After Round 2 of the Senior-Junior Team Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, FL, Brent Studer & Alex Beach felt good about their chances to win. In a post-round interview Studer commented, "We blend really well together. The combination of my steadiness and the fact that he [Alex] is a gun slinger is a dangerous recipe. We just have to keep playing the way we're playing and be aggressive where we can. We're having a lot of fun together and the fact that we know each others games is a nice luxury". In rounds 3 & 4, Studer and Beach were more than aggressive. In fact they were a combined 21-under in the Final 2 Rounds adding 19 birdies and 1 eagle, that's more than 1 birdie every 2 holes.
Entering the Final Round, Studer and Beach found themselves trailing the Leaders, Bob Sowards and Ben Kern, by 2 shots after Sowards and Kern fired off a Third Round 58 (-14). The Final Round was set to provide fireworks and a bit of drama featuring the 2 star-studded groups. Studer, Member of the New Jersey PGA Hall of Fame, Class of 2017 competed in the 2015 U.S Senior Open at Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento CA. Brent also qualified for the 2019 Kitchen Aid Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill in Pittsford, NY. Beach, who has played in the 3 PGA Championships including the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park, won the 52nd playing of the PGA Professional Championship last year at Belfair in Bluffton, SC. Bob Sowards, 4 time National PGA Player of the Year, 15 time PGA Section Player of the Year, Member of the PGA Tour in 2008 and Web.com Tour in 1998, 2004, 2009, has a combined 115 PGA Tour starts including 9 Major Championships, the lastest being the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park. Ben Kern, Head Golf Professional at Georgetown Country Club, earned the title and honor of Low Club Professional at the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club where Brooks Koepka made history, winning his 3rd PGA Championship. Kern finished T42 with former PGA Champions Keegan Bradley, Martin Kaymer, and Jimmy Walker, and past Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel. His playing parter in the Final Round, Zach Johnson, had high praise for the Club Professional adding, "It felt like I was playing with one of my peers on Tour. He has a pretty simple game. There's a reason why he's here". Between the 4 Professionals who were competing for the 2021 Senior-Junior Team Championship title, there isn't a lack of experience being at the top of the leaderboard.
Studer and Beach, a group ahead of the Leaders, opened their Final Round with a -6 Front 9 which was quickly matched by Sowards and Kern. Coming off back to back birdies, Studer and Beach found themselves in striking distance when they stood on the tee at the Par 5 13th Hole. Studer and Beach ended up making an Eagle giving them a 2 shot lead at the moment but with Sowards and Kern adding 2 birdies of their own, the 2 groups were tied. It all came down to the final 5 holes. Studer and Beach birdied the Par 4 15th Hole while Sowards and Kern birdied the 15th, 17th, and 18th holes giving them a 2 shot win over Studer and Beach. Both groups shot a Final Round -11 (60) which were the 2 lowest rounds of the week. After this week, the 2 groups certain reminded us all of their ability to play at the highest stage. Congratulations to Bob Sowards and Ben Kern on their victory!
Dave Miller | New Jersey Section, PGA of America | email@example.com