Merion Golf Club head of instruction Mark Sheftic and Spring-Ford Country Club head pro Rich Steinmetz failed to advance to the PGA Championship as the PGA Professional Championship concluded Wednesday at the Turning Stone Resort’s Atunyote Course.
Sheftic carded a final round of 1-over 73 to lay claim to low Philadelphia Section pro at 2-over 290. That left him in a tie for 42nd. The top 20 finishers advanced to the PGA Championship, the last of the four major professional championships each year, which will be held next month at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J.
Steinmetz posted a final-round 75 to finish in a tie for 50th at 4-over 292.
Sheftic had qualified for the PGA three times out of the National Club Pro, as it was traditionally known as. Steinmetz had earned a trip to the PGA the last time it was held at Baltusrol in 2005.
Rich Berberian Jr., a 28-year-old assistant pro at Wyndham Country Club in Derry, N.J., dropped in a 33-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to cap a final round of 3-under 69 and win the $75,000 top prize.
Berberian was in trouble after taking a triple bogey on the 12th hole, but he battled back with birdies at 13, 16 and 18 to finish at 11-under 277.
Omar Uresti, a former PGA Tour pro out of Austin, Texas, had been the leader following both the second and third rounds, but a 1-over 73 in the final round left him a shot behind Berberian at 10-under 278. He was joined at that figure by Mark Brown, the head pro at the Tam O’Shanter Club in Brookville, N.Y. who fired a final round of 1-under 71.
Uresti had finished fifth in his first try in the National Club Pro a year ago at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. Defending champion Matt Dobyns, the head pro at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, N.Y., had a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for seventh at 5-under 213.
Ben Polland, who let the National Club Pro title slip away with a double bogey on the final hole at the Cricket Club a year ago, had a final-round 71 to finish tied for 13th at 2-under 286.