PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Former champion Frank Bensel of Jupiter birdied the first extra hole Wednesday to win his second round match in the 51st annual PGA Match Play Championship at The PGA Golf Club.
Bensel, 45, an assistant professional at The Breakers in Palm Beach and at Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y., ousted Alex Weir of Scottsville, N.Y., an assistant at the Kahkwa Club in Erie, Pa.
“I won the 18th hole to pull even and then hit 3-iron and sand wedge to the green at the (par-4) 12th hole,” where the playoff started, Bensel said. “Then I made an eight-foot putt for the win,” leaving Weir looking at his six-foot par putt.
DAY 1 RECAP: Two-time defending champion Sowards advances
“I feel fortunate,” added Bensel, the 2004 Match Play champion. “We both played pretty well. The (Dye) course was tougher today in the wind than it was yesterday.” Bensel had five birdies and three bogeys, including concessions.
Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio, the only other past champion to make it through the first round Tuesday, also advanced, 4 and 3 over Matthew McAdow of Woodmere, N.Y. Sowards won this event in 2005 and the last two years.
In third-round action Thursday morning, Bensel plays David Carich of Noblesville, Ind., and Sowards faces fellow Ohioan Gary Robison of Canton. If both Bensel and Sowards win, they will meet in the quarterfinals Thursday afternoon.
Semifinals and finals are scheduled Friday with the champion earning $4,000, the runnerup $2,500, from the $27,000 purse.
PGA Match Play Championship
Dye Course, 7,000 yards, par 72
J.C. Anderson, O’Fallon, Mo., def. Mike Martin, New Haven, Conn., 1-up.
Ryan Kalista, Old Greenwich, Conn., won by concession.
Kyle Baehler, Scarsdale, N.Y., def. Paul Barnsley, Orange, Conn.,1-up.
Rob McClellan, Butler, Pa., def. Joe Gothmann, Tarrytown, N.Y., 1-up.
Ed Kirby, Wakefield, R.I., def. Mark Faulkner, Marion, Ill., 4 and 3.
Tim Puetz, Jupiter, Fla., def. Patrick Massi, Greenwich, Conn., 5 and 4.
Peter Kampmann, Riverside, Conn., def. Michael O’Connor, Erie, Pa., 3 and 2.
Dwayne Randall, Clymer, N.Y., def. Joe Kern, Vero Beach, Fla., 3 and 2.
Charles Meola, Mamaroneck, N.Y., def. Ben Polland, Manhasset, N.Y., 2 and 1.
Mark Summerville, Jupiter, Fla., def. Mitchell Camp, Aurora, Ohio, 1-up.
Patrick Steffes, Milwaukee, Wis., def. Gary Trivisonno, Aurora, Ohio, 22 holes.
Jake Pleczkowski, Siasconset, Mass., def. Shawn Warren, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, 4 and 2.
Bob Sowards, Dublin, Ohio, def. Matthew McAdow, Woodmere, N.Y., 4 and 3.
Gary Robison, Canton, Ohio, def. Brian Keiser, Orlando, Fla., 5 and 4.
Frank Bensel, Jupiter, Fla., def. Alex Weir, Scottsville, N.Y., 19 holes.
David Carich, Noblesville, Ind., def. Jaysen Hansen, Ottawa Hills, Ohio, 2-up.