By Craig Dolch
Special to PGA of America
PORT ST. LUCIE – Zac Oakley and Matt Borchert didn’t know they were tied for the lead when they came to the 18th tee in Tuesday’s final round of Event No. 6 of the PGA Tournament Series.
But Oakley had a familiar feeling when he walked off the 18th green.
Oakley, a PGA Assistant Professional at Heritage Shores Club in Bridgeville, Del., birdied the 18th hole to win his second PGA Tournament Series event this month. Oakley’s 5-footer capped off a 5-under 67 that left him at 12-under 132 after two trips around the Ryder Course at PGA Golf Club.
“I knew if I made that putt, I was either in a playoff or I won,” said Oakley, who hit an 8-iron from 168 yards. “It’s an awesome feeling. I hit the ball solid and the putter got hot this week.”
Borchert, the PGA Director of Instruction at Isleworth Golf Club near Orlando, bogeyed the 18th hole after his tee shot landed in a fairway bunker and he missed the green and a 10-foot putt. Borchert (68) finished tied for second with Danny Balin (68).
“I had no idea where I stood, and maybe that’s something that can change in the future,” said Borchert, who last year qualified for his first U.S. Open at 39. “We had made so many birdies and I had made a few mistakes, I couldn’t remember.”
Balin had a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 18 that would have forced Oakley to make his putt for the win. Balin still won the PGA Tournament Series money title with $12,705, thanks to a win and two runner-up finishes to Oakley ($11,972).
“I didn’t give it as good of a charge as I would have liked, but it’s nice to win the money title for the first time,” Balin said. “My goal was to make some money and play well.”
Balin got an up-close look at Oakley during the PGA Tournament Series, and he was impressed with what he saw.
“He’s solid,” Balin said. “He hits it 30 yards past me and he’s a good wedge player. That’s a nice combination.”
Casey Pyne of Bloomington, Ill., shot the lowest round of the six PGA Tournament Series events – an 8-under 64 to move from 33rd to a fourth-place tie with Daniel Iceman (65) and Bob Sowards (69).
I played the par-5s well, which is something I haven’t been doing,” Pyne said. “I put myself in good spots and made the putts. I knew there was a low round out there.”
Omar Uresti, who clinched PGA Professional Player of the Year, tied for 18th at 3-under 141.
The PGA Tournament Series is presented by Golf Advisor.
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