The Southern California PGA Professional Championship added a new name to the list of Champions at TPC Valencia on September 12-14 with Kenny Pigman, PGA, taking the honors doubling the winning margin over the field to win the coveted Championship. Pigman, of Goose Creek Golf Club, separated himself from the field with three impressive rounds under par posting 70-66-70 for a 54-hole total of 206 (-10) and a five shot victory.
TPC Valencia was a true Championship test having only six players finish under par. The cooler weather and winds hung around for the duration of the event but the ever-changing conditions didn’t alter Pigman’s charge. Kenny’s second round of 66 gave him separation heading into the final 18-holes and he didn’t slow down, getting off to a fast start in the final round birding four of the first eight holes. This strong start allowed Pigman to put it into cruise control on his closing nine, finishing with a final round of 70. Pigman was a birdie machine tallying 18 birdies through the 54-holes competition, having a streak of five birdies in a row in the second round.
Brian Smock, PGA, and Michael Block, PGA, were chasing Pigman and applying the pressure down the stretch, but it was too little too late, even after Pigman bogied the final two holes of the Championship. Block, of Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club, had a final round of 66 (-6) to tie low round of the Championship with Pigman and finish at 5-under par (72-73-66). This would put Block tied for second with Coronado’s Smock, who carded a final round of 69 (71-71-69) to finish at 211 for the three days.
Pigman, who has only been a PGA Member for only 14 months, participated in just his second Section Championship. In his first showing last year at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club Pigman finished tied for 27th. Using that experience topped with sheer talent, Kenny showed up for the main event this year to etch his name along with some of the greats in Southern California golf being the 91st Champion.
With this victory, Pigman earns an exemption into the 2017 PGA TOUR’s Career Builder Challenge hosted at PGA West in La Quinta.
The Section Championship also serves as the National Qualifier for the PGA Professional Championship which will be hosted at Sunriver Resort in Sun River, Oregon next June. Pigman along with ten other Professionals will represent Southern California at that Championship. Those Professionals who successfully qualified are: Pigman; Smock of Coronado Golf Course; Andrew Larkin of UCLA; Jon Fiedler of Las Posas Country Club; Chad Sorensen of Buena Vista Golf Course; Alan Scheer of Steele Canyon Golf Club; Scott Heyn of Oakmont Country Club; Bruce Nakamura of Aviara Golf Academy; Steve Holmes of Westlake Golf Club and Blair Harkins of Rolling Hills Country Club. Block, of Arroyo Trabuco had previously qualified for the Nationals with his Top 10 finish at this year’s Championship and as the 2015 PGA Professional Championship Champion. Congratulations and best to luck to these SCPGA Professionals!
A very big thank you goes to the host facility, TPC Valencia. General Manager Mike van der Goes, PGA, was instrumental in the success of the Championship. Thank you to their entire staff and TPC Valencia membership for being so welcoming and for opening their doors. A special thanks goes to CGCS Course Superintendent Sean Moore and his entire crew.
Also, thank you to the Rules Committee and Announcers who volunteered their time and assisted in the Section Championship: Ron O’Connor, PGA, Gary Albin, Lee Wortman, Tom Wallace, Keith Reinking, Gary Wilson, Bob Lowe, Robin Shelton, PGA, Todd Keefer, PGA, Andy Thuney, PGA, Tom Addis, PGA, and Steve Frank.
Finally, thank you to all the partners that made the Section Championship possible: National Presenting Partners Mercedes-Benz, Club Car, OMEGA, National Supporting Partners PGA TOUR, TaylorMade, Nike, Titleist and Section Partners Pepsi, ForeFitness, GMAC Apparel, Sterling Cut Glass, Impact Canopies and JaniKing. Their continued support is essential to the success of the SCPGA Championship.