After third-place finish in 2013 PPC, Jeff Sorenson is right back in the mix at Sunriver

Jeff Sorenson
Montana Pritchard/PGA of America
Jeff Sorenson came close to winning the PPC in 2013 -- the last time it was held at Sunriver Resort. Four years later, he finds himself in a similar position with 36 holes left to play.
By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com
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Published: Monday, June 19, 2017 | 11:28 p.m.

SUNRIVER, Oregon -- The last time the PGA Professional Championship was played at Sunriver Resort in 2013, Minnesota native Jeff Sorenson finished alone in third place.

Needless to say, he was quite pleased when he heard the biggest tournament for club professionals was returning to the central Oregon resort.

Through two rounds this week in the 50th edition of the championship, Sorenson finds himself in a tie for fifth at 4-under 139.

The 38-year-old PGA Teaching Professional at Minikahda Club in Minneapolis made an incredible par on the 18th hole at Crosswater to close out a 3-under 69.

With the driver in his bag for much of the round, the big-hitting Sorenson reached for the driver on the par-4 18th for the first time since the 14th hole. He pulled the tee shot into a dry hazard and hit it back out into play. From 153 yards out, he hit a spectacular pitching wedge approach that caromed off a knoll to the left of the green and trundled down to about 6 feet.

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He converted the putt and gave an emphatic fist pump.

"It was a really big par," Sorenson said. "Dinner is going to taste better, as they say. It would have been really disappointing to shoot over par on the back nine after I went 3 under on the front and probably should have been under par on the back. So, even par on the back doesn't feel so bad. We've got a lot of golf left and the course is really getting tough with this wind. It'll be interesting to see what happens these next two days."

Sorenson qualified for his first PGA Championship after a T8 at Hershey Country Club in the 2011 PPC. He missed by one spot a year earlier.

After the third-place finish here in 2013, Sorenson was sidelined by injuries in 2014 and 2015. He missed the cut in 2016 and is happy to be back and playing well this week.

Given his experience now at two PGA Championships, as well as his comfort level here at Sunriver, Sorenson said it's not far-fetched to say he's more confident than in the past.

"This is our biggest event, by far," he said. "It blows everything else away. You get amped up for it, but on the other hand you really need to just treat it like another tournament. That's what my mindset has been -- it's just another tournament. I had a good tournament last week and finished second in one of our Minnesota majors. I've been playing well and that makes things a little easier and there's more confidence." 

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.