(Florence, SC) – Neal Lancaster, PGA is used to the big moment. The Smithfield, NC resident has made 580 starts on the PGA Tour, and he used his experience to pull away from the field to win the 2021 Carolinas PGA Senior Professional Championship at Florence Country Club.
Day one of the competition was delayed due to heavy fog in the area, but the 72 senior golfers were eventually able to hit the course as the day quickly warmed up.
At the end of the first round, Michael Hutcheon, PGA of Sapona Country Club held a one shot lead at four-under-par, but Lancaster, Kelly Mitchum, PGA of Pinehurst Resort, and Burke Cromer, PGA of Northwoods Golf Club sat only stroke behind him.
A stagnant, sunny day greeted golfers on day two of the Championship, and the hot and humid conditions tested the leaders throughout the round.
The one golfer in the final group to rise to the occasion was Lancaster. He quickly assumed the lead with a 33 on the front nine, and he never looked back, carding a bogey-free 67 to finish the tournament at seven-under-par over 36 holes, three strokes ahead of his nearest competitor.
Larry George, PGA of River Landing Country Club was also ready for the occasion, climbing up the leaderboard with a five-under-par, 66, to finish in second place for the tournament.
John Faidley, PGA of The Club at Longview secured third place at four-under-par, while Steve Isley, PGA of Oak Island Golf Club and Rick Morton, PGA of Rock Creek Golf & Country Club tied for fourth place one stroke behind Faidley.
Only the top six eligible finishers from this event qualified for the 2021 Senior PGA Professional Championship at the PGA Golf Club Wanamaker & Ryder Courses in Port St. Lucie, Florida in October, so Ray Franz, PGA of Daniel Island Club and Mitchum needed a playoff to decide the final qualifying spot after both finishing at two-under-par over 36 holes.
Mitchum eventually prevailed on the third playoff hole, holing out from a bunker to take the last qualifying position.
Franz is the first alternate for the event, while the other alternates, listed in order, are Cromer, Hutcheon, Billy Anderson, PGA of Eagle Point Golf Club, and Rob Pilewski, PGA of Duke University Golf Club.
We want to send a big thank you to the wonderful staff at Florence Country Club who made this event possible, as well as our sponsors who you can read more about below.
Round 1 ($325 each)
Rick Murphy, PGA – birdie on par-4 #11
Hugh Royer, PGA – eagle on par-5 #18
Round 2 ($216.67 each)
Larry George, PGA – eagle on par-4 #6
Corey McEwen, PGA – birdie on par-3 #2
Jim Hardy, PGA – eagle on par-5 #8
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About Florence Country Club
Florence Country Club is proud to offer it’s 18-Hole “Donald Ross” style course to all golfing members and their guests. The Golf program at Florence is becoming more active by implementing new and exciting tournaments. Florence offers a range of groups to suit everyone’s needs. There are men only group’s, women only groups, couples groups and the increasingly popular parent-child golf days.
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About Carolinas PGA
Since its inception in 1923, the Carolinas PGA Section has been committed to nurturing and improving the quality of the game for the thousands of golfers using its member facilities. Now the largest of the PGA’s forty-one sections, the Carolinas PGA Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association boasts over 2,000 professional members and represents more than 700 golf facilities within North and South Carolina as well as portions of southern Virginia.
PGA professionals are responsible for conducting a variety of golf-related functions which include human resource management, golf shop merchandising, golf instruction, tournament operations, junior golf programs, growth of the game initiatives, golf club repair, administering the rules, public relations and much more. For more information, contact Jess Hanson, Director of Marketing, at 336-398-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.