Grant Sturgeon wins PGA Assistant Championship, sets record

Grant Sturgeon
Megan Blank/The PGA of America
Grant Sturgeon finished with a score of 13-under par 275 for the tournament.
By
Randy Stutzman
The PGA of America

Series: PGA

Published: Sunday, November 02, 2014 | 3:34 p.m.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- On Sunday at PGA Golf Club, Grant Sturgeon of Mamaroneck, New York, used a record-breaking final round to cruise to victory in the 38th National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship. Sturgeon, who closed with a final-round, 7-under-par 65 for a 275 total on the Wanamaker Course, won the Championship by seven strokes over Kenny Pigman of Norco, California.

Brian Norman of The Colony, Texas, finished third at 283.

2014 PGA ASSISTANT CHAMPIONSHIP

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Sturgeon, PGA Assistant Professional at famed Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, entered the final round in a three-way tie for the lead with Ben Polland of Manhasset, New York, and Norman. But Sturgeon, playing in his third PGA Assistant Championship, took the lead for good after a birdie on the par-4 second hole, and never looked back.

“Today’s the best I ever played when it really mattered,” Sturgeon said. “I hit the ball really well, gave myself a ton of opportunities and made a lot of putts. It’s one of those rounds we all play and practice for, so that everything goes right as it relates to bounces, ball striking and short game. I was fortunate that all happened at the same time.”

Sturgeon’s bogey-free round is the lowest final-round score in the history of the PGA Assistant Championship.

“I’m not going to pretend I’ve shot a ton of 65s in my life, but I did feel completely prepared this week,” Sturgeon said. “I was able to stay out of my own way and everything fell into place.”

With his victory, Sturgeon earned a berth into the 48th PGA Professional National Championship, June 28 – July 1, 2015, at Philadelphia Cricket Club, as well as $9,000 of a $100,000 purse.

“It’s huge for me to get into next year’s PGA Professional National Championship,” Sturgeon said. “I missed getting into this year’s PGA Championship at Valhalla by a stroke. So to get into next year’s PGA Professional National Championship and have a chance to qualify for the PGA Championship next year, as a PGA Professional, that’s as good as it gets for us.”

Pigman, PGA Apprentice at Goose Creek Golf Club in Mira Loma, California, shot 68 in the final round after entering the day in fifth place.

“I came into the final round trying to go as low as I could. I left a few out there, but it was a solid round today,” said Pigman, who was playing in his first PGA Assistant Championship. “I actually hit the ball solidly all week, and I’m really satisfied with my performance."

Three-time Champion Frank Bensel of Purchase, New York, shot a final-round 67 and finished in a tie for seventh.

For almost 40 years, the National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship 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).

Since 1996, PGA assistant professionals and apprentices have competed at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla., for this National Championship.