39th National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship
When: Oct. 29-Nov. 1
Where: PGA Golf Club (Wanamaker Course), Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Defending Champion: Grant Sturgeon, Mamaroneck, N.Y.
Format: 72 holes of stroke play. Following the first 36 holes, the field will be reduced to the lowest 70 scorers and ties. In the event of a tie for first place after 72 holes, there will be a hole-by-hole playoff.
What's at Stake: $100,000 will be distributed among the 2014 field of 126 competitors. The champion will receive $9,000 and a spot in the 2016 PGA Professional Championship.
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Little more than a year ago, Andy Mickelson was working for a packaging company, specializing in supply chain management. That all changed Sunday when the apprentice at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, Illinois, won by two shots over Adam Rainaud.
Andy Mickelson, an apprentice at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, Illinois, carded a bogey-free 68 and is the 54-hole leader. At 15-under, Mickelson leads Adam Rainaud of South Hadley, Massachusetts by two shots. Six players will enter Sunday’s final round within six strokes of Mickelson.
Andy Mickelson, the Director of Golf at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, Illinois, is the 36-hole leader at PGA Golf Club after he holed out for eagle from 78 yards at the 412-yard eighth hole to cap off a second-round 65, which trumped his opening 68 on Thursday. His 11-under-par, 133 total is the second-lowest two-day score in the history of the Championship, which began in 1977.
Alan Morin, the PGA Assistant Professional at The Falls Country Club in Lake Worth, Fla., fired a 6-under-par 66 Thursday for a one-stroke lead. Frank Bensel of Purchase, N.Y.; Tommy Gibson of Homestead, Fla.; Paul Selvaggio of Valhalla, N.Y.; and Mick Smith of Summit, Wis., are grouped together at 5-under 67.
In becoming the first woman to win a Section PGA Championship since Suzy Whaley in 2002, Atlanta's Karen Paolozzi stamped her ticket to the 2016 PGA Professional Championship. Now she has two more goals in mind this week at PGA Golf Club: make the cut and earn a top-10 finish.
Last fall's win propelled Winged Foot Golf Club's Grant Sturgeon into a whirlwind of tournament activity. In addition to his usual schedule of PGA Section events, he played in the PGA Professional National Championship, qualified for the PGA Championship for the second time, and was selected to the United States PGA Cup squad.
Grant Sturgeon of Mamaroneck, New York, entered the final round in a three-way tie but shot a 7-under par 65 to earn a seven-stroke victory over Kenny Pigman. Sturgeon received $9,000 for the win, and sealed up a spot at next year's PGA Professional National Championship.
THE NATIONAL CAR RENTAL PGA ASSISTANT CHAMPIONSHIP
For the 20th consecutive year, PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., will host the 2015 PGA Assistant Championship, a national championship for 126 PGA assistant professionals and apprentices. For nearly 40 years, tournament has produced 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 include: Loren Roberts (Champion, 1979); Fred Funk (Champion, 1984); Rich Beem (Third, 1998); and Tim Thelen (Champion, 2009).