PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Two-time defending champion Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio, claimed a scratchy first-round victory Tuesday in the 51st PGA Match Play Championship at PGA Golf Club.
Sowards beat a longtime friend, Jimmy Logue, PGA head professional at Wedgewood Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, 4 and 2. Sowards will play Matt McAdow of Woodmere, N.Y., in the second round Wednesday. Sowards, the PGA teaching professional at New Albany (Ohio) Country Club, and Logue had worked together at Wedgewood in the past.
"I only had two birdies and he had one," said Sowards. "It was mostly a bunch of giveaways."
Logue was 1-down through 12 holes but hooked his drive on 13 and 14th and lost both holes. He was able to save par on No. 15 to half the hole, but after blocking his tee shot 16, lost the hole and the match.
Sowards has three match play titles, winning in 2005 as well as the past two years, all on the Dye course.
Another three-time former titleist, Rick Schuller of Chester, Va., was not as fortunate, losing to Rob McClellan of Butler, Pa., 3 and 2. Schuller won in 2006, 2009 and 2011. McClellan won the third, fourth, fifth and seventh holes with birdies and finished the round with six birdies and four bogeys.
Sowards and Schuller, roommates here the last few weeks, were hoping for a meeting of three-time champions later this week.
Also advancing were co-medalists Ben Polland of Manhasset, N.Y., and Ed Kirby of Wakefield, R.I. Each shot 66 in qualifying Monday on the adjacent Ryder course. Two other former champions had mixed results. Frank Bensel of Jupiter (2004) won and Jerry Tucker of Stuart (1999) lost.
Play continues with the second round Wednesday, the third and fourth Thursday, the semifinals and finals Friday. The winner receives $4,000 and the runnerup $2,500 from the $27,000 purse. There were 73 starters in the qualifier for 63 spots in the draw. As defending champion, Sowards was exempt from qualifying.
PGA Match Play Championship
Dye Course, 7,000 yards, par 72
JC Anderson, O'Fallon, Mo., def. Jeb Boyle, State College, Pa., 5 and 4
Jason Martin, Wheeling, W.Va., def. Jamie Kilmer, East Williston, N.Y., 5 and 3
Ryan Kalista, Old Greenwich, Conn., def. Edward Whitman, Blairstown, N.J., 4 and 3
Bret James, Cave Creek, Ariz., def. Brian Cairns, Walled Lake, Mich., 2-up
Kyle Baehler, Scarsdale, N.Y., def. Andy Hardiman, Stuart, Fla., 4 and 3
Paul Barnsley, Orange, Conn., d. Roy Vucinich, Moon Township, Pa., 2-up
Ron McClellan, Butler, Pa., def. Rick Schuller, Chester, Va., 3 and 2
Joe Gothmann, Tarrytown, N.Y., def. Phillip Wildermuth, Pelham, N.Y., 3 and 2
Ed Kirby, Wakefield, R.I., def. Mike Docktor, Ansonia, Conn., 2 and 1
Mark Faulkner, Marion, Ill., def. Rob Corcoran, Melbourne, Fla., 1-up
Tim Puetz, Jupiter, Fla., def. Kevin Ausserlechner, West Harrison, N.Y., 5 and 4
Patrick Massi, Greenwich, Conn., def. Frank Dully, Salem, Mass., 3 and 2
Peter Kampmann, Riverside, Conn., def. Joshua Rackley, King of Prussia, Pa., 2-up
Michael O'Connor, Erie, Pa., def. Jerry Tucker, Stuart, Fla., 3 and 2
Joseph Kern, Vero Beach, Fla., def. Aaron Ungvarsky, Cohasset, Mass., 6 and 5
Dwayne Randall, Clymer, N.Y., def. Mark Kirk, East Aurora, N.Y., 19 holes
Ben Polland, Manhasset, N.Y., def. Vince Ramagli, Mount Laurel, N.J., 4 and 3
Charles Meola, Mamaroneck, N.Y., def. Kyle Higgins, Massapequa, N.Y., 5 and 4
Mark Summerville, Jupiter, Fla., def. Mike Martin, New Haven, Conn., 1-up
Mitchell Camp, Aurora, Ohio, def. David Sahs, Glen Ellyn, Ill., 19 holes
Gary Trivisonno, Aurora, Ohio, def. Kirk Stauffer, Bradford, Pa., 2 and 1
Patrick Steffes, Milwaukee, Wis., def. Gregory Pace, Oyster Bay, N.Y., 7 and 6
Shawn Warren, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, def. Brian Prokes, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 2 and 1
Jake Pleczhowski, Siasconset, Mass., def. Kammy Maxfeldt, Westport, Conn., 5 and 3
Bob Sowards, Dublin, Ohio, def. Jimmy Logue, Dublin, Ohio, 4 and 2
Matthew McAdow, Woodmere, N.Y., def. Bill Stines, Columbus, Ohio, 1-up
Bobby Heins, Purchase, N.Y., def. Brian Keiser, Orlando, Fla., 1-up
Gary Robison, Canton, Ohio, def. Mo Guttman, Sarasota, Fla., 4 and 3
Frank Bensel, Jupiter, Fla., def. Brian Janty, Milwaukee, Wis., 2-up
Alex Weir, Scottsville, N.Y., def. John Kerins, Hermitage, Pa., 3 and 2
Jaysen Hansen, Ottawa Hills, Ohio, def. Brad Peck, Madison, Wis., 3 and 2
David Carich, Noblesville, Ind., def. Shaun Powers, Greenwch, Conn., 1-up