BLUFFTON, S.C. (April 29, 2019) – Metropolitan PGA Section Members Alex Beach of Stamford, Connecticut, and Danny Balin of Irvington, New York, have been shadowing each other for years on the course, whether it was dueling in the Empire State or in the warmth of a South Florida winter.
On a gusty Monday at Belfair, the stakes got a notch higher in the 52nd PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac, Club Car and OMEGA.
Beach, a 29-year-old PGA Assistant Professional at Westchester Country Club in Rye, New York, eagled the par-5 third hole on the East Course to fuel a 4-under-par 67 and the 36-hole lead at 8-under-par 135 in the largest all-professional national championship. Beach owns a one-stroke margin over Balin, a 37-year-old PGA Assistant Professional at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, New York.
Of the five South Central Section PGA professionals in the field, one advanced to Tuesday’s third round. Trent Rommann, teaching professional from Wichita, shot a second-round 68 to move into the top 20 in a tie for 17th.
Oklahoma pros Tim Fleming of Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club (76-75), Tyler Woodward of Jimmie Austin OU Golf Course in Norman (77-77), Jarod Lundy of Winter Creek Golf Club in Blanchard (78-79) and Cary Cozby of Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa (79-83) did not make the cut.
The low 70 scorers and ties after 54 holes in the $650,000 Championship advance to Wednesday’s final round. The low 20 scorers Wednesday earn a berth in the 101st PGA Championship, May 16-19, at Bethpage Black Course in Farmingdale, New York.
Both Beach and Balin tamed the challenging par-71 East layout with a proper dose of patience to handle the firm putting surfaces. Balin collected six birdies against one bogey for a sizzling 66, which was his second-lowest 18-hole performance in 21 rounds covering five previous appearances.