Sowards Birdies Final Hole to Win Event No. 3 of 2018 PGA Tournament Series

By CRAIG DOLCH 
Special to PGA of America 

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Bob Sowards showed Friday (Dec. 7) why he believes he can play with anyone in golf. 

Sowards birdied the 18th hole, barely trickling in his 30-foot downhill putt, to overcome a one-shot deficit and win Event No. 3 of the PGA Tournament Series at PGA Golf Club. 

Sowards shot his second 68 to finish at 8-under 136 and earn his ninth career PGA Tournament Series event, tied for sixth all time. Sowards won when Jeffrey Schmid missed his par putt at 18, finishing at 7-under. 

“I actually thought I was two behind until we got to the green,” said Sowards, the PGA Professional at Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club in Powell, Ohio. “It was a brutal putt. I played it left edge. I just hit it and hoped, and it just barely hung in there on the left edge.” 

Schmid birdied four of five holes to take the lead at 8-under going to No. 18, a 438-yard par-4 that played difficult Friday. Schmid pushed his 7-iron approach into a greenside bunker and the ball plugged. 

“It was not good (the lie), but it was a bad shot,” said Schmid, a PGA Professional at Brown Deer Golf Club in Iowa City. “That’s what Bob does. He’s a great player. That’s what I do – I make bogeys.” 

Schmid wasn’t the only one to suffer that fate. Rob Labritz of Pound Ridge, N.Y.. came to 18 at 8-under, but three-putted for bogey. Labritz (65) tied for second with Schmid (69) and Casey Pyne (67) of Bloomington, Ill. 

Dick Mast (68), who also bogeyed 18, tied for fifth with Frank Bensel (69) and Brett Walker (68). 

Sowards, who finished tied for 18th in last week’s q-school finals for the PGA Tour Champions, earned $5,000 for the victory. 

“It’s always nice to win,” Sowards said. “I’ve been playing great since June. I stopped worrying about making my swing perfect and just try to hit good shots.” 

The PGA Tournament Series is presented by GolfAdvisor.com.