2022 Southern California PGA Professional Championship
ROUND THREE RECAP
Michael Block of Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club claims his third Southern California PGA Professional Championship title after posting two-under par, three-day total of 214.
Winning by five strokes, Block battled all week against a host of talented players at the top of the leaderboard at El Niguel Country Club. It was a war of mental and physical attrition for Block, who hours before the first round, returned from across the pond after being a part of the victorious USA team at the 30th PGA Cup.
“I didn’t think I had jet lag, but I was hitting it 250 off the tee on Monday” Block said, “I was struggling a bit on Monday, but I got the legs back and I was feeling good from there on.”
Block’s one-shot advantage in the final round was maintained by snagging two front-nine birdies on holes four and six. Making the turn, Block notched two more birdies on 11 and 13 coming down the stretch. Wedging into the 18th green for an easy par, Block officially claimed his third SCPGA Professional Championship title.
Finishing in second place was Steve Holmes of Westlake Golf Course with a strong final round of 71, and a three-day total of 219.
With his victory, Block earns an exemption into the PGA Tour’s The American Express, takes home the ROLEX SCPGA Player of the Year honors and also earns a custom Club Car for a year. Block now becomes the seventh Champion in the storied history of the event to claim the title three times or more.
The Southern California PGA Professional Championship also served as a national qualifier into the PGA Professional Championship that will be hosted April 30 – May 3, 2023 at Twin Warriors & Santa Ana Pueblo Golf Clubs in Santa Ana Pueblo, NM. Congratulations to the 13 members that will be representing the Section:
*Michael Block – Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club
**Kyle Mendoza – The Farms Golf Club
Steve Holmes – Westlake Golf Course
Kenny Pigman – Bahama Golf
Mark Geddes – Coronado Golf Course
Brian Smock – Coronado Golf Course
Nate Williams – The Plantation Golf Club
Jack Allen – The Farms Golf Club
Michael Mendoza – Tamarisk Country Club
Vinnie Poncino – San Clemente Golf Course
Steve Saunders – Temecula Creek Golf Club
Brice Busse – Hillcrest Country Club
Scott LaBare – Kern River Golf Course
*Exempt via Past Champion status at PGA Professional Championship
**Exempt via top-20 finish in 2022 PGA Professional Championship
Thank you to all our partners for supporting the Championship and allowing the professional purse to surpass $95,000. A big thank you to presenting National partners Cadillac, Rolex & Club Car for their continued support of the PGA of America.
Thank you to host professionals Craig Plumley, PGA Head Golf Professional, Patrick Casey, PGA General Manager, the entire staff and membership at El Niguel Country Club for their gracious hospitality.
A special thank you to the SCPGA rules committee members who volunteered their time and rules expertise at this year’s Championship – Ron O’Connor, PGA, Gary Albin, Lee Wortman, Steve Asaki, and Rick Keuter.
ROUND TWO RECAP
After the round two dust settled in the Section Championship, Michael Block of Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club emerged with the lead heading into the final round with a two-day total of 144, even par.
Block, a two-time champion in this event, fired a first round 76 and followed it up with a stellar second round and tournament low 68. Block’s second round included a rare albatross, which helped to propel him 20 spots up the leaderboard in the Championship. All this on the heels of being on the winning USA team at the 30th PGA Cup this past weekend in England.
A host of other players are within striking distance of the title including: Vinnie Poncino, (2016 Champion) Kenny Pigman, Brian Smock, Nate Williams, Steve Holmes, and Brice Busse. The quick greens, swirling winds and challenging layout of El Niguel Country Club will be a strong test for the remaining 62 players who survived the cut at 157 (+13).
Special thanks to our rules officials this week – Chairman Ron O’Connor, PGA, Gary Albin, Lee Wortman, Steve Asaki, and Rick Keuter.
Tomorrow’s final round promises a dramatic and pressure-packed finish. Play begins at 8:00am under the sun-drenched skies at the beautiful El Niguel Country Club.
ROUND ONE RECAP
The first round of the 2022 Southern California PGA Section Championship is complete at El Niguel Country Club with Brice Busse of Hillcrest Country Club holding the leading in the 98th playing of the championship.
Busse posted a strong three-under par (69) which included eight birdies to get himself off to a great start in the SCPGA’s marquee event of the year. A total of six other players find themselves at even par or better and within striking distance of the lead.
Special congratulations to Nate Williams of The Plantation Golf Club who aced hole #14, which earned him $231 from the Hole in One pool!
This year’s Championship saw 140 PGA Professionals participate in the event, with the hopes of etching their name into the storied history of the Southern California PGA.
Concluding Tuesday’s second round, the low 60 players plus ties will make the cut into the final round. This Championship serves as the national qualifier for the 2023 PGA Professional Championship where the low 11 finishers will represent the Section in Santa Fe, NM. The Champion will also receive a spot in the 2023 PGA TOUR’s The American Express and a customized Club Car golf car for a year.
Past champions in this year’s field include: Kyle Mendoza (2021/2020), Michael Block (2017, 2018), Kenny Pigman (2016), Chad Sorensen (2015), Ryan Kennedy (2014), Alan Scheer (2013), Scott Miller (2005), Geoff Dean (2003), Paul Dietsche (2002), and Paul Wise (1983, 1984).