Written by Ethan Brady

Zylstra Wins National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship

Via PGA.com – Pat Kravitz

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (Nov. 12, 2017) – On Sunday at PGA Golf Club, the rain kept falling, the wind was constant, and the nearest competitor was relentless. In the end, nothing proved enough to slow Ryan Zylstra.

The 38-year-old from Richmond, Virginia, won the 41st National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship with a finishing score of 11-under 277. With his victory, Zylstra claimed the first-place prize of $12,000 from the $150,000 total purse. Derek Berg finished with a solo second, one stroke back at 10-under 278.

PORT ST. LUCIE – NOVEMBER 12: Champion, Ryan Zylstra poses for a photo with the trophy during Final Round of the 41st National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship held at PGA Golf Club on November 12, 2017 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Traci Edwards/PGA of America)

“I don’t know what this win is going to do for me,” said Zylstra, who spends his time at The Federal Club in Glen Allen, Virginia. “I’m new to the

business. I’ve only been an apprentice since February. I’m very thankful that I have the opportunity to play a lot of golf and get to represent my club and family.”

Zylstra, playing in the penultimate group, entered the final round trailing Berg by two strokes. With wet and windy conditions at the Wanamaker Course, he attacked the front nine and converted three birdies on holes 3, 5, and 6. With a three-putt bogey on the par-3 4th, Zylstra made the turn at 10-under for the Championship.

“I knew it was going to be tough,” said Zylstra, referring to the weather. “You have two options: you either embrace it and take it for what it is, or let it bother you and get upset. I figured if I could maintain a good attitude that I’d be able to do the best I could. Accept that there’s going to be rough patches, you’re going to hit bad shots and get bad breaks. Everyone’s getting it. I’m not the only one playing these conditions. I think that really helped keep me levelheaded.”

Zylstra’s positivity helped him overcome a three-putt bogey at the 10th. He would add two birdies at 13 and 16, where he played a combined 7-under during the Championship. Par saves on 17 and 18 sealed the victory.

PORT ST. LUCIE – NOVEMBER 12: Ryan Zylstra hits his tee shot on the 18th hole during Final Round of the 41st National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship held at PGA Golf Club on November 12, 2017 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Traci Edwards/PGA of America)

Berg, the 36 and 54-hole leader, entered the final round with a one-stroke advantage on the field. The 36-year-old from Duvall, Washington, played steady through his first eight holes, with seven pars and a birdie on the par-3 6th. Berg, who is an apprentice at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washington, faltered on the 9th hole with a bogey to make the turn at even-par for the day. Bogeys by Berg on 13 and 14 proved to be enough separation for Zylstra to pull away.

Adam Rainaud (Chester, Connecticut) and Ryan Botts (Lebanon, Tennessee) tied for third place at 5-under 283.

2017 has been quite the year for Zylstra, who was recently named the Middle Atlantic PGA Section OMEGA Player of the Year. He has won a mind-boggling thirteen times this year, including his victory on Sunday. But his greatest accomplishment came by the way of his first child, Jaxon, who was born this past summer, days after winning the State Open of Virginia.

“I really love competitive golf,” said Zylstra. “I struggled for a lot of years as a professional on mini tours. The birth of my son has eased up everything this year. From that aspect, golf isn’t as important to me as it was previous years when I was trying to grind it out.

“I didn’t see this year coming. I always knew I had the potential to do this once I figured out how to win. This year has just been unreal. I’m very thankful.”

With their finish in the top 4, Zylstra, Berg, Rainaud, and Botts have earned a berth into the 2018 National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship, provided eligibility is met and maintained. The 2018 Championship will be played November 15-18 at PGA Golf Club.

The 41st National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship was supported by Cleveland Golf, Srixon, XXIO, John Deere, and Golf Advisor.

Written by Ethan Brady

Schuller & Ferguson Complete Seven Stroke Comeback

Trailing by seven strokes on the last day of play, Rick Schuller and Frank Ferguson put together a bogey-free 27 holes to come back and win the 2017 Matt Miskelly & Companies Team Championship at Salisbury Country Club by two strokes.

