Trio Share Lead at PGA Professionals


LAKE OCONEE, Ga. -- Kyle Flinton and Sonny Skinner shot 3-under 69s on Saturday for a share of the third-round lead with Scott Hebert in the PGA Professional National Championship at Reynolds Plantation.
Hebert, the second-round leader, had a 70 to match Flinton and Skinner at 8-under 208. Jeffrey Martin was two strokes back after a 70.
The top 20 finishers will get spots in the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills in August. The winner will earn $75,000 and also receive an exemption into the next five PGA Professional National Championships, a spot on the 2009 PGA Cup Team and exemptions into six PGA Tour events over a 12-month period.
The 42-year-old Flinton, a three-time PGA National Assistant Professional champion from Quail Creek in Oklahoma City, had five birdies and two bogeys on the Great Water course.
To me its just first tee ball tomorrow morning, get it on the fairway and go from there. I really, really enjoy the competition, Flinton said. Its tough putting in 65 to 70 hours a week in a golf shop and coming out here and finding your A game, but so far for 54 holes Ive found it. Even-keel wise its been fairway, green, get the putter in my hands. Ive lived by that.
The 39-year-old Hebert, a former Ferris State player based at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa in Michigan, and the Skinner, the 47-year-old PGA director of golf at River Pointe Golf Club in Albany, Ga., birdied the 18th hole. Skinner holed a 20-footer, while Hebert lagged a 25-foot downhill eagle putt within 2 inches.
Ive got to find a way to putt better if Im going to win tomorrow, said Hebert, who tied for 13th last year in his debut. Im striping it as good as I ever have. And, maybe some putts will fall.
Skinner needed only 28 putts for the second straight day.
Id much rather be at 18 under, but you know it feels good to make some good shots and some good putts, Skinner said. These guys are all kind of bunched up. None of us are that much better. Im a little apprehensive about tomorrow.