BLUFFTON, S.C. – The quest for a berth into the 2019 PGA Championship is still alive for four New England PGA Professionals.
The 312-player PGA Professional Championship field was cut down to just 92 hopefuls on Monday, and Rich Berberian Jr., (Vesper CC), Shawn Warren (Falmouth CC), Jeff Martin (Wollaston CC) and Kirk Hanefeld (Salem CC) played well enough at Belfair of Bluffton to tee it for at least one more day.
Berberian (Vesper CC) shot one-under par 70 to jump into a tie for 10th on Monday. He started his round on the East Course’s 11th hole and made an early bogey on the 13th, but bounced back with birdies on the 15th and 17th to get into red figures for the tournament after an even-par 72 on Sunday. Berberian, who won the tournament in 2016, made back-to-back bogeys on the 1st and 2nd holes to open a roller-coaster second nine. He got one back with a birdie at the par-5 3rd, but gave it away on the 5th before taking it back under par for good with birdies on the 7th and 8th.
Berberian enters Tuesday’s third round in a tie for 10th at -1 overall, seven strokes behind leader Alex Beach. Berberian is looking for his fourth consecutive PGA Championship appearance.
Shawn Warren simply refusing to make par today. Three birdies and an eagle have catapulted him up 60 spots on the leaderboard and into a tie for 30th. Keep it going! pic.twitter.com/oNmDTMKoVa
— New England PGA (@NEPGA) April 29, 2019
Warren got off to a frantic start on the West Course on Monday, going bogey-eagle-bogey-birdie-birdie-birdie through his first six holes to catapult up the leaderboard. He settled down with 10 pars and two bogeys in his final 12 holes to post one-under 71 and enters the third round tied for 32nd after shooting 3-over 74 on the East Course on Sunday.
Martin recorded eight bogeys and five birdies over the first 36 holes to make the cut at +3 overall and tied for 42nd in the tournament. Martin, who is competing in the PGA Professional Championship for the 15th consecutive year, last made the cut in 2016 when he tied for 59th. He advanced to the PGA Championship in 2005, ’08 and ’13.
Hanefeld survived a late scare Monday. Playing the West Course in the early wave, he was in great shape after a one-under 35 on the front nine had him at +1 for the tournament at the turn. After dropping shots on the 10th and 15th holes, he was still on the cutline as he teed it up on the 17th hole at +3 for the tournament. But a double-bogey on 17 put a potential third round in jeopardy for Hanefeld, who made par on 18 to get into the clubhouse at +5 overall. As the day progressed, however, the cutline dropped to +4, and eventually +5 and Hanefeld made the cut for the fifth time in his career and first since 2013, when he finished tied for 9th and advanced to the PGA Championship.
The top 90 players, plus ties, from the 312-player field will tee it up in Tuesday’s third round. The field will be cut to the top 70 plus ties after 54 holes. The top 20 finishers will qualify for the 2019 PGA Championship next month at Bethpage Black. NEPGA Professionals Brendon Ray (Point Judith CC), Bob Bruso (Blackstone National GC), David Bennett (CC of Vermont), Liam Friedman (Nashawtuc CC), Chip Johnson (Hatherly CC), Rick Karbowski (Auburn Driving Range), Adam Kolloff (Pure Drive Golf), Jeff Seavey (Samoset Resort), Troy Pare (Ledgemont CC) and Steve Hausmann (Hausmann Golf) did not make the cut.
The final 36 holes will be contested at Par-72 West Course, which measures 7,153 yards. The third round will be broadcast on Golf Channel from 3-6 p.m. on Tuesday, and Wednesday’s final round will air from 2:30-5:30 p.m.