Bob Sowards leads by one stroke in Event No. 4 of PGA Tournament Series
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – They say dinner never tastes as delicious when a golfer has a bogey late in his round, even if it’s a great round.
Just ask Bob Sowards and Kirk Hanefeld.
Sowards was 7-under Thursday when he bogeyed the 16th hole, a par-5, no less. Sowards’ 6-under 66 still left him a shot ahead of Kirk Hanefeld – who bogeyed the final hole of his 67 – in Event No. 4 of the PGA Tournament Series at PGA Golf Club.
“If I had bogeyed the second or third hole for my only bogey of the round, it wouldn’t seem so bad,” said Hanefeld, the Director of Instruction at Salem County Club. “Everything else in the round was pretty good. I could have made a couple more birdies, but that’s always the case.”
Sowards said he was “licking my teeth” when he got to the 16th tee of the Wanamaker Course, thinking about making an eagle. But he pulled his drive into the water and couldn’t save par.
“That’s the easiest hole on the golf course,” Sowards said. “But I also pulled my drive at 18 and had to get up and down for par from 141 yards. That helped me forget a little about the bogey on 16.”
Sowards won Event No. 2 last week and is second on the PGA Tournament Series money list this winter at $6,665. He doesn’t have a chance at winning PGA Professional Player of the Year for the fifth time, so he has a more modest goal this month.
“I’m trying to make enough money so my wife and I can re-do our basement,” said Sowards, a PGA Teaching Professional at Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club in Powell, Ohio.
The winner receives $5,000. Rod Perry, who leads the PGA Tournament Series money list with $7,550, is tied for 22nd after a 72. There are two more events next week.
The 48-year-old Sowards has hired a fitness instructor to help him try and qualify for the PGA Tour Champions in 1½ years. Hanefeld, 60, played 69 events in the 50-and-older circuit, earning $785,182.
They won’t do much talking during Friday’s final round – Sowards doesn’t say much when competing – but Hanefeld says he has some advice for Sowards.
“He better play his butt off because there are only five spots in the world available on the Champions Tour,” Hanefeld said. “Bob is fortunate in that while he’s not as young as some of the guys out here, he still hits the ball as far as most of the young guys. Guys like me have to find a different way to do it.”
Five players are tied for third place at 68: Zac Oakley of Palm City, Fla., Anthony Aruta of Staten Island, N.Y., Josh Bevell of Nashville, Tenn., Rick Schuller of Chester, Va., and Nicholas Latimer-Zabor of Cleveland. Ohio.
The PGA Tournament Series is presented by Golf Advisor.