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Philo Wins 20 Qualify for PGA Championship

PGA of AmericaVERONA, N.Y. -- Ron Philo Jr. won the PGA National Professional Championship on Sunday, beating Alan Schulte with a bogey on the third hole of a playoff.
Philo, the brother of LPGA Tour player Laura Diaz, earned $75,000, a berth in the PGA Championship, six 2007 PGA TOUR exemptions and a spot on the PGA Cup team.
'It is an honor to win this event and be the champion of the association,' Philo said. 'I just kept trying to get it in the hole. We had to use all 72 holes and a couple extra but after finishing yesterday with a bogey I'm glad to have had the opportunity to come back with the round I had today.'
Philo, the head pro at the Metropolis Country Club in White Plains, started the day three shots behind Schulte, who shared or led the from the start. Philo closed with a 4-under 68 to match Schulte (71) at 10-under 278.
'The course played difficult today,' said Schulte, the head professional at The Hawthorns in Fishers, Ind. 'With the pressure of trying to win the tournament I didn't finish as strong as I could have.'
The third playoff hole was played on the Atunyote Golf Club's 11th hole, a 210-yard par-3. Schulte, first off the tee, hit his shot to the right of the green and it rolled into a small creek. Philo played it safe and laid up just left of the green.
Philo's chip to the green hit the pin and rolled off to the edge, leaving a 15-foot putt for the win after Schulte had to take a penalty stroke. Philo missed his par try and settled for a bogey, and Schulte pushed his bogey putt for the tie past the hole.
Philo had a hole-in-one on the 198-yard third hole.
'The hole-in-one was pretty neat. It was my third in competition,' Philo said. 'It was the longest one that I've had. I was feeling pretty good about the fact that it went in; it's a very tough hole to get close to.'
The top 20 players earned spots in the PGA Championship.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - PGA Professional National Championship
  • Full Coverage - PGA Professional National Championship