Fleming hangs tough in Senior PGA Professional Championship

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AUSTIN, Texas (Oct. 5, 2019) –  A roller coaster of a round that featured eight lead changes witnessed Frank Bensel Jr. emerge to regain control through 54 holes of the 31st Senior PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac.
Bensel, who led following the first round, carded a three-under 69 on the Fazio Foothills Course to reach 12-under 202, enough for a one-stroke advantage over Scott Hebert (203) heading into Sunday’s final round at the Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa. Bensel is seeking his fourth victory in a PGA of America national championship. Bensel owns three wins in the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship (2010, ’11, ’13).
Hebert, the 2008 PGA Professional Champion, charged 29 spots up the leaderboard with a nine-under 63, which established a new Championship record for third round total and tied the Championship 18-hole low total.
Tim Fleming of Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club shot a 1-over 73 and is tied for 39th at 1-under par. He is one shot out of the top 35. The low 35 scorers Sunday will earn a berth into the 2020 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores Resort in Benton Harbor, Michigan, May 19-24. The top five finishers will earn an exemption into the final stage of the 2019 PGA Tour Champions National Finals. And those who finish in the top eight, including ties, will automatically qualify for next year’s Championship, to be held Oct. 15-18, 2020, at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
The field of 264 players, which was trimmed to the low 90 scorers and ties (93) for Saturday’s third round, was cut to the low 70 scorers and ties in advance (75) of Sunday’s final round. The final 18 holes in the $300,000 Championship supported by Golf Channel and John Deere will be contested on the Fazio Foothills Course.
Three other Oklahomans in the field did not make the cut for the third round. They were Mark Fuller of Surrey Hills Golf Club in Yukon, Jeff Combe of Tulsa Country Club and Cary Cozby of Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa.

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Ken MacLeod

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