Bob Sowards & Ben Kern Win the PGA Four-Ball Stableford Team Championship

By Craig Dolch
Published on

Ben Kern and Bob Sowards overcame a slow start Tuesday with four late birdies to win the PGA Four-Ball Stableford Team Championship at PGA Golf Club for their second consecutive victory.

Kern of Georgetown, Texas, and Sowards of Dublin, Ohio, started the final round with an eight-point lead with 39, but dropped into a first-place tie after opening with five pars and a bogey in windy conditions that made the greens slick.

Sowards’ birdie at No. 7 gave them the sole lead again. Sowards added birdies at the 12th, 15th and 17th and Kern finished with another birdie at the closing hole as they earned nine points to win by six at 48.

“There was some frustration,” said Sowards, a PGA Director of Instruction at Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club in Powell, Ohio. “We were playing fine, but we just couldn’t make a putt. We knew we had a good lead and if we played a solid round, it would take a miraculous round to beat us. I’m glad we had that position.”

Said Kern: “I wouldn’t say the slow start put us into panic mode, but it definitely put us into grind mode. I hate that it took us so long to get it going, but I’m glad it came around on the back nine.”

These guys are hot: Kerns and Sowards won last month’s PGA Senior-Junior Team Championship for the second consecutive year, and Sowards also won the Senior PGA Stroke Play Championship last month, giving him three consecutive wins in the PGA Winter Series.

“I’m hitting this new Stealth driver by TaylorMade so good, to places I’ve never been before,” Sowards said. “I’m able to overpower these courses.”

Kern also has won the PGA Stableford Four-Ball Team Championship three consecutive times; he won with Ben Cook the previous two years.

You could say Kern has been there, done that.

“Just been lucky and had some great partners,” Kern said. “Ben’s a great player, and Bob is even better.”

Jon Mayer of Hyannis, Massachusetts, and Aaron Purviance of Winston Salem, North Carolina, earned 16 points to tie for second place at 42 points with Micah Rudosky of Cortez, Colorado, and Michael Zaremba of Pueblo West, Colorado.

Mark Brown of Oyster Bay, New York, and Matt Dobyns of Glen Head, New York, (11-41) tied for fourth place with Roy Biancalana (16-41) of St. Charles, Illinois, and David Paeglow of DeKalb, Illinois.

Tuesday’s victory reaffirmed a vow Sowards made to Kern before the PGA Winter Championships.

“We are staying in the same house, and I told Ben I wanted to keep as many titles in the house as we can,” Sowards said.

What about next week’s PGA Men’s Stroke Play Championship? Kern and Sowards are back to playing on their own.

“Hopefully, we can meet in a playoff,” Sowards said.

The PGA Winter Championships, run by the PGA of America, are Presented by GolfPass and On Location.