Small secures spot for PGA
SUNRIVER, Ore. — Illinois men’s golf coach Mike Small is headed back to another major.
The Danville native shot an even-par 72 Wednesday during the final round of the PGA Professional National Championship at Sunriver Resort to finish tied for fourth with a four-round total of 283 (69-70-72-72).
The top 20 golfers earned spots at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., for the PGA Championship that runs Aug. 8-11. The trip out East later this summer marks the ninth time the 47-year-old Small will play at the PGA Championship, and it is the 12th major in his professional career.
Rod Perry won the crown, shooting a 3-under-par 69 for a 3-stroke victory.
The 39-year-old Perry, the PGA head pro at Crane Lakes in Port Orange, Fla., had four birdies and a bogey on the Crosswater Club course to finish at 10-under 277. He earned $75,000 and spots in six PGA Tour events over a 12-month period. Ryan Polzin finished second at 7 under, closing with a double bogey for a 71. The 33-year-old Polzin is the PGA head pro at Royal Oaks in Houston.
Perry opened with an 8-under 63 on the Meadows course and added rounds of 72 and 73 at Crosswater to enter the final day 1 stroke behind leaders Mark Sheftic and Chip Sullivan.
Perry rebounded from a bogey on the par-4 15th with a birdie on the par-5 16th, holing a 12-footer minutes after Polzin pulled even with a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th.
Polzin hooked his drive on the par-4 18th into deep grass left of the fairway, took an unplayable lie and ended up with the double bogey. Perry parred the final two holes, 2-putting from 20 feet on No. 18.
Jeff Sorenson had a 71 to finish third at 5 under. The 34-year-old Sorenson is a PGA teaching professional at Columbia Golf Club in Minneapolis.