The pair finished with a 13-under-95 for the second round and a two-day total 196 and in the first round, Schuller and Ferguson were in third place with a 27-hole score of 101. At the end of the tournament, they led the field with 51 holes of par-or-better and also had 21 birdies.

The impressive 4-under during the alternate shot portion of the round gave Schuller and Ferguson a strong jump in the leaderboard.

“I thought if we could play a decent round and not have any bogeys we would be fine,” Schuller said. “It always comes down to the alternate shot and we were awesome today during that portion with four birdies.”

Round one leaders Chip Sullivan and Kenny Clark started the second day with a strong 6-under nine-hole scramble, but their final nine holes in the alternate-shot format resulted in four bogeys, dropping them behind Schuller and Ferguson.

“I personally thought we were playing for second place,” Schuller said. “Chip and Kenny are such good players and the way they played yesterday was so rare to see a six-stroke lead in a team event. Hats off to them for that round.”

“To me, the Matt Miskelly Team Championship is the most fun event of the year,” Ferguson said. “It’s a great end to the season and I look forward to it every year.”

The Matt Miskelly & Companies Team Championship is the final Section tournament of the season. For upcoming MAPGA events, seminars and meetings visit MAPGA.com.

Written by Ethan Brady

Day 1 at the Matt Miskelly & Companies Team Championship

After the first 27 holes at the 2017 Matt Miskelly & Companies Team Championship, Chip Sullivan and Kenny Clark lead the field by six strokes. The pair finished with a 14-under-94 and had an impressive eight birdies on the nine-hole scramble portion.

The Matt Miskelly Team Championship features six, nine-hole rounds in three formats, scramble, four-ball and alternate shot. Sullivan and Clark finished with an 8-under-28 in the scramble, a 3-under-33 in the alternate shot and a 3-under-33 in the four-ball. Their 26 pars-or-better tied four other teams, but their 14 holes under par creates a significant lead heading into round two.

Chasing Sullivan and Clark is Bud Lintelman and John O’Leary, who finished the day with an 8-under-100. The pair had 10 birdies on the day and just two holes over par. There are 16 teams within five strokes of them in second place.

The second round of the Matt Miskelly & Companies Team Championship will be played in the same format as round one and will begin with tee times at 8 a.m.

Full Leaderboard

Written by Ethan Brady

Joanna Coe Wins OMEGA Player of the Year

For the second consecutive season, the 2017 OMEGA Women’s Player of the Year is Joanna Coe, of Baltimore Country Club.

“It’s a great honor to win this award in the Middle Atlantic Section,” Coe said. “We have such great players and courses in this Section and it’s been a lot of fun playing at the local level.”

In just her second year in the business side of golf, Coe says balancing work and practice has been different from her usual routine.

“The work-play balance is definitely different,” Coe said. “My game turned on late in the year and April through July I wasn’t hitting the ball very well. In August, I was able to turn on my game and played much better at the end of the season.”

Not only did that strong play earn Coe Player of the Year honors, but she successfully qualified for the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer, IL. Coe also won the 2017 MAPGA Women’s Championship by 10 strokes and finished seventh at the National Car Rental Assistants Championship.

Full Player of Year Standings

Written by Ethan Brady

Zylstra Named OMEGA Open Player of the Year

With the conclusion of the Rocky Gap Players Cup, the Middle Atlantic PGA season is coming to a close and the 2017 OMEGA Player of the year standings are complete.

In his first year as an apprentice, Ryan Zylstra is the 2017 OMEGA Open Player of the Year with 1,420 points earned over six events.

It was an eventful season for the Federal Club apprentice with five first-place finishes in POY eligible events. Zylstra’s State Open of Virginia victory at Ballyhack by three strokes rewarded him with 403 points, the most of any tournament.

“After I won the Stae Open, I knew I had a chance,” Zylstra said. “I had a really good year this season, by far the best year I’ve had as a professional.”

Zylstra placed first in four other tournaments, the Southern Chapter Championship, National Car Rental Spring Pro-Scratch, National Car Rental Assistant Championship and the Rocky Gap Players Cup.

