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Salute to Skinner

Sonny Skinner of Sylvester, Ga., finished up the Senior PGA Championship with the best score among the 43 PGA Professionals who began the week. He finished three shots better than Lee Rinker of Jupiter, Fla.

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Sonny Skinner posted the best finish among PGA Club Professionals in his first-ever start in the Senior PGA Championship. (Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America)

By Bob Denney, The PGA of America

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Sonny Skinner of Sylvester, Ga., posted a 1-over-par 73 Sunday at Valhalla Golf Club to earn Low PGA Club Professional honors in the 72nd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid. Skinner, 50, PGA head professional at River Pointe Golf Club in Albany, Ga., finished with a total of 6-over-par 294 in the most historic and prestigious event in senior golf.

Lee Rinker of Jupiter, Fla., shot 75 and finished second at 297.
 
"To be the Low PGA Club Professional in this Championship is quite an honor," said Skinner, who was making his rookie appearance in the Championship. "As PGA Club Professionals, there’s great pride that we take and we look at this as being our Championship.”
 
Skinner, the reigning Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year, got off to a hot start, whisking away to 2 under par through eight holes before a bogey at 9. He then ran off seven consecutive pars before bogeys at 17 and 18.
 
“I managed to put that bogey at 9 at bay and I made a lot of nice pars through the back nine,” Skinner said. ”It was windy out there today and it affects you more on the short shots than you would think. The greens are so slick.”
 
Jim Woodward of Oklahoma City, Stu Ingraham of Newtown Square, Pa., and Kirk Hanefeld of Acton, Mass., tied for third at 299. They were among 42 PGA Club Professionals in the field, 12 of whom competed in the final 36 holes.
 
Final Scores among PGA Professionals who made the cut:
Sonny Skinner, Sylvester, Ga.  72-73-76-73—294
Lee Rinker, Jupiter, Fla.  74-74-74-75—297
Jim Woodward, Oklahoma City, Okla.  73-75-69-82—299
Kirk Hanefeld, Acton, Mass.  70-77-76-76—299
Stu Ingraham, Newtown Square, Pa.  73-70-77-79—299
Matt Seitz, Hutchinson, Kan.  75-73-76-79—303
Gene Fieger, Naples, Fla.  73-74-78-78—303
Mike Lawrence, Easley, S.C.  72-76-79-76—303
Mike San Filippo, Hobe Sound, Fla.  75-73-80-75—303
Ken Martin, Wellington, Fla.  73-75-81-76—305
Mark Faulkner, Marion, Ill.  73-75-81-77—306
Tim Parun, San Diego, Calif.  72-76-85-76—309