PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (Nov. 4, 2012) – Elyria Country Club assistant and Strongsville resident Jake Scott cruised to a seven-stroke victory on Sunday at PGA Golf Club in the 36th National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship presented by COBRA PUMA GOLF.
Scott posted a final-round 2-under-par 70 for a 271 total, which is a whopping 17-under par.
Ryan Vermeer of Omaha, Neb., the first-rounder leader, posted a final-round 73 for a 278 total and finished alone in second.
North Carolina natives Scooter Buhrman of Fayetteville, and Charles Frost of Pineville, tied for third at 279.
A PGA apprentice at Elyria Country Club and former Cleveland Amateur Champion, Scott built on his 54-hole, four-stroke lead with an early trio of birdies on the front nine on the Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club, and never looked back.
“I knew that I couldn’t let up, not matter what kind of lead I had. The players here are just too good,” said Scott. “In the middle of the front nine I made three birdies in a row and got rolling with the putter, which carried me through the rest of the round.”
Scott’s seven-stroke victory was just one shot shy of the Championship’s largest margin of victory mark of eight, which was set by three-time Champion Kyle Flinton of Edmond, Okla., who accomplished the feat in 2005.
“You never really feel comfortable about winning a Championship like this until the final putt drops,” said Scott. “I had a few wild shots in the middle of the round, but was able to right the ship and stick to my game plan of being aggressive and it paid off.”
The 25-year-old Scott, who was making his debut in the PGA Assistant Championship and playing the Wanamaker Course for the first time during a practice round on Tuesday, was extremely pleased with his play throughout the week and grateful for the chance to win a prestigious National Championship.
“It really is an honor to win a Championship like this,” said Scott. “With such a strong field and so many great players, it’s a satisfying feeling to win in the fashion I did.”
Scott collected $9,000 of the $100,000 purse.
Vermeer, a PGA apprentice at Oak Hills Country Club in Omaha, was a bit disappointed with his play over the weekend, but pleased to finish alone in second.
“I could have played better, but to close with a birdie at 17 and a two-putt par on 18 to finish second was good,” said Vermeer. “I didn’t want to start with a four-shot lead over third place and give that back, so that part is satisfying.”
Two-time defending champion Frank Bensel of Purchase, N.Y., posted a final-round 70 and finished in a tie for 21st.
Following play on Friday, the field was reduced to the low 70 scorers and ties, with 72 players making the cut at 6-over-par 150.
The 2012 field featured the top-4 finishers from last year’s Championship as well as 122 players who advanced through their PGA Section Championships.
Past competitors or champions who went on to Tour prominence include: Loren Roberts (Champion, 1979); Fred Funk (Champion, 1984); Rich Beem (third, 1998); Jeff Freeman (T-7, 1998); Robert Thompson (Champion, 1986); and Tim Thelen (Champion, 2009).
2012 National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship
presented by Cobra Puma Golf
PGA Golf Club Wanamaker Course, Port St. Lucie, FL
November 1 – 4, 2012
Jake Scott, Strongsville, Ohio 69-65-67-70–271
Ryan Vermeer, Omaha, Neb. 66-69-70-73–278
Charles Frost, Pineville, N.C. 71-70-71-67–279
Scooter Buhrman, Fayetteville, N.C. 70-71-68-70–279
Dan Olsen, Free Soil, Ill. 72-70-72-67–281
Joe Summerhays, Farmington, Utah 72-68-74-68–282
Zach Johnson, Salt Lake City, Utah 69-69-74-70–282
Richard Terga, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. 69-69-72-72–282
Chris Trout, Ft. Myers, Fla. 72-70-71-70–283
Brian Norman, The Colony, Texas 72-75-71-66–284
Patrick Hawkins, Richmond, Va. 70-71-75-69–285
Jordan Dempsey, Baton Rouge, La. 72-73-70-70–285
Steven Pierce, Bristow, Va. 72-72-70-71–285
Mike Emery, Canton, Ohio 69-74-67-75–285
Danny Balin, Rockville, Md. 74-72-71-69–286
Tyler Hitchcock, Orlando, Fla. 74-67-73-72–286
Jeffrey Schmid, Columbia, Mo. 70-70-72-75–287
Nicholas Bova, Bloomington, Ill. 72-74-68-74–288
Bobby Pancratz, Scottsdale, Ariz. 68-72-73-75–288
Tim Weinhart, Johns Creek, Ga. 73-70-70-76–289
Frank Bensel, Jupiter, Fla. 74-73-73-70–290
Dennis Downs, Duncan, Ariz. 71-74-74-71–290
Yong Joo, Haymarket, Va. 71-74-75-71–291
Aaron Black, Charlotte, N.C. 76-73-70-72–291
Brian Carroll, Crystal Lake, Ill. 71-74-72-74–291
Scott Berliner, Delmar, N.Y. 71-74-72-74–291
Blair Shadday, Fishers, Ind. 70-72-74-75–291
Joshua Kelley, Santa Barbara, Calif. 69-74-78-71–292
Chris Borgen, Eagan, Minn. 74-73-69-76–292
Andy Smith, Grand Marais, Minn. 73-72-79-68–292
Stuart Hendley, Midland, Texas 72-72-77-72–293
Tim Puetz, Huntington, N.Y. 69-77-74-73–293
Tom Walters, Cincinnati, Ohio 76-73-70-74–293
Curtis Malm, Aurora, Ill. 73-75-74-71–293
Blake Watts, Louisville, Ky. 73-69-75-76–293
Nicholas Beddow, Shirley, N.Y. 72-71-73-77–293
Greg Bisconti, South Salem, N.Y. 73-76-73-72–294
Hank Smith, St. Simons Island, Ga. 71-75-76-73–295
Corey Roberson, Dallas, Texas 78-68-73-76–295
Tucker Roderick, Edmond, Okla. 78-72-74-71–295
Brian Bartow, Rye, N.Y. 76-69-69-81–295
Caine Fitzgerald, Parker, Colo. 74-75-72-75–296
Brennan Clay, Jacksonville, Ala. 73-73-76-74–296
Christopher Stoddard, Buffalo, N.Y. 74-74-75-73–296
Shawn Matthews, Lansdale, Pa. 77-71-75-73–296
Alexander Weir, Erie, Pa. 75-73-73-76–297
Jared Jones, Reynoldsburg, Ohio 72-75-73-77–297
Reise Kelly, Nashville, Tenn. 80-70-73-74–297
Johan Kok, Brentwood, Tenn. 77-72-76-72–297
Chris Sanger, Red Hook, N.Y. 77-73-74-73–297
Craig Smith, Morristown, N.J. 71-78-77-71–297
Drew Pierson, Bonita Springs, Fla. 77-72-78-70–297
Tim Katanski, Ann Arbor, Mich. 74-72-75-77–298
Matt Noel, Norwalk, Conn. 75-74-74-75–298
Richie Krebs, Spring Grove, Pa. 79-71-73-75–298
Scott de Borba, Elk Grove, Calif. 73-75-78-72–298
Trent Rommann, Wichita, Kan. 76-74-75-73–298
Devin Gee, Oakmont, Pa. 79-71-76-72–298
Jakin Fox, Statesville, N.C. 76-74-76-72–298
Stephen Swartz, Hummelstown, Pa. 78-72-73-76–299
JJ Wood, Houston, Texas 71-72-79-78–300
Adam D’Amario, West Hartford, Conn. 76-72-76-76–300
Ryan McClintock, Bettendorf, Iowa 74-74-76-76–300
Sam Kang, Rockaway, N.J. 71-78-75-76–300
Kyle Bilodeau, West Hartford, Conn. 70-76-76-79–301
Hal Jacobs, Hudson, Mass. 75-74-77-76–302
Rob Phelps, Fayetteville, N.Y. 77-72-77-76–302
Tony Traci, Sewickley, Pa. 71-78-80-74–303
Bryan Snyder, Sarasota, Fla. 73-76-76-79–304
Ty Zimmerman, St. Louis, Mo. 76-74-76-79–305
Dean Tonneslan, San Diego, Calif. 75-74-77-81–307
NC Casey Flenniken, Knoxville, Tenn. 74-75-79-NC