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Sullivan heads into today's final round with a piece of the lead and a shot to win for a second time in Sunriver, Oregon.
The Roanoke Times | File 2007
Chip Sullivan is tied atop the leaderboard going into today's final round of golf in the PGA PNC in Sunriver, Oregon.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Troutville’s Chip Sullivan is one round of golf away from stamping his name on the Walter Hagen Cup a second time.
Sullivan, 48, settled for a 1-under-par 71 in Tuesday’s third round of the PGA Professional National Championship and enters today’s final round tied with Pennsylvanian Mark Sheftic for the lead in the $550,000 event at Sunriver Resort in Oregon.
Think the PGA Director of Golf at Salem’s Hanging Rock Golf Club doesn’t love Sunriver?
Stuff the golf ball in a jar on that one as Sullivan won his first Hagen Cup in 2007 on the same golf course — the 7,530-yard Crosswater Club.
Sullivan, who vaulted into a tie for the lead with a 67 in Monday’s second round, had sole possession of the lead most of Tuesday until the final two holes. Mark Sheftic, the PGA teaching pro at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., playing with Sullivan in the final group, birdied the final two holes to shoot 71 and snare a share of the 54-hole lead at 8-under 207.
It was a tough day at the resort. The final few pairings played most of the back nine in a driving rainstorm.
Sullivan had a superb ball-striking round and had a lot of shots at birdie, but couldn’t make one until the 16th hole.
While there is a lot of cash on the line today, Sullivan is all but assured of a berth in the PGA Championship, scheduled for Aug. 8-11 at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., which is not far from his birthplace of Albany, N.Y.
Sullivan didn’t return phone messages after Tuesday’s round but he did tell on-site media Monday that he loves Sunriver.
“It is a good feeling to be back here. I feel like I have never left. I feel like I have the wave going,” Sullivan said.
In 2007, Sullivan, then the head pro at Daleville’s Ashley Plantation, birdied five of the first nine holes in the final round and rolled to a four-stroke victory at Sunriver.
Of course, this time the local pro doesn’t have family in tow. His wife, Kari, and three children — Kalley, Camryn and Colby — didn’t make the trip. When asked Monday by The Golf Channel about how he felt about that, Sullivan said:
“Terrible. I wish they were here. I have three wonderful children and my wife and they’re my biggest supporters and travel with me to most tournaments, but on this occasion they just couldn’t do it.”
Rod Perry, 40, of Port Orange, Fla., is one shot back in third.
The low 20 finishers earn automatic exemptions into the PGA at Oak Hill.
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