PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Two-time defending champion Frank Bensel, a PGA assistant professional at Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y., will attempt to become just the second three-time winner of the PGA Assistant Championship. Kyle Flinton of Edmond, Okla., captured titles in 2002, '03 and '05. Flinton is not eligible to play in the 2012 Championship since he is neither a PGA assistant professional or apprentice.
Jim Schuman of Verona, Wis., and Darrell Kestner of Glen Cove, N.Y., each have two titles, but are also not eligible to compete in 2012.
Bensel's final-round 66 in 2011 also tied the lowest final-round score in Championship history. Kirk Satterfield of Manhassett, N.Y., accomplished the feat in 2004, while Kyle Flinton of Edmond, Okla., duplicated the score in 2006.
STRONG LIST OF CHAMPIONS AND COMPETITIORS: For 36 years, the PGA Assistant Championship has featured a field of outstanding PGA Professionals who have gone onto successful careers in teaching and administering the game, as well as competing at the highest level.
Past competitors or champions who went on to Tour prominence include: Loren Roberts (Champion, 1979); Fred Funk (Champion, 1984); Rich Beem (Third, 1998); and Tim Thelen (Champion, 2009).
Roberts has 25 professional wins including eight on the PGA Tour; Funk has 21 professional wins that also includes eight on the PGA Tour; Beem has five professional wins, with the biggest a major championship at the 2002 PGA Championship; while Thelen has won two PGA Professional National Championships as well as two European Senior Tour victories in 2012.
WIDE VARIETY OF WINNERS: A total 30 players representing 19 PGA Sections have won the National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship presented by Cobra Puma Golf.
The Metropolitan PGA Section has the most titles with seven, followed by Southern Texas with four, and the Middle Atlantic and South Central PGA Sections, who each have three titles.
The Dixie, Southern California and Wisconsin PGA Sections each have won this Championship twice.
WHAT ARE THEY PLAYING FOR?: The winner of the 2012 Championship will collect $9,000 of the $100,000 purse.
Also at stake is a spot for the Champion in the 46th PGA Professional National Championship, June 23-26, 2013, at Sunriver (Ore.) Resort.
Finally, the top-4 finishers will earn an exemption into the 2013 PGA Assistant Championship.