Coston caps big week with low PGA Professional honors
Jeff Coston, of Blaine, Wash., rebounded Sunday from a second straight sloppy start at the Ocean Course and shot 2-under-par 70 to finish as the low PGA Professional at the 68th Senior PGA Championship.
By John Kim, Coordinating Producer
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- A long week for PGA Professional Jeff Coston got a little longer Sunday afternoon -- but for good reason. He had to wait around after completing his final round at the Ocean Course to accept a gleaming crystal bowl from PGA of America President Brian Whitcomb on the 18th green.
Coston, the Director of Instruction at Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, Wash., took low PGA Professional honors at the 68th Senior PGA Championship after his 2-under-par 70 gave him a 292 4-over-par total.
"It's great that the PGA recognizes the PGA Professionals in the field," Costed noted. "And to be able to post the lowest score in this field, and to do it here at this tournament, at the Ocean Course, man, it's pretty great."
After a busy week of teaching at his golf academy, Coston made the long drive to the Seattle airport, endured a cross-country flight to Charleston, S.C., with layover in Houston, practiced with a borrowed set of clubs when his did not arrive on time, and rebounded from some frustrating starts to both of his weekend rounds.
But as he finished his final round with a tap-in par, Coston was asked to delay his travel plans back to Washington so that he could participate in a special presentation for the PGA Professional who recorded the lowest score of the tournament.
Coston's total bested fellow PGA Professional Mike San Filippo, of Hobe Sound, Fla., who started the day with a one-shot lead over Coston and two others but ended up two shots behind after making double-bogey on the final hole for a 73 and 294 total.
"I'm not happy with the way I finished, obviously," San Filippo said. "But I've had a wonderful week. It was great to be here."
Coston bogeyed his first two holes Sunday but rebounded to post four birdies and no bogeys the rest of the round. On Saturday, he bogeyed two of his first three holes before rallying to shoot a second straight 75. He opened the tournament with a terrific even-par 72 in very challenging conditions.
"I tried not to think about where I stood at any point in the tournament," Coston said. "I try to stay as much in the present as I can, to just focus on my next shot."
Coston, who during the week wrote a daily blog for PGA.com, said the experience of writing his thoughts after each round helped him on the golf course.
"It was a lot of fun, I'd enjoy doing that again," he said of the blog "It also helped keep me focused, keep me mentally where I needed to be. So I probably benefited more from that than anyone."
Coston also made a special point to show appreciation to the PGA of America for its organizing and conduction of the major tournament.
"I just love the opportunity the PGA presents for club professionals, whether it's the senior or the regular (PGA Championship), it's a great, great opportunity and I don't take that lightly at all."
As good a showing as Coston had in this tournament, he was equally proud of his many junior students back home who enjoyed success in the State of Washington High School Golf Tournament played this weekend.
"I'm so proud of them," he remarked. "But it's not just the golf, of course. I'm proud of who they are, and how hard they work. But it's great to see that work paying dividends.
Coston, who is also a good friend of new Senior PGA Champion Denis Watson, reveled in the successes of the week.
"I've grown as a golfer, I've grown as a person, I've made some new friendships," he stated. "I'm just very thankful for everything that has happened here."