WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Professional golfers from Hagerstown hit a 2-for-1 jackpot on Wednesday.
Beaver Creek’s Dirk Schultz shot a 1-over-par 72 to finish tied for eighth place, and Fountain Head’s Jim Schouller ended with a 1-under-par 70 for a tie for 11th place in the Middle Atlantic PGA Professional Championship at Kingsmill Resort.
Both golfers qualified for the PNC National Championship, which will be held next June in Sun River, Oregon. It will be the third trip to Sun River for Schultz, while Schouller will make his first trip to any PNC final.
The top 14 players from the field of 110 gained entry into the PNC, and for a bit it looked as though Schultz may lose his grip on being a qualifier.
Schultz had dropped three shots to par heading into the 14th hole, a par 4 measuring 372 yards.
“I was a little tentative off the tee, I had some problems, but I got a nice birdie from 12 feet on 14,” said Schultz. “I never really was nervous. I just wanted to make sure I kept making square contact with the club face.”
Not to be outdone, Schultz enhanced his grip on qualifying on the 15th, a par 5 measuring 505 yards, getting his second shot within 25 feet with a putt for eagle, which he missed before settling for a second straight birdie.
Schultz closed out with three pars, assuring his final position. He had rounds of 70 and 69 and ended at 3-under 211.
Schouller’ effort on the River Course at Kingsmill, which played to 6,700 yards, was good enough to qualify and join Schultz.
“I haven’t played a lot, but I still had a goal of coming in and qualifying,” said Schouller. “I never looked at any leaderboards.”
Schouller got a big boost in the first round on Monday with an eagle that set the tone for an opening 3-under 68. He followed with a 74 Tuesday and needed an under-par third round to have a chance.
On Wednesday, Schouller was at even par through 15 holes before he collected a birdie on the tough 16th, a par 4 measuring 460 yards.
“That was big to get into position to qualify,” said Schouller.
Faber Jamerson, of Falling River Country Club in Virginia, was medalist with a 7-under-par 207.
More than 350 players will converge on Sun River for the PNC, hoping to claim one of 20 available spots in the 2013 PGA Championship.
— Tim Koelble