“It’s very exciting because winning Player of the Year was one of my goals at the beginning of the season,” Zylstra said. “As an apprentice, I can’t play in the Section Championship so I knew I had to play well in my other events. ”

Heading into the final points eligible tournament of the season at Rocky Gap, Zylstra trailed leader John O’Leary by 26 points. Zylstra won the event by four strokes, securing enough points to surpass O’Leary by 178.

“I’m very thankful of Tim Dale and the ownership at Federal Club to allow me to play a lot of tournament golf and represent our club,” Zylstra said. “It was a great season and I hope to continue my success into next year.”

OMEGA Open POY Standings

Written by Ethan Brady

Zylstra Wins at Rocky Gap, Schuller Takes Senior Div.

In his first year as an apprentice in the Middle Atlantic PGA Section, Ryan Zylstra claimed his fifth MAPGA tournament win at the Rocky Gap Players Cup Tuesday in Flintstone, Md.

Zylstra won by four strokes over Steven Delmar in the Open Division after shooting a second 2-under-70, matching his performance Monday featuring difficult wind. He was the only Regular Division Ocompetitor to have two rounds under par. 

“Yesterday was very tough with the wind,” said Zylstra, of Federal Club in Richmond, Va. “I just wanted to find a way to make pars and today I played solid and steady.”

Just three holes of bogey-or-worse in two rounds helped propel Zylstra to the top of the leaderboard.

“I didn’t particularly hit the ball well over these two days, but I managed my game really well,” Zylstra said. “I putted well and I made up-and-downs when I had to. I just tried to limit mistakes and play

par golf and luckily some birdies happened.”

The win solidifies Zylstra as the 2017 OMEGA Open Player of Year, which will be officially announced soon.

In the Senior Division, Rick Schuller shot a tournament-low 67 to finish with a two-day 6-under-par, winning by eight strokes.

Just one bogey and six birdies gave Schuller an impressive 5-under on the day. The low score secured Schuller’s third Senior Division win on the season and placed him atop the Senior Player of the Year Points list.

Full Leaderboard

Senior Leaderboard

The final MAPGA Section event of the season is the Matthew Miskelly & Companies Team Championship at Salisbury Country Club Oct. 30-31. Registration closes at 12 p.m. Oct. 25.

Written by Ethan Brady

Zylstra Leads Open POY at Rocky Gap

After a windy round at Rocky Gap Casino Resort, Ryan Zylstra leads the Open Player of the Year Division at the 2017 Rocky Gap Players Cup by three strokes.

Zylstra currently trails John O’Leary in the OMEGA Open Player of the Year points list by 26 points. O’Leary, who played with Zylstra today, finished the first round 7-over, good for T16.

On the second hole, Zylstra, of Federal Club, holed-out from the fairway for a two-shot eagle. He gave it right back on hole 3 with a double-bogey and finished the round by adding two birdies on the back-nine.

Gregory Pieczynski and Josh Speight are T2, trailing Zylstra by three shots at 2-over.

In the Senior Division, Rick Schuller leads by one shot after finishing with a 1-under-71. Schuller and Ricky Touma are currently battling for the top spot in the Senior Player of the Year rankings.

Touma finished the day in third, two-back after shooting a 73. He had three birdies and five bogeys during the round.

Sitting in second place in the Senior Division is Dirk Schultz, of Beaver Creek. He finished the day with an even-72.

The second round will begin tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. and leaders in the Open POY Division will tee off at 10:10 with seniors following after.

Full Leaderboard

Senior Leaderboard

Written by Ethan Brady

Player of Year To Be Decided at Rocky Gap

Two rounds at Rocky Gap Casino & Resort next week will determine the MAPGA’s 2017 OMEGA Players of the Year. John O’Leary and Ryan Zylstra are the most likely candidates to finish atop the leaderboard following the Rocky Gap Players Cup this upcoming Monday and Tuesday.

Just 26 points separate the pair and 272 pts. will be awarded to first, 192 pts. to second and 157 pts. to third place.

O’Leary currently leads with 1,174 points in eight events this season. His highest points finish came after his victory at the Teaching Pro Championship in September, adding 224 to his total.

Zylstra has played in just five OMEGA Open POY eligible events and finished first in all but one. Included in that group was his 403 POY point first-place finish at the 2017 State Open of Virginia. He currently has 1,148 points.

