A delayed start to the third round of the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship supported by Srixon/Cleveland Golf/XXIO/Asics allowed for some movement on the leaderboard Saturday at PGA Golf Club.
Brian Bergstol from the Philadelphia PGA section posted a 6-under 66 to climb within one shot of leader Jin Chung from the Georgia PGA Section with a three-day total of 204. Bergstol and Chung will both tee off at 9:30 am ET Sunday morning in the final round.
On Friday, Bergstol just missed being one of the 21 players who had to finish the second round on Saturday morning. His second round concluded around 5:45 pm ET in darkness after shooting one-under 71 to drop to sixth.
“I pretty much spent the entire back nine yesterday not solely focused on playing well but just trying to get it done and in,” Bergstol said. “I didn’t want to tee off at 7 (Saturday morning), get warmed up at 6:30, play a hole or two and then wait around for three or four rounds and play again.”
Rested and back in daylight, the 36-year old Director of Instruction at Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort started off the day with an eagle on his first hole. From there, Bergstol added four birdies and another eagle to the scorecard to move up four spots and in position to challenge for the title.
“Being from Pennsylvania, I don’t spend a lot of time on Bermuda (grass), especially salt Bermuda,” Bergstol said. “So it took a while for me to figure it out. The course is gettable. I’ve seen numbers every year where guys can go off, but you can’t do it trying to be super aggressive. You got to pick your spots because it’s gettable but you have to be patient”
After going driver, three-iron and knocking in a 12-foot putt for eagle on No. 1, he evened out his front nine overcoming a pair of bogeys with eagles on Nos.3 and 6.
Bergstol really settled in on the back nine. He saved par on the first three holes before picking up his third birdie of the day on No. 13. He added a birdie on No. 15 and his second eagle on No. 16.
“If there’s one thing I’ve done well in three days is not panic or really worry too much about the fact that I’m going to make a bogey on a hole. It’s gonna happen. But off the tee fits my eye well, I can hit a lot of drivers and now it’s relatively open with the driver.”
Chung, a self-employed teaching Professional that works out of Chateau Elan Golf Club in Braselton, Georgia, shot even-par 72 to maintain a one-shot lead at 204.
In close pursuit are Jeremy Wells (70-69-69, 208) from the South Florida PGA Section and the Michigan PGA Section’s Patrick Wilkes-Krier (71-67-71, 209). Wells and Wilkes-Frier are four and five shots behind, respectively.
The final round of the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship tees off Sunday at 7:30 a.m.
The field for the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship includes PGA Assistant Professionals (A-8 membership classification) or registered Associates that earned berths through their local PGA Sections. They are competing for a $150,000 purse, including the winner’s share of $12,000.
PGA Golf Club ー the PGA of America’s premier 54-hole facility ー hosts multiple PGA Member championships annually, such as the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship, Senior PGA Professional Championship (biennially) and the PGA's Tournament Series and Winter Championships.