"I love playing at nationals," said an excited Blair Shadday from Purgatory GC, the 2011 Callaway Golf PGA Assistant Championship winner and national qualifier. "I'm gonna go have some fun." He also had a lot of fun shooting 69-68-69=206 at Woodland CC August 1-2 to beat out fellow Assistant from IU Jamie Broce for the second time, the first in 2009 when Shadday got his first title. This time his win came after completing all 54 holes instead of calling the tournament short due to rain. "It's great to putt out on the last hole for the win rather than winning by a rain cancellation!" said Blair.
"Jamie played great today. I just made a couple putts that got me going." The putts he made earned him back-to-back birdies at the 13th and 14th greens to move from one down to two up on Broce. Shadday started the day two shots up on Broce, but Jamie caught him by the the turn after making a birdie at the par-3 8th.
They battled back and forth on the back nine, but after his consecutive birdies, Shadday never looked back. "I had a two shot lead with four to play. I played a lot more comfortable after that," he said. A lucky break at 17 also added to his comfort level stepping up to the last tee box that looked out over a big pond to the right. At the par-3, 17, he yanked his iron shot left, but the ball kicked off a tree root just right and on to the green. "What a break! I couldn't believe it. But I'll take it," said Blair. "I had been fighting the pulls all day."
He made par, and followed it up with another par for the win. Broce fought to the end and made one final birdie to shoot 69-70-68=207. His runner-up finish still allows him to advance to the national competition in Port St. Lucie in November, along with Jacob Murray of Harrison Lake CC, who had a hole-in-one Tuesday at hole 8, and Adam Marshall of French Lick Resorts. "I love it down there. I have played that course a lot," explained Shadday. "We took spring break trips there in college, and I played when I went down there to pass PGA Membership levels." His experience on the host course seems to instill confidence in the competitor who wishes to improve greatly over his performance in 2009.
Complete results can be seen here