Dobyns Wins National Club Pro Championship; Five Other Locals Finish in Top 20
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (June 28, 2012) - Fresh Meadow Country Club head professional Matt Dobyns completed a record-setting performance in the PGA Professional National Championship at the Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses in Seaside, California. Dobyns shot a final-round 70 to polish off a four-round total of 13-under-par 275. In the process, he broke the championship's previous record for margin of victory, five strokes, set by Sam Snead in 1971.
While Dobyns made the headlines, he was not the only Met Area pro to enjoy a successful week of golf near the Monterey Peninsula. The top 20 finishers in the National Club Pro Championship qualify for the 2012 PGA Championship, to be held in August at Kiawah Island Resort in South Carolina. In addition to Dobyns, five other Met Area pros finished in the top 20 and will be in the field for the PGA: 2007 Met Open champion Frank Bensel of Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y.; three-time Met Open champion Darrell Kestner of Deepdale Golf Club in Manhasset, N.Y.; Mark Brown of the Tam O'Shanter Club in Brookville, N.Y.; Brian Gaffney of Rumson Country Club in Rumson, N.J.; and Dan Balin of Burning Tree Country Club in Greenwich, Conn., who qualified for his third consecutive PGA Championship.
UPDATED June 27, 2012 - The ride continues for Fresh Meadow Country Club head professional Matt Dobyns, who parlayed some back-nine magic into a commanding six-stroke lead entering the final round of the PGA Professional National Championship at the Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses in Seaside, California. Dobyns aced the 200-yard 14th hole en route to a round of 69 and a three-round total of 11-under-par 205.
The top 20 finishers in this championship gain entry to the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Resort in August, and a handful of other Met Area professionals are also in good position after another beautiful day near the Monterey Peninsula. Three-time Met Open champion Darrell Kestner of Deepdale and 2007 Met Open champion Frank Bensel of Century are tied for 6th at one-under-par 215, Mark Brown of Tam O'Shanter is tied for 11th, and 2012 U.S. Open qualifier Brian Gaffney of Rumson is tied for 13th. Dan Balin of Burning Tree, who has qualified for the last two PGA Championships, is tied for 21st and within striking distance.
UPDATED June 26, 2012 - Fresh Meadow Country Club head professional Matt Dobyns holds the 36-hole lead at the PGA Professional National Championship, a 72-hole, stroke play championship that began on Sunday, June 24 at the Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses in Seaside, California, near the Monterey Peninsula. Dobyns shot rounds of 68-68 for a two-round total of 8-under-par 136, good for a three-stroke lead over his nearest competitors.
Dobyns was one of 10 Met Area professionals to make the cut, including three-time Met Open champion Darrell Kestner of Deepdale, 2007 Met Open champion Frank Bensel of Century, and 2012 U.S. Open qualifier Brian Gaffney of Rumson. Kestner stands at 2-under-par 142, six strokes off the pace, and Bensel and Gaffney are seven strokes back at 1-under 143.
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (June 22, 2012) - Met Area club professionals have a long and storied history of performing well in national and major championships, dating back to legends such as Craig Wood and Claude Harmon in the 1930s and '40s to Tom Nieporte in the 1960s and continuing to the present day. For PGA professionals, one of the highlights of the competitive calendar is the PGA Professional National Championship, a 72-hole, stroke play championship that begins on Sunday, June 24 at the Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses in Seaside, California, near the Monterey Peninsula. A field of 312 PGA professionals from around the country, including 25 from the Met Area, are entered in this year's championship.
The big prize, in addition to the $550,000 total purse, is a berth in the upcoming PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Resort in South Carolina. The top 20 finishers from the Professional National Championship earn a spot in the elite field, and over the past few years Met Area pros such as Danny Balin of Burning Tree, Rob Labritz of GlenArbor, Craig Thomas and Keith Dicciani of Metropolis, and Greg Bisconti of Saint Andrew's have done just that. In fact, Bisconti (2009, Hazeltine National) and Labritz (2010, Whistling Straits) earned low club professional honors in their PGA Championship appearances.
The format of this year's Professional National Championship is 18 holes on each of the Bayonet and Black Horse courses, which were once part of the Fort Ord military base. After a 36-hole cut, the final two rounds will be played on the 7,104-yard, par-72 Bayonet course and televised by Golf Channel on Tuesday, June 26 and Wednesday, June 27.
The Met Area professionals competing in this year's National Championship include Mark McCormick of Suburban Golf Club and Brian Gaffney of Rumson Country Club, fresh off their appearance in the 112th U.S. Open at the Olympic Club, along with 2011 MGA Senior Open champion Mike Burke Jr. of Montammy and three-time Met Open champion Darrell Kestner of Deepdale. The full field of Met Area professionals is below:
Danny Balin, Burning Tree Country Club
Frank Bensel, Century Country Club
Greg Bisconti, Saint Andrew’s Golf Club
Bill Britton, Trump National-Colts Neck
Mark Brown, Tam O’Shanter Club
Mike Burke Jr., Montammy Golf Club
John Bushka, Aspetuck Valley Country Club
Chris Case, Sunningdale Country Club
Chris Dachisen, North Jersey Country Club
Tony DeMaria, Willow Ridge Country Club
Matt Dobyns, Fresh Meadow Country Club
Frank Esposito, Brooklake Country Club
Brian Gaffney, Rumson Country Club
Mike Gilmore, Winged Foot Golf Club
Ryan Kalista, Innis Arden Country Club
Sam Kang, Farmstead Golf & Country Club
Darrell Kestner, Deepdale Golf Club
Rob Labritz, GlenArbor Golf Club
Michael Labrutto, Greenacres Country Club
Bill Mackedon, Port Jefferson Country Club
Mark McCormick, Suburban Golf Club
Mark Mielke, Mill River Club
Kirk Satterfield, Golf Club of Purchase
Craig Thomas, Metropolis Country Club
Ed Whitman, Knickerbocker Country Club