed back to the 18th hole for a sudden death playoff, the second consecutive Philadelphia PGA points event to be settled this way. Both players missed the fairway with their tee shots, although both managed to put themselves in a good position after their second shots came up just short of the par-5 green. In the end, Bergstol was able to get up and down for birdie giving him the edge over Schlesman as well as his first points win of the 2019 season.

“It always feels great to get a win,” said Bergstol. “I hope I can continue to build off of this round, especially with some big events coming up Assistants Championship and the Haverford Philadelphia PGA Classic. I want to thank everyone at Doylestown Country Club for hosting us today.”

A familiar name took home the top spot in the tournament’s senior division. Dave Quinn (Laurel Creek Country Club) managed to overcome a bogey on the first hole, his only blemish of the day, to finish the tournament at 2-under (70), one shot ahead of a trio of competitors giving him his fourth senior win of the 2019 season. Finishing just behind Quinn were Dave McNabb (Applebrook Golf Club), John Pillar (Country Club of Woodloch Springs), and Don Allan (Burlington Country Club).

The Section would like to thank the membership and staff of Doylestown Country Club for their support of this event as well as tournament sponsor Jani-King and the PGA Tour.

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Hershey CC’s Sara Muldoon Named PGA of America’s 2019 Merchandiser of the Year – Resort

PGA Members Eric Eshleman and Kevin Kirk
Headline 2019 PGA of America National Award Recipients

Eshleman named PGA Golf Professional of the Year,
Kirk recognized as PGA Teacher of the Year; Lead Class of 12 Honorees 


Sara Muldoon Bio

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (July 24, 2019) – Eric Eshleman, PGA, the Director of Golf at the Country Club of Birmingham (Alabama), is the recipient of the 2019 PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award. This award is the highest annual honor given to a PGA of America Professional, awarded for qualities of leadership, strong moral character and a substantial record of service to the PGA and the game of golf.

A 24-year PGA Member, Eshleman has demonstrated a passion and commitment to training and mentoring fellow PGA Professionals throughout his career and has served in advisory roles on several golf committees. Eshleman currently serves as the Honorary President of the Alabama-NW Florida PGA Section, after a two-year term as President. During his time as a Section Officer, he helped raise the image and status of the Section and established a fundraising program for its foundation, while his stint as president included the approval of the Section name change (formerly the Dixie Section).

He has trained many PGA Professionals to become outstanding golf instructors, stemming from his devotion to bettering the golf community and fostering strong relationships with the individuals he mentors. Under his leadership, the Country Club of Birmingham has averaged more than 2,400 lessons annually since 2014. Eshleman is also a member of the PGA Adjunct Faculty, teaching golf to beginners and assisting students and staff in developing their skills and shaping their career paths. Additionally, Eshleman oversees one of the largest junior golf programs in the country, with 200 kids playing in CCB’s Junior Club Championship in 2018.

Well known as a teaching professional for students such as Graeme McDowell, Patton Kizzire, Paul Dunne and the 66th U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Eshleman has been honored by the Alabama-NW Florida PGA Section on several occasions. He received the Section’s: PGA Golf Professional of the Year Award in 2010 and 2017; the Teacher of the Year Award (2000 and 2004); the 2011 PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award; and 2014 Youth Player Development Award.

Kevin Kirk, PGA, a 26-year PGA Member in the Southern Texas Section and Director of Golf Instruction at The Woodlands Country Club in The Woodlands, Texas, is the recipient of the 2019 PGA Teacher of the Year Award for his “outstanding services as a golf teacher, innovator and coach.”

Kirk, a PGA Master Professional and a GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher in America, has taught an impressive list of students, highlighted by three-time United States Ryder Cup Team Member and 2018 Masters Champion Patrick Reed; LPGA TOUR star and Major Champion Lexi Thompson; and three-time PGA TOUR winner Jhonattan Vegas, among others. Kirk also works with professional golfers Maria Verchenova and Rodolfo Cazubon, making him the coach of five Olympians.

Committed to player development, Kirk’s holistic approach to teaching caters to individuals of all ages and skill levels, from newcomers to Tour stars. A sought-after presenter and instructor, Kirk is a member of the PGA of America’s Coaching & Player Development Committee and has delivered numerous insightful presentations at PGA meetings, workshops and education programs at the Chapter, Section and National levels, as well as coaching summits in England, Australia and New Zealand. He is an advocate for the Aspen Institute Project Play and strongly supports the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and the PGA of America in the advancement of the American Development Model.

Fluent in Spanish, Kirk is a valued consultant for several golf federations, Olympic Committees and private clubs throughout Latin America. Highly regarded as a mentor, educator and role model for fellow PGA Members, Kirk’s passion is reinforced by his commitment to inclusiveness and sharing both his experience and knowledge with peers.

His recognition as 2019 National PGA Teacher of the Year follows a long list of awards at the Section level including: Southern Texas PGA Section Harvey Penick Teacher of the Year five times (1998, 1999, 2008, 2011 and 2017); the Horton Smith Award in 2006; and the Bill Strausbaugh Award in 2012.

“The 2019 Class of PGA of America National Awards winners has distinguished themselves as leaders and innovators, and it’s a privilege to recognize each one of them for their extraordinary commitment to the Association, as well as their passion for advancing the game and business of golf,” said PGA President Suzy Whaley. “With a commitment to excellence and the utmost of professionalism, these honorees inspire our 29,000 PGA Professionals to continually pursue the highest standards of success and achievement.”

Eric Eshleman and Kevin Kirk lead a group of 11 PGA Professionals and one PGA Section in winning the PGA of America’s 2019 National Awards. The majority of the awards will be presented on Thursday, Nov. 7, as part of the 2019 PGA Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida. The three PGA Merchandiser of the Year Awards will be presented next January, in coordination with events surrounding the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show.

2019 PGA of America National Awards Recipients

PGA Golf Professional of the Year: Eric Eshleman, PGA, Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.)

PGA Teacher of the Year: Kevin Kirk, PGA, The Woodlands (Texas) Golf Performance Center

Bill Strausbaugh Award: David Reasoner, PGA, Ridgewood Country Club – Paramus, N.J.

Horton Smith Award: Todd Sones, PGA, Todd Sones Impact Golf – Vernon Hills, Ill.

Deacon Palmer Award: Randy Jones, PGA, Club Car – Richmond, Texas

Patriot Award: Judy Alvarez, PGA/LPGA, Monarch Country Club – Palm City, Fla.

PGA Player Development Award: Liz Cooper, PGA/LPGA, Springfield (Va.) Golf & Country Club

PGA Youth Player Development Award: Scott Wilson, PGA, Bay Meadows Family Golf Course. –
Traverse City, Mich.

Herb Graffis Award: South Florida PGA Section

PGA Merchandiser of the YearResort Category: Sara Muldoon, PGA, Hershey (Pa.) Country Club

PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Public Category: Duncan Simms, PGA, Oak Creek G.C. –
Irvine, Calif.

PGA Merchandiser of the Year-Private Category: Scott Kirkwood, PGA, Ocean Reef Club –
Key Largo, Fla.

For bios and information on the individual award winners, click here.

About the PGA of America
The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of PGA Professionals who daily work to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit PGA.org, follow @PGA on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

Media Contact
Michael Abramowitz  PGA of America 561/624-8458 mabramowitz@pgahq.com
Jared Minski, Mastro Communications, Inc. 732/469-5700 jared@mastrocomm.com

Bensel Outlasts Kennedy in Three-Hole Playoff at GALV Lehigh Valley Open

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EASTON, Pa. – In what is becoming an unfortunate trend for the GALV Lehigh Valley Open, inclement weather once again played a prominent role in the overall narrative of the tournament. Play was suspended multiple times during the first round before ultimately being suspended for the day at 7:00 p.m. With additional overnight rains, players were not able to get back on the course until 12:00 p.m. the following day. Because of this long delay, the decision was made to shorten the 36-hole event to an 18-hole tournament.

Playing in the tournament’s first group on Monday, Eric Kennedy (Overbrook Golf Club) posted a score that in the end would prove to be the number to beat. Kennedy made his way around the par 72 golf course posting five birdies, including one the closing hole, against only one bogey, to finish with a score of 4-under (68). Initially, Kennedy thought he would have to wait until the end of the day to see where he stood in the tournament, but because of the inclement weather, Kennedy didn’t know if his number was good enough until more than 24 hours after he finished his round.

Late in the day on Monday, Kennedy was joined at the top of the leaderboard by Trevor Bensel (Overbrook Golf Club). As a note, Bensel was one the last groups to finish before play was ultimate suspended for the day because of the weather. Bensel joined Kennedy at 4-under after carding one eagle, four birdies against two bogeys to share the clubhouse lead.

Although several players would make a run at Kennedy, Bensel, and the top spot, no other player was able to join them at 4-under. There was a large contingent of players who finished one shot shy at 3-under (69) including defending champion Mark Sheftic (Merion Golf Club), Brett Melton (Radley Run Country Club), Michael Little (Lookaway Golf Club), Alex Knoll (Blue Shamrock Golf Course), and amateur Steve Kluemper.

With no other players joining them at 4-under, Kennedy and Bensel headed to the 18th tee to begin the sudden death playoff. On the first playoff hole, both players found the green in regulation, however, neither was able to sink their birdie putts and both settled for a par meaning they needed to head back to the tee box to start the process over again.

On the second playoff hole, both players came up just short of the green, leaving each with nearly identical chip shots. Kennedy and Bensel executed their chip shots without much difficulty and once again both players parred the hole. With no player giving way, the duo would head back to the tee box for the third time.

On the third playing of the hole, things heated up beginning with Bensel’s approach shot. After finding the same spot in the fairway for the third time, Bensel knew what yardage he needed. His approach shot hit into the bank of the two-tiered green and as it spun back to the hole it rolled over the edge of the cup for a near eagle but in the end, it settled eight feet below the hole. Kennedy’s approach, although not as dramatic, finished inside Bensel’s ball leaving each player with a good look at birdie. Putting first, Bensel was finally able to convert a birdie and the pressure moved to Kennedy to convert his birdie putt. Despite a solid effort, Kennedy’s putt fell short meaning Bensel was crowned champion of the GALV Lehigh Valley Open, his first points win since the 2017 Match Play Championship.

“I have been playing well this season, I just haven’t been able to score,” commented Bensel of his play. “The delay wasn’t ideal, but I just tried to keep things in perspective and wait it all out. Eric and I both played good golf and it was fun to play in a ‘match play like setting’. I want to thank our host GALV and Karl Gilbert, as well as everyone at Northampton for proving such a terrific venue.”

Four players shared the top spot in the tournament’s senior division after each posted a score of 1-under (71). This group included Dave McNabb (Applebrook Golf Club), Dave Quinn (Laurel Creek Country Club), John Appleget (The Shore Club), and Mark Anderson (Philadelphia Cricket Club).

Leading the way in the amateur contest was Steve Kluemper was posted a tournament score of 3-under (69). Kluemper got off to a fast start with birdies on his first three holes. After a bogey on the difficult par-3 4th hole, Kluemper added two additional birdies to make the turn at 4-under. As he made his way back to the clubhouse Kluemper added two quick birdies to reach 6-under before three bogeys derailed his attempt to win the GALV Lehigh Valley Open.

The Section would like to thank our title sponsor, the Golf Association of Lehigh Valley and Mr. Karl Gilbert as well as the entire staff and membership of Northampton Country Club for their hospitality.

The Philadelphia PGA tournament calendar continues this Friday, August 2 at Doylestown Country Club for the annual Doylestown Open. For complete coverage of the Philadelphia PGA be sure to follow us online FacebookTwitterInstagram.

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