2007 PGA Professional National Championship
|Tournament Info for: 2007 PGA Professional National Championship|
|Date:||June 21 - 24, 2007|
|Par:||36 - 36 - 72 (7,563 yards)
SUNRIVER, Ore. – They say a golfer must survive the altitude, wind and temperature change to achieve a measure of peace at Crosswater Golf Club.
Then there is the case of Chip Sullivan of Troutville, Va., a man who has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with health issues that would knock the average man out of commission, let alone a golf career.
But Sullivan, who had begun to deal with treatment for hemochromatosis and diabetes, both diagnosed last December, slowly found his game coming together a week ago.
The 42-year-old PGA head professional at Ashley Plantation in Daleville, Va., began strong in the final round June 24, with five front-nine birdies to build a three-stroke lead, then cruised despite two closing bogeys for a 2-under-par 70 and a four-stroke victory in the 40th PGA Professional National Championship. He finished with a 72-hole total of 6-under-par 281, earning $75,000 from a $550,000 total purse.
Sullivan’s victory in the showcase event for PGA Professionals made him the second Middle Atlantic PGA Section member to win this National Championship, and coincidentally, he triumphed on the same course where fellow MAPGA Section member Wayne DeFrancesco of Baltimore, Md., won six years ago.
Mike Small of Champaign, Ill., the 2005 National Champion, and tournament rookie Ryan Benzel of Bothell, Wash., who holed his approach from the 18th fairway for an eagle, shared second at 285. Small came home with a 73, and Benzel had a 75.
Butch Sheehan of Rancho Mirage, Calif., who had a 71, and two-time Champion Tim Thelen of College Station, Texas, who posted a 74, shared fourth at 286. Matt Seitz of Hutchinson, Kan., who had a 72, and Don Yrene of Scottsdale, Ariz., who came in with a 74, and John O’Leary of Reston, Va., who had a 76, shared sixth at 287.
“When I was diagnosed with diabetes and hemochromatosis (a disease in which the body absorbs too much iron), I made that my No. 1 priority,” said Sullivan. “I did not pick up a club for three months and did not feel like it. I have been struggling all year to find my game and finally started to hit the ball well about a week before in some nine-hole rounds with the members at the club. And, it came together this week.”
Sullivan appeared to be in a zone on the front nine on a course that averaged a rugged 76.2 strokes for the week, and 75.8 during the final round. He birdied the first, second, sixth, eighth and ninth holes, the latter a downhill 15-footer. He also had four bogeys on the 4, 10, 17 and 18. But, his mission was accomplished.
“With what is going on with everything else in my life, time is limited,” said Sullivan. “You have to pinch me that I won.”
Benzel, 28, an PGA assistant professional at Seattle Golf Club, took the sting out of a tough day with an eagle on the 456-yard, par-4 finishing hole.
“I was 154 yards to the front, 164 to the middle and 177 to the back (where the pin was),” he said. “I figured if I got a 9-iron up in the air it would hit and roll to the back. That’s what happened and then I heard a big roar from the galley and knew what had happened. Wind affected putts today. But nobody lost it. Chip won it.”
It was a frustrating day for Small, someone who has finished 2-1-4 and a share of runner-up in his only four appearances in the Championship. He failed to gain ground on Sullivan early in his round, and finished with three bogeys and no birdies in the final 11 holes.
“It was tough to make a birdie and tough to make a decision,” said Small.’ “I just wanted to get in before I fell apart.”
The low 20 scorers earned a berth in the 89th PGA Championship, Aug. 6-12, at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.
Sullivan will also lead a 10-member contingent of PGA Professionals that will face Great Britain & Ireland, Sept. 21-23, in the 22nd PGA Cup at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Ga.
The 40th PGA Professional National Championship is presented by Titleist, FootJoy and Cobra; Buick; and Club Car.
The PGA Professional National Championship was contested the first two rounds on Sunriver Resort’s par-72, 7,563-yard Crosswater Golf Club, and the par-71, 7,001-yard Meadows Golf Course. The final 36 holes were conducted at Crosswater Golf Club.
NOTES: The opening day of the Championship featured holes-in-one by Oklahomans Tim Fleming of Oklahoma City and Kyley Tetley of Broken Arrow. The aces came eight hours apart, with Tetley holing out his tee shot on the 176-yard third hole at Crosswater Golf Club with a 7-iron, before Fleming knocked home his tee on the 205-yard 16th hole at The Meadows Course, using a 4-iron. It was the second hole-in-one of the year for each player. . .The first husband-wife team in the Championship, Brendon and Patty Post of Germantown, Md., resulted in one half of the family making the 36-hole cut. Brendon finished tied for 65th with a 299 total.
The PGA Professional National Championship and 41 Section PGA Professional Championships feature a total purse of more than $1.5 million. The PGA Tour is a Supporting Sponsor of PGA of America member championships and Golf Channel is the exclusive media partner of the PGA Professional National Championship.
The PGA of America is the world’s largest working sports organization, comprised of 28,000 men and women golf Professionals who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf while serving millions of people throughout its 41 PGA Sections nationwide. Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has enhanced its leadership position in a $62 billion-a-year industry by growing the game of golf through its premier spectator events, world-class education and training programs, significant philanthropic outreach initiatives, and award-winning golf promotions. Today’s PGA Professional is the public’s link to the game, serving an essential role in the operation of golf facilities throughout the country.
|Low Rounds||Round Leader||Chip Sullivan|
|Round 1:||74.94||58||23||230||66 Chris Starkjohann||66 Chris Starkjohann||72|
|Round 2:||75.33||54||12||243||65 Bob Sowards||134 Scott Masters||143|
|Round 3:||74.81||10||7||64||68 Bob Ackerman, Chip Sullivan||208 Scott Masters||211|
|Round 4:||75.8||7||5||69||69 Mathew Call||281 Chip Sullivan||281|