AUSTIN, Texas (Oct. 3, 2019) – Frank Bensel Jr. overcame three bogeys in his first four holes to collect an eagle, his 12th career hole-in-one and six birdies for a 7-under-par 65 and the lead in Thursday’s opening round of the 31st Senior PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac.
Bensel, a 51-year-old Assistant PGA Professional at Century Country Club in Purchase, New York, needed only 25 putts on the Fazio Foothills Course at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa. He owns a one-stroke lead over John Aber of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, whose bogey-free 6-under-par 64 matched the Championship’s first-round record and came on the par-70 Coore Crenshaw Cliffside Course.
Four Oklahoma professionals are competing in the event. Tim Fleming of Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club led the way among them with an even-par round of 72 on Fazio Foothills and is tied for 57th.
Jeff Combe of Tulsa Country Club shot 3-over on his 75 on Fazio Foothills and is tied for 137th. Cary Cozby of Southern Hills Country Club shot a 4-over 76 on the Cliffside Course and is tied for 164th. Mark Fuller of Surrey Hills Golf Club shot 80 on Fazio Foothills and is ranks 235th.
The cut after the second round is projected at 1-over. The 264-player Championship, supported by Golf Channel and John Deere, features a $300,000 total purse. Forty-two states are represented in the field, which will be trimmed Friday to the low 90 scorers and ties. The final 36 holes will be contested on the Fazio Foothills Course, with the low 70 scorers and ties advancing after Saturday’s third round.
The top 35 receive exemptions to the 2020 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, while the top eight also receive exemptions to the 2020 Senior PGA Professional Championship.
For more on the Championship, go to the PGA Media Center here.