Phillips takes fourth in Senior PGA Professional Championship, earns spot in 2024 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (Oct. 29, 2023) – Bob Sowards had a game plan and stuck to it. It paid dividends for the PGA Director of Instruction at Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club in Powell, Ohio, as he cruised to a dominant six-stroke victory at the 2023 Senior PGA Professional Championship on Sunday.

Sowards recorded a stellar 6-under-par 66 on PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker course to finish the week at 15-under-par 272. Sunday’s win marks the second Senior PGA Professional Championship title for Sowards. He previously claimed the Leo Fraser Trophy in 2018, also at PGA Golf Club. He is the seventh PGA of America Golf Professional to win two Senior PGA Professional Championships.

“It’s awesome,” said Sowards. “Being able to win another one, it validates the first one. It’s a huge win for me and I’m very happy.”

Jerry Haas (Winston-Salem, N.C.) finished second at 9-under-par 278. Mike Small (Champaign, Ill.) took third at 7-under-par 280 while Tracy Phillips (Tulsa, Okla.) and Jeff Brehaut (Park City, Utah) tied for fourth at 5-under-par 282.

Phillips is one of 35 pros to secure a spot in the 2024 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship and will also be exempt into the 2024 Senior Professional Championship.

Phillips shot rounds of 67-71-75-69 to finish at 5-under. He was one of only 10 pros to finish under par for the week. It will be the third consecutive year Phillips has competed in the Senior PGA Championship. He finished as low club professional with a tie for 17th in 2022, earning $50,000, and then made the cut again in 2023.

The top five finish also gives Phillips, 60, an exemption into the final stage of Q School for the 2024 PGA Tour Champions. Phillips considered trying for a spot in 2022 before ultimately reconsidering, but said he is going this time. The final stage is Dec. 5-8 at TPC Scottsdale.

“I hit the ball really well but actually struggled a lot with my putting,” Phillips said of his play this week. “I hit 17 greens in regulation Sunday but had 32 putts, including two three-putts. So I’m pleased with the way I played but it could have been better.”

Not making the 36-hole cut were Oklahoma pros Tim Fleming of Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, Cary Cozby of Southern Hills CC, Jim Young of Gaillardia GC and Dan Rooney of the Folds of Honor Foundation.

The complete roster of Senior PGA of America Golf Professionals who earned a place on the Corebridge PGA Team for the 2024 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship is below in the order they finished.

Bob Sowards (Dublin, Ohio, Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club, Southern Ohio Section)

Jerry Haas (Winston-Salem, N.C., Wake Forest University, Carolinas Section)

Mike Small (Champaign, Ill., University of Illinois, Illinois Section)

Tracy Phillips (Tulsa, Okla., Cedar Ridge Country Club, South Central Section)

Jeff Brehaut (Park City, Utah, Utah PGA Life Member, Utah Section)

Jeffrey Schmid (Iowa City, Iowa, Brown Deer Golf Club, Iowa Section)

Mick Smith (Summit, Wis., Mick Smith Golf, Wisconsin Section)

Don Berry (Rogers, Minn., Edinburgh USA Golf Club, Minnesota Section)

Tim Weinhart (Canton, Ga., Heritage Golf Links, Georgia Section)

Steve Schneiter (Sandy, Utah, Schneiter’s Pebblebrook, Utah Section)

Ray Franz (Mount Pleasant, S.C., Daniel Island Club, Carolinas Section)

Rob Sedorcek (Ballwin, Mo., Family Golf & Learning Center, Gateway Section)

David Ladd (West Palm Beach, Fla., Champions Club at Summerfield, South Florida Section)

Eric Bogar (Houston, Texas, Golfcrest Country Club, Southern Texas Section)

Frank Esposito (Florham Park, N.J., Mountain Ridge Country Club, New Jersey Section)

Greg Gregory (Joshua, Texas, Southern Oaks Golf Club, Northern Texas Section)

Craig Bowden (Bloomington, Ind., Indiana PGA Life Member, Indiana Section)

Chad Proehl (Urbandale, Iowa, Sugar Creek Golf Course, Iowa Section)

Jeff Hart (Solana Beach, Calif., Southern California PGA Life Member, Southern California Section)

Dave McNabb (Newark, Del., Applebrook Golf Club, Philadelphia Section)

Alan Morin (Royal Palm Beach, Fla., The Club at Ibis, South Florida Section)

Rich Steinmetz (Gilbertsville, Pa., Spring Ford Country Club, Philadelphia Section)

Chad Kurmel (Okemos, Mich., Michigan State University, Michigan Section)

Jake Reeves (Knoxville, Tenn., Fox Den Country Club, Tennessee Section)

Jim Carter (Scottsdale, Ariz., Southwest PGA Life Member, Southwest Section)

David Hutsell (Lutherville, Md., Baltimore Country Club, Middle Atlantic Section)

Paul Claxton (Claxton, Ga., Richmond Hill Golf Club, Georgia Section)

Gregory Hiller (San Antonio, Texas, TPC San Antonio, Southern Texas Section)

Sean McCarty (Solon, Iowa, Brown Deer Golf Club, Iowa Section)

Brian Smock (Coronado, Calif., Coronado Golf Course, Southern California Section)

Greg Bisconti (South Salem, N.Y., The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club, Metropolitan Section)

Brad Lanning (Hortonville, Wis., Rise Up Golf Consulting LLC, Wisconsin Section)

Brad Lardon (Santa Fe, N.M., The Club at Las Campanas, Sun Country Section)

Scott Hebert (Traverse City, Mich., Traverse City Golf & Country Club, Michigan Section)

Jason Caron (Greenlawn, N.Y., Mill River Club Inc., Metropolitan Section)

Rick Morton (Jacksonville, N.C., Rock Creek Golf & Country Club, Carolinas Section)

Ryan Malby (Kalispell, Mont., Pacific Northwest PGA Life Member, Pacific Northwest Section)

The top eight finishers ー Sowards, Haas, Small, Phillips, Brehaut, Jeffrey Schmid, Mick Smith and Don Berry  ー also automatically qualified for next year’s Senior PGA Professional Championship at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Ore., Sept. 26-29.

For more about the Senior PGA Professional Championship, visit here.


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