T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.
2013 shots of the Year: No. 4
Series: Golf Buzz
Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 | 9:34 a.m.
For my money, the PGA Professional National Championship -- year in and year out -- is one of the best tournaments in professional golf.
Why? Because, among other things, you get a deep appreciation for just how good and how talented the PGA Professionals who help to improve our game are with their own respective game.
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Oh yeah -- there's also always a lot of dramatic moments when it comes to the ultimate goal for all 312 of the PNC competitors: finishing in the top 20 to earn a spot in the PGA Championship.
Case in point: Rob Labritz, PGA Director of Golf at Glen Arbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, N.Y.
In the 2013 PNC -- played at the Sunriver Resort in Oregon -- Labritz found himself among a six-man playoff for the final three PGA Championship spots available after 72 holes. On the first hole of the playoff, two players advanced.
That left Labritz vying for the final spot with three others.
Labritz looked to be out of the mix after drawing an awful lie with his tee shot in a fairway bunker on the 457-yard, par-4 11th hole. Forced to punch out while the others played onto the green, Labritz proceeded to miraculously hole out for birdie from 95 yards with a 53-degree gap wedge. After none of the others matched the birdie, the 42-year-old Labritz was in his fourth PGA Championship.
"I don't have many words," Labritz said. "It's been an emotional week, but a great ending to it. What a way to go back to the PGA at Oak Hill."
Here's video of the shot, which also received top honors on ESPN's SportsCenter top-10 plays:
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
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