Thelen wins the PGA Club Pro Championship
Santa Ana Pueblo, NM (Sports Network) - Tim Thelen fired a three-under 69 on
Sunday to finish at six-under-par 282 and win his second PGA Club Professional
Championship in four years.
Thelen had previously won the 2000 PGA CPC crown.
"It's awesome," Thelen said. "When I got the trophy (The Walter Hagen Cup), I
got goose bumps. You're champion again for another year. And people earn their
way to get here, all 156 players."
Thelen trailed overnight leader Steve Schneiter by one stroke entering the
final round at Twin Warriors Golf Club. Thelen took control quickly, earning
an eagle on the par-five first to climb to five-under.
Schneiter, 1995 PGA CPC Champion, fell three shots off the pace with a double-
bogey at the second. His slide continued as he carded back-to-back bogeys from
the third that dropped him back to even-par for the championship.
Thelen moved to minus-six with a birdie at the par-four fifth. He bogeyed the
seventh while Schneiter birdied the same hole to cut the deficit to four
shots. Schneiter continued to cut into the lead as he birdied the next three
holes for four straight birdies.
Now trailing by one shot, Schneiter struggled to a bogey at the 11th. Both men
would then birdie Nos. 12 and 13. With those birdies, Thelen moved to seven-
under while Schneiter stood at minus-five.
The two men each ran off four straight pars to head to the 72nd hole.
Schneiter saved his par, but Thelen made things interesting. He bogeyed the
last hole to drop to minus-six, but the crown and the $53,000 pay check were
"I had a two-shot lead coming into the last hole and I thought I hit an
absolutely perfect drive," Thelen said. "But it hit a little right where it's
supposed to kick left and hit a rake and was buried. I tried to get it out
into the fairway, where I'd have a sand wedge in. That was a mistake, I should
have laid it back further.
"The sand wedge was probably one of the worst shots I've hit all week. Then I
responded with a great bunker shot. I'm glad I did, because Steve hit a great
"It was ugly, it was bad," said Schneiter. "But, I was proud of the way that I
fought back and finished. I tried to keep to my game plan and I knew I needed
to make birdies. I knew that Tim wouldn't do anything stupid. He's a good
player and steady. I was proud that I could come back."
Thelen and Schneiter, along with the rest of the top-25, all qualified for the
85th PGA Championship, which is set for August 14-17 at Oak Hill Country Club
in Rochester, NY.
Kevin Burton, Dino Lucchesi, Ron A. Philo, Jr. and Bob Sowards shared third
place at one-under-par 287. Terry Hatch and Alan Morin were one stroke farther
back at even-par 288.
Don Berry, Sean Farren, Jeffrey Lankford and Mike Schuchart tied for ninth at
three-over-par 291. Michael Combs, Wayne DeFrancesco, Ken Schall and Rick
Schuller were one shot behind them at plus-four.
Tim Fleming, John Guyton, Scott A. Porter and Chip Sullivan came in at five-
over-par 293 in a share for 17th, while J.C. Anderson, Rob Labritz, Cary
Sciorra, Dave Spengler and Dave Tentis all finished at plus-six and were the
final players to qualify for the PGA Championship.
Barry Evans, the 2002 PGA Club Professional Championship winner, missed the
cut by one shot after rounds of 74 and 77.