HOOVER, Ala. (August 11, 2020) – Paul McClure (RTJ Magnolia Grove), winner of the 2020 National Car Rental Alabama–NW Florida Assistant PGA Professional Championship at Riverchase Country Club, will be accompanied by fellow Section Member, Todd McCorkle of Old Overton Club, as qualifiers for the 44th National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla. on November 12-15, 2020.

Round One of the Section Qualifier began at 9:00 a.m. Monday morning as twenty-seven Assistant PGA Professionals from across the Section met at Riverchase Country Club to earn one of the two spots for the National Assistant PGA Professional Championship.  Morning dew gave way to the August heat, and with it came a lot of birdies.  Todd McCorkle started out with a flawless front nine making four birdies before finishing at one-under on the back for a five-under par round of 67.  McClure turned in a steady one-under par round of 71.  Following in closely behind McCorkle was Jordan Debonis of the Ledges with a four-under par round of 68.  Andrew Peyton (Indian Hills C.C.) and Jammie Lett (Hoover C.C.) followed suit with rounds of two-under par, 70.

Round Two began at 7:30 a.m. giving players a much cooler start to their day as a frontal boundary pushed through early in the morning, bringing with it almost fall-like temperatures and a steady breeze to dry out the course.  Riverchase Country Club firmed up as the morning progressed, but that did not stop McClure from making a run for the title – ending his front nine with three birdies and a bogey.  He then made four birdies on his next five holes and finished with a five-under round of 67.  Meanwhile, McCorkle struggled to get anything going on the front-nine making only one bogey.  He was finally able to come around and make two birdies on holes 15 and 16 to force a playoff with McClure to earn the winning spot.

The playoff began on hole one, a short par-four.  Both players hit perfect drives – McCorkle played first to a middle-left hole location.  His shot came up a touch short and spun back to the front of the green leaving him a difficult uphill thirty-five-foot putt which he two-putted for par.  McClure put his wedge shot to about ten feet but missed his opportunity to capitalize and win the playoff.  The duo moved to the second hole, a par-five playing all downhill.  Both players again put themselves in prime positions to go for the green in two.  McCorkle pulled his second shot a little left and ended up with a tough fifty-foot up-and-down save from the sand.  McClure hit his second to about fifteen feet for eagle. He narrowly missed his eagle attempt and tapped in his birdie.  McCorkle left his long bunker shot about thirty feet short and missed his birdie attempt.

Rounding out the alternate list are Jordan Debonis with a five-under par total of 139, Cory Etter (Pine Hill C.C.) with a two-day total of 141 and finally Andrew Peyton with a score of 145.

A big thank you goes to our Section President, John Carney and his staff for hosting our Assistant PGA Professionals and Associates.  Lastly, the Section Assistant PGA Professional Championship is supported by Srixon, Cleveland Golf, XXIO, Golf Advisor and John Deere – we would like to extend another special thank you to Joel Claypool for his commitment to our PGA Assistant Golf Professionals and the Section.

Begun in 1977, the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship is modeled after the PGA Professional Championship, with a field of PGA Professionals and PGA Associates who advanced through 41 Section Championships conducted from May through October this year.  If eligibility is met and maintained, the champion earns a berth in the 54th PGA Professional Championship to be conducted April 25-28, 2021 at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

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About the Alabama–NW Florida PGA

The Alabama – NW Florida PGA is one of 41 Sections that make up the PGA of America. Our Section is headquartered in the Birmingham suburb of Pelham, Alabama at Ballantrae Golf Club. Established in 1969, the Section consists of over 400 Members and Associates in the state of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The Section exists to support its Members who are the driving force to growing the sport and business of golf.

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Contact: Hayden Lewis, PGA     (205) 621-6401         hlewis@pgahq.com