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Frank Bensel wins PGA Assistant Championship

PGA of America
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Tom Pernice Jr. hits from a waste bunker during the final round of the Verizon Heritage Classic at the Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina on April 15, 2007 Photo by Michael Cohen/  - 

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Frank Bensel became the second three-time winner in PGA Assistant Championship history, shooting a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Sunday for a six-stroke victory.

The 45-year-old Bensel, the PGA assistant professional at Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y., also won in 2010 and 2011. He matched the record set by Kyle Flinton of Edmond, Okla., the winner in 2002, '03 and '05.

''All three victories have been very different,'' Bensel said. ''It was great to win my first in 2010. I finished an hour before the leaders in 2011. And this one feels good because I was in the final group and played really well.''

Bensel finished at 10-under 278 and earned $9,000.

Charles Frost of Charlotte, N.C., shot a 76 to finish second. Jeff Seavey of Homosassa, Fla., and Ray Franz Jr. of Mount Pleasant, S.C., tied for third at 2 under. They each shot 72.

Bensel eagled the par-5 first hole and birdied the par-4 second to take the lead for good.

''I hit some good shots and got in the right position on the first two holes,'' Bensel said. ''The greens were absolutely perfect. I got a good feel for them throughout the week. Obviously an eagle-birdie start is not quite what you would expect, but it worked out well.''

Frost, a PGA assistant professional at Quail Hollow Club, had two double bogeys on the front nine.

''I'm proud of how I played this week, for the most part,'' Frost said. ''I'm not happy about how I finished, but it still feels good to finish second.''

Frost praised Bensel.

''Frank's front nine was probably the best nine holes of golf I've ever seen,'' Frost said. ''I've played golf with guys who have shot 59 before. He made it from everywhere and hit it close seemingly on every hole. And the wind was howling and really tough. It was cool to watch.''

Ashley Grier of Hagerstown, Md., the lone female player in the field, shot a 76 to 33rd at 8 over. She played the course at 5,941 yards, while the men teed off at 6,971.