Callaway Golf PGA Assistant Championship pre-event notes

travis deibert, adam rainaud
Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America
Travis Deibert (l) and Adam Rainaud both came close to winning last year, and are back to try again.
Randy Stutzman
The PGA of America

Series: PGA Feature

Published: Wednesday, November 02, 2011 | 5:03 p.m.

The winner of the 35th Callaway Golf PGA Assistant Championship will receive $9,000 from a total purse of $100,000, and a berth in the 2012 PGA Professional National Championship, to be played next June at Bayonet and Black Horse in Seaside, Calif. The top 10 finishers and ties earn a berth into the first stage of the 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying School.

In addition, the top 4 finishers and ties earn berths in the 2012 PGA Assistant Championship.


To return to our complete coverage of the 2011 Callaway Golf PGA Assistant Championship, click here.

LONE WOLF: The field this year features defending champion Frank Bensel, PGA assistant professional at Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y. Bensel's final-round 3-under par-69 pushed him into the winner's circle to claim the title by two strokes over Travis Deibert of Jamison, Pa.

He is the only past champion in this year's field.

The 43-year-old is a seasoned veteran, having competed in eight PGA Professional National Championships, three Callaway Golf PGA Assistant Championships, 16 Metropolitan Section Championships, the 2004 PGA Championship and the 1984 Junior PGA Championship.

FLEET SET TO COMPETE: Stephany Fleet of Muskegon, Mich., PGA apprentice at Muskegon (Mich.) Country Club, is the only woman competing in this year's Championship. She will be competing in her first PGA Assistant Championship.

In 2010, two women competed in the Championship.

Karen Paolozzi, a PGA apprentice at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., had the lowest finish by a woman in the history of the Championship -- a tie for 10th place. She used a final-round 72 to break the previous record held by Julie Peluso of Port St. Lucie, Fla., who accomplished the feat in 2008, finishing in a tie for 52nd.

Jennifer Heinz, PGA assistant professional at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., shot a final-round 72 and finished in a tie for 33rd.

TOP FINISHERS RETURN: The top four finishers from the 2010 PGA Assistant Championship return to PGA Golf Club for the 2011 edition. Joining Bensel are runner-up Travis Deibert, and Adam Rainaud of South Hadley, Mass., and Dan Flynn of Midland, Mich., who finished in a tie for third.
FANTASTIC FRATERNITY: The list of past champions and former players is a group of very accomplished PGA Professionals. Past Champions include Fred Funk, Loren Roberts and Tim Thelen, the 2009 Champion as well as two-time PGA Professional National Champion. Thelen is currently competing on the European Senior Tour. Past competitors include 2002 PGA Champion Rich Beem, who finished third in 1998.