FLOURTOWN, Pa. (June 29, 2015) – Ben Polland of Manhasset, New York, ignited by three consecutive birdies on the front nine of The Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Wissahickon Course, posted a 3-under-par 67 to build a four-stroke lead Monday at the halfway point of the 48th PGA Professional National Championship.
The showcase event for PGA Professionals at the Militia Hill and Wissahickon Courses features a 311-player field that was trimmed to the low 90 players and ties. One-hundred made the cut of 5-over-par 147, and advanced to the final 36 holes at Wissahickon. The Championship is presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz and OMEGA, and features a $550,000 total purse.
Polland, a 24-year-old PGA Assistant Professional at Deepdale Golf Club in Manhasset, broke out of a five-way share of the lead to open the day by collecting five birdies to offset a pair of bogeys. He played the final seven holes 1-under, capping his round by making a five-foot par-saving putt on the 18th hole.
Polland owns a 36-hole total of 7-under-par 135, four strokes better than defending PGA Assistant Champion Grant Sturgeon of Mamaroneck, New York (69); and Charles Frost of Johns Island, South Carolina, who had a 67 at Militia Hill.
Three Oklahoma pros made the first cut. Michael Boyd of The Club at Indian Springs is tied for 33rd at 2 over after rounds of 74-72. Mark Fuller of The Club at Surrey Hills in Yukon is tied for 47th at 3 over after rounds of 78-67. Pat Bates of Gaillardia Country Club is tied for 87th (74-72). Shannon Friday of Lake Hefner GC in Oklahoma City missed the cut by a shot (75-73).
The final 36 holes, Tuesday and Wednesday, will be hosted on the Wissahickon Course. A second cut at 54 holes will trim the field to the low 70 scorers and ties.
The low 20 scorers in the PGA Professional National Championship will advance to the 97th PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.