Golf

Former PGