Post & Cooper Set the Pace at the 96th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship
Mount Laurel, N.J. – The opening round of the 96th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship was held on Tuesday, September 19 at both Laurel Creek Country Club and Burlington Country Club. The field of 139 PGA Professionals was split between the two facilities for the Championship’s first day.
Playing in the tournament’s first pairing, Brendon Post (Univ of Delaware), playing his opening round at Laurel Creek Country Club, set the pace early. Post carded three birdies on his opening nine holes to make the turn at 3-under. As Post made his way back to the clubhouse he carded two birdies along with two bogeys to finish his inward nine at even par giving him a day one total of 3-under (68).
It was not until four hours later that anyone would join Post at the top of the leaderboard. John Cooper (Green Valley Country Club), also playing at Laurel Creek Country Club got off to a quick start with a birdie on the first hole. Cooper would add an additional birdie on the par-5 5th hole but after a double bogey on the tricky par-4 8th, his only blemish of the day, Cooper would make the turn at even par. After a couple of pars early in his back nine, Cooper would card three consecutive birdies on holes 12-14 to get to 3-under which is where he would finish his opening round.
While Post and Cooper were the low scores of the day, there are a number of players within striking distance heading into the Championship’s second round. Playing at Laurel Creek Country Club, Rusty Harbold (Philadelphia Cricket Club) managed one more birdie than bogey to post an opening round 1-under (70). A pair of even pars from Sam Ambrose (Aronimink Golf Club) and defending champion Jordan Gibbs (Gulph Mills Golf Club) leave them three shots back after round one.
The low round of the day at the Championship’s second course, Burlington Country Club, went to Tony Perla (LedgeRock Golf Club). Perla traded two birdies against two bogeys to make the turn at even par. After consecutive birdies on holes 10-11 Perla would drop a shot at the difficult par-3 12th hole dropping him to 1-under which is where he would finish.
The 54-hole Championship features a 36-hole cut and is the marquee event for all Philadelphia PGA Professionals. The top finisher will take home the William B. Packer Trophy along with the first place check and will lead 12 Philadelphia PGA Professionals to next summer’s 51st PGA Professional Championship at Bayonet Black Horse in Seaside, California. Players will now flip courses before playing their second rounds.
For complete coverage of the 96th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship be sure to follow the action on philadelphia.pga.com or via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@PhiladelphiaPGA).