Month: July 2019

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, follow @PGA on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

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

Tournament Leaderboard

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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Teams from Elmhurst CC & the Philadelphia Cricket Club Win at Rolling Green Team Stableford

Springfield, Pa, – The first of two Philadelphia PGA Team Stableford events was played at Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pa. The day brought sunny conditions with temperatures in the upper 90’s, but that did not stop the 36 teams from playing the scenic course. The championships pairs one PGA Professional with three amateur partners playing a stableford points system competing in both a Net and Gross division.

In the Net division, the team of Brian Fruehan, PGA (Elmhurst Country Club) and partners Mike Bonavoglia, Chris Hoban, and JT Coyne set the pace in the morning wave. The team combined for a total of 89 stableford points, with 45 of them coming on Rolling Green’s front nine. Fruehan and Bonavoglia each carded an eagle on the day, leading the way for their team. In second place, was the team of Chris Gardner, PGA (Bluestone Country Club) and partners Roger Ayala, Ben Pergament, and Brett Ruina. They tallied 88 stableford points with each player contributing throughout their round, but in the end fell just one-point shy of the first-place spot. In third place, was Andy Waters, PGA (Talamore Country Club) and partners Joe Swiacki, Mark Boyce, and Joe Nonnamaker. The team posted 87 stableford points to round out the division with all players making at least two birdies.

In the Gross division, it was the tournament’s first group out that took home the top spot. The team Jim Smith, PGA (Philadelphia Cricket Club) and his partners Kevin Kelly, Bob Wurtz, and Scott Storck earned 83 gross stableford points to secure first place in their respective division. Finishing two shots back in second place was Tom Michaels, PGA (Berkshire Country Club) and his partners Peter Pendergast, Steve Perron, and Joe Butto. Round out the podium was John DiMarco, PGA (Laurel Creek Country Club) and his partners Sean Fox, Jason Chen, and Chris Greer.

Special congratulations to John DiMarco who had a hole-in-one on the 157-yard par-3 3rd hole after his 7-iron found the bottom of the cup. This was DiMarco’s impressive fifth hole in one in his lifetime with three of them coming in competition.

The Philadelphia PGA would like to thank the membership and staff of Rolling Green Golf Club for their hospitality of the Team Stableford. We would also like to thank sponsors PXG and Skechers for their support.

The Philadelphia PGA tournament calendar will resume starting on Monday, July 22 for the 2-day GALV Lehigh Valley Open at Northampton Country Club.

For more information, visit or follow us on social media by searching PhiladelphiaPGA on: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Full Tournament Results

Concord Country Club’s Braden Shattuck Takes Top Spot at William Hyndman III Memorial Classic

HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa. – On Monday, July 8, the Philadelphia PGA returned to historic Huntingdon Valley Country Club for the annual William Hyndman III Memorial Classic. The event, which serves as the fifth Omega Player of the Year points event presented by Haverford Trust Co, featured more than 140 Section Professionals. The event also featured a separate tournament for the Section’s Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization (PAO). The PAO event featured 40 players most of which were also competing in the main event.

With intermittent rain showers plaguing the field in the morning wave. Players found it tough to get anything going. For much of the morning wave it looked as the low score would be a number over par as two players found themselves at 1-over (71) at the end of their round.

The first player to reach that number was Bill Walker (Riverton Country Club). After trading birdies and bogeys for much his round, Walker found himself at 1-under through twelve holes. Unfortunately for Walker a couple of late bogeys moved him out of red figures as he finished at 1-over (71). Despite the two late bogeys, Walker still found himself with the solo clubhouse lead. However, that did not last long as Walker was joined at 1-over by Grant Gardiner (Merion Golf Club).

Gardiner got off to a quick start after he birdied his opening hole, the par-4 10th hole. As he continued his outward nine, Gardiner was unable to get anything else going and he made the turn at 3-over. As he played his back nine, Huntingdon Valley’s front nine, Gardiner was able to right the ship as he posted two birdies against no bogeys to finish with an 18-hole total of 1-over (71), joining Walker for the clubhouse lead.

Unfortunately for both Walker and Gardiner, one player in the morning wave was able to battle through the tough conditions to post a number in red figures. Through fourteen holes, Jamie Gylan (Royal Manchester Golf Links) was sitting at 3-under and was playing a relatively stress-free round. However, Gylan was unable to keep the good luck going and, in the end, carded three bogeys over his final four holes. When all was said and done Gylan posted a 1-under (69) to take the clubhouse lead by two shots.

Players in the afternoon wave were treated to much nicer weather, as the morning rain cleared out and made way to bright sunshine and more than a few players did their best to take advantage of the conditions.

Four players came within one shot of Gylan after they posted scores of even par (70). The first of the group at even par was Ryan Shaughnessy (Bethlehem Golf Club). Shaughnessy carded four birdies, two bogeys and a double to finish at the even par number. He was eventually joined by Peter Clarke (Manufacturers Golf & Country Club). Clarke reach even par after posting five birdies, three bogeys, and one double. The third player to finish even par was Mike Tobiason (Deerfield) who traded three birdies against three bogeys to join the group. The final player to finish at even par was defending champion Greg Matthias (Tavistock Country Club) who finished with four birdies and four bogeys on his round.

After waiting more than four hours, Gylan was eventually joined by past champion Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) at 1-under (69). Ingraham posted consecutive birdies early in his round but a lone bogey late in the day dropped him back to 1-under and in a tie for the clubhouse lead.

However, when all was said and done, it was a Philadelphia PGA rookie who finished on top of the leaderboard after posting a 3-under (67). Braden Shattuck (Concord Country Club) a former Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour member, started and ended his round with bogeys but it was his play between those holes that helped him earn a two-shot victory, his first Philadelphia PGA points win.

Shattuck started his day with a bogey on the par-4 1st hole but as he played his outward nine, he managed to put that behind him carding two birdies to make the turn at 1-under. As he played his way back to the clubhouse Shattuck added four additional birdies and was sitting at 5-under as he made his way to the difficult par-3 17th hole. Unfortunately for Shattuck he was unable to keep his momentum going and he carded his second bogey of the day. The difficulties continued on the 18th hole as Shattuck once again posted a bogey, his third of the day and in the end finished with a final score of 3-under (67) and a two-shot victory.

“After that hiccup on the first hole I got more aggressive,” says Shattuck. “I was hitting my driver really well off the tee and hitting greens. I feel like I left a lot out there still, as I missed a lot of short putts but other than that I played extremely well on a difficult track, so I am thankful. I wanted to thank all of our sponsors for their support as well as Huntingdon Valley for hosting us today.”

Despite falling just short in the main tournament, Stu Ingraham’s 1-under (70) was good enough for a three-shot victory in the tournament’s senior division. Finishing in solo second place was Brian Kelly (Bucknell Golf Club) who posted a 2-over (72). Terry Hertzog (Country Club of York) was able to grab a third place finish in the division after finishing with a 3-over (73).

Greg Farrow (Deerwood Country Club) led the way in the super-senior division after finishing with a 5-over (75) which was good enough for a one-shot victory in the division.

Shattuck also managed to take home the top prize in the separate PAO tournament after he finished three-shots ahead of the next closest competitors.

The Section would like to thank our tournament sponsors The Hyndman Family, Jack Jolly & Son, Golf Pride, Morell Studios, and the PGA Tour for their support of today’s event. There won’t be much of a layoff before the next Philadelphia PGA tournament as they return to action on Thursday, July 11 for the Pro-Junior Championship at Whitford Country Club.

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Teams from Pine Valley GC and The Peninsula G&CC Win at Pro-Assistant Pro Championship

Galloway, N.J. – Seaview Resort and Golf Club in Galloway, N.J. once again played host to the Philadelphia PGA and the Pro-Assistant-Pro Championship. The event pairs the highest ranking PGA Professional at a given facility with each of his or her PGA Assistant Professionals in a better ball of partners event. It was the first year where the event was played as a double shotgun format with both rounds being played on the Bay course. Each shotgun was played as a separate event with prizes awarded for each wave.

In the morning wave it was a duo from Pine Valley Golf Club that managed to edge out the rest of the field. The team of David Clark and Tom Cooper combined to shoot an 8-under (63), one shot better than their closest competitors. Starting on the par-4 4th hole, the pair found themselves 4-under through their first nine holes. After a hiccup on the par-4 14th hole drop Clark and Cooper back to 3-under, the duo rallied for three additional birdies and an eagle on their closing hole, the par-5 3rd hole to finish at 8-under.

In the afternoon wave, Jesse Williams and William Scarborough (The Peninsula Golf and Country Club) took home first place prize after posting an impressive, 9-under (62). As a team, Scarborough and Williams carded eleven birdies helping them to overcome some bigger numbers. It was a stretch of seven birdies over eight holes that helped to separate The Peninsula Club pair from the field.  There were three teams tied for second after finishing at 7-under (64). David Cartwright and Jakob Gerney (Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia) were one of the teams to finish one shot back aided in large part by the 6-under (65) carded by Jacob Gerney on his own golf ball. Also finishing at 7-under was the team of George Forster and Anthony Pigott (Radnor Valley Country Club). The pair had a great round but a lone bogey on the par-4 14th hole prevented them from joining the leaders at 8-under. Despite a relatively clean card the team of Brett Melton and Ryan Smith (Radley Run Country Club) were not able to match Clark and Cooper and ultimately were the third team to finish tied for second place. Melton posted seven birdies on his own ball helping the team to reach the number.

In second place, was the team of Alex Knoll and Michael Furey (Blue Shamrock Golf Club). Knoll had a total of five birdies on the day, while his partner Furey had four birdies. A couple of bogeys ultimately dropped the team from contention and they finished in solo second place with a team score of 7-under par (64). The teams of Alexander McGann and Tyler Teynor (Seaview Golf Club) as well as Christian Sheehan and Robert Farnham (Lebanon Country Club) tied for third place with a score of 5-under (66).

The Section would like to thank the staff at Seaview Golf Club for their hospitality, as well as our tournament sponsors Cutter & Buck, Golf Max, Golf Genius, and Teesnap for supporting this great event. The next event on the Philadelphia PGA calendar is the William Hyndman III Memorial Classic at Huntingdon Valley Country Club on July 8, 2019.

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