POTOMAC FALLS, Va. (May 27, 2017) – Mark Brown of Oyster Bay, New York, one of the fortunate not having to awaken early Saturday to complete his second round, led a group of five PGA Club Professionals making the 36-hole cut in the 78th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.
Brown, a 50-year-old PGA Head Professional at Tam O’Shanter Golf Club in Brookville, New York, made the most of his debut in the most historic and prestigious event in senior golf. He posted rounds of 74 and 71 for a 1-over-par 145, finishing three strokes above the cut of 148.
He is joined this weekend in a chase for Low Club Professional honors by Jim Estes of Germantown, Maryland; Lee Houtteman of Glen Arbor, Michigan; Jeff Roth of Farmington, New Mexico and Rick Schuller of Chester, Virginia.
There were 36 PGA Club Professionals starting in the 156-player Championship, which began in 1937 when legendary Bob Jones welcomed 37 senior PGA Professionals to Augusta National Golf Club to launch the national championship.
Fifty golfers returned to Trump National Golf Club-DC early Saturday to complete their seconds rounds after a combination of 35-mile per hour gusts and darkness on Friday forced suspension of play.
Brown, a three-time runner-up in the PGA Professional Championship, said he is focused to chase the Low Club Professional honor.
“I think it would be kind of cool,” said Brown. “It is my first one and I really wanted to do well. I was hitting it well coming in here and it’s definitely a goal of mine to try and be the Low Club Professional and find some more birdies.”
For Schuller, the 2009 Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year, playing the weekend didn’t come without a struggle. He posted a 72 on Friday, after the first marathon round was interrupted by Thursday afternoon rain. On Saturday morning, he battled through his closing six holes, making three par-saves before pulling an 8-iron into a hazard on the 182-yard 10th hole, his final hole of the round.
He secured his third cut in three attempts by two-putting from 70 feet, including making a six-footer for a double bogey.
“Mentally it's so hard just because it happens so slow and it takes so long and then you're trying not to look ahead and predict what might happen and making a cut,” said Schuller, a PGA Teaching Professional at Stonehenge Golf & Country Club in North Chesterfield, Virginia.
“This is now my third cut in a row, so this is really neat. I was holding it together, this morning was a little shaky, swing didn't feel as good as it did the past couple days. But I managed some great saves.”
Estes also made his third consecutive cut in as many attempts. He is a PGA Director of Instruction at Olney Golf Park in Olney, Maryland, and co-founder of Salute Military Golf Association.
Roth, the 1993 PGA Professional Champion, made his third cut in eight appearances. He is the PGA Head Professional at San Juan Country Club in Farmington, New Mexico.
Houtteman, 55, is a PGA Teaching Professional at Manitou Passage Golf Club in Cedar, Michigan and made his first cut in two attempts.
Gene Fieger of Naples, Florida, who was cruising to the second round after an opening 69, struggled to an 80 on Friday, missing the cut by one stroke.