A longshot to win down 221 points is Yong Joo from TopGolf Loudoun. Joo, the 2017 Jani-King Match Play Champion, has 953 total points and six top-five finishes this year. With first place receiving 272 points, he would need a first-place finish and a collapse from O’Leary and Zylstra.

On the senior side, Rick Schuller currently leads the group with 1,408 points and is closely followed by Ricky Touma with 1,324. Dirk Schultz has a small chance to win by placing first and hoping Schuller finishes less than 4th.

Regardless of the outcome, O’Leary, Zylstra or Joo winning would mean their first Player of the Year honors. Zylstra could potentially become the first apprentice to win the MAPGA Player of the Year in its history.

Already decided, the 2017 Women’s Player of the Year is Joanna Coe from Baltimore Country Club. This is Coe’s second consecutive MAPGA Women’s Player of the Year.

A full feature on all of the Players of the Year will be available following the Rocky Gap Players Cup.

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Written by Ethan Brady

Redgrave Wins Maryland Senior Open

Geoff Redgrave’s first appearance at the Maryland Senior Open went about as great as he could have imagined. His two-day total, 3-under par was just enough to become the 2017 Maryland Senior Open Champion, defeating Jim Estes by one stroke at Chevy Chase Club Wednesday.

“It just feels great getting my first win at a prestigious event like this among other PGA Professionals,” said Redgrave, the head professional at Wintergreen Resort. “It was really satisfying to win on a tough course like Chevy Chase over two days.”

The first round featured a near mistake-free 18 holes with no missed fairways and strong putting from Redgrave.

“You have to hit fairways at Chevy Chase,” said Redgrave. “The greens were really fast, but I was confident with the putter and it helped me a lot over the course of both days.”

Entering the second round, misty rain provided some difficulty for the players and Redgrave missed three fairways on the front-nine, resulting in three straight bogeys. A difficult up-and-down on the ninth hole propelled Redgrave to his strong finish on the final holes of the tournament. He shot a 4-under-31 on the back-nine to win by one stroke.

“The up-and-down on nine was a great start to my finish on the back-nine,” Redgrave said. “I had two long birdie putts on holes 14 and 16 and I knew I had a chance at winning.”

Not knowing his position during the round, Redgrave says he just played shot-by-shot with no anxiety and it worked.

Redgrave was joined by four other MAPGA Professionals in the top positions of the leaderboard. Jim Estes finished second, Brendan McGrath in third, Ricky Touma in fourth and Rick Schuller finished  T5.

Written by Ethan Brady

RECAP: Club Car Head Pro. Champ. & MAPGA Teaching Pro. Champ

The Club Car Head Professional Championship at the Univ. of Maryland finished with Scott Shapin, of Old South Country Club, winning by one stroke over defending champion Jimmy Flippen.  Ricky Touma, of Burning Tree Club, winning by

Shapin recorded five birdies on the day while Flippen had six, leading the tournament. The win was Shapin’s first top-10 finish this season in a Section event, having previously finished fourth in the Northern Chapter Fall Pro-Pro.

Ricky Touma, of Burning Tree Club, won the Senior Division of the Club Car Head Professional Championship, his fourth first-place finish this season. Touma shot a 3-under-68 to win by four strokes over Mark Helffrich from Suburban Club. Touma had five birdies on the day.

The MAPGA Teaching Professional Championship presented by TaylorMade was won by John O’Leary, of Trump National Golf Club, after he shot a 5-under-66 at the Univ. of Maryland Golf Club Monday.

O’Leary’s bogey-free round finished three strokes ahead of second place finishers Jim Estes and Sean English. He recorded three birdies in four holes from holes 7-10. His win now places him above Ryan Zylstra, of Federal Club, in the OMEGA Open Player of the Year standings.

In the Teaching Professional Championship Senior Division, Woody Fitzhugh finished atop the leaderboard with a 4-under-67. Fitzhugh defeated second-place finishers Rick Serrano and Tim Lewis by two strokes and led the Senior Division with six birdies in the round.

The OMEGA Player of the Year will be determined at the Rocky Gap Players Cup at Rocky Gap Casino and Resort Oct. 16-17. The registration deadline for the Rocky Gap Players Cup will be Oct. 11.

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