The Loop

Sam Snead's record falls in PGA Professional Championship

June 27, 2012

SEASIDE, Calif. -- Matt Dobyns was conflicted. The head professional at Fresh Meadow Country Club on Long Island, N.Y., Dobyns felt an obligation to supervise the women's member-guest. He also had qualified for the PGA Professional National Championship. The member-guest and the second round of the PNC would fall on the same day. What to do?

The club gave its blessing for Dobyns to play in his organization's showcase event, and he showed his appreciation in the most impressive way possible: He won the PNC by eight shots on the Bayonet Course here, the largest margin of victory in the history of an event that began in 1968. The previous record was five, held by Sam Snead, who at 59 won the tournament in 1971.

"Luckily my assistants are great and they put on a great event for our members," he said. "I can't explain how magical this is for me."

Dobyns' reward (along with 19 others) is an invitation to play in the PGA Championship on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, S.C., in August. He also earned $75,000 for the victory.

It was a remarkable performance for Dobyns, 34, who in the third round shot a three-under par 69 that included a hole-in-one on the 200-yard par-3 14th hole. He opened with consecutive rounds of 68 and took a six-stroke lead into the final round, then closed with a two-under par 70.

"Things like this aren't worth doing unless there are people worth sharing it with," he said, citing wife Laurie and daughter Kaitlyn.

Meanwhile, Marty Jertson, senior design engineer for Ping Golf, shot a three-under par 69, equalling the best round of the day to qualify for the PGA Championship for a second consecutive year.

"I pretty much pured it the whole day," Jertson, who tied for seventh, said. "I didn't putt particularly well, but when setup is tough like this it comes down to ball striking, in my opinion."

-- John Strege