It’s not unusual to see a PGA Tour pro cost himself tens of thousands of dollars with a missed putt on the final day of a tournament.
But you’re not usually talking about that kind of dough at a Philadelphia Section PGA event, with the exception of last week’s Haverford Philadelphia PGA Classic at Sunnybrook Golf Club.
The people at the Haverford Trust Co. are big sponsors of the Philly PGA circuit. But they specifically have put their name on this event and have traditionally made the winner’s share the largest single prize available in any PGA Section event in the country. And this year, the stakes went up. It was a cool $100 grand to the winner with second place being considerably less at $5,000. Haverford Trust Co. just wants a club professional to get a shot at an epic payday. Not sure how many lessons it would take for a club pro to make $100,000 in a year, but I’m guessing a lot.
Billy Stewart, the former Malvern Prep standout who honed his game growing up at Llanerch Country Club, won the event a couple of years ago when the top prize was only $50 grand, but it was a huge boost for a guy who was coming back home to teach golf after banging around on the Florida mini-tours for the better part of a decade after a nice collegiate career at Saint Joseph’s.
So there was Gulph Mills Golf Club assistant pro Josh Rackley standing over an eight-foot par putt on the second hole of a playoff with Jamie Komancheck, a pro at the RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve and once an assistant at Aronimink Golf Club, last Tuesday at Sunnybrook. Just your basic $95,000 putt.
And Rackley drained it.
“I was extremely nervous,” Rackley told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “But somehow it went in.”
Rackley and Komancheck both toured the tough Sunnybrook layout in 2-under 70 to set up the playoff.
Merion Golf Club assistant pro Robby Bruns was one of four players who finished in a tie for third at 1-under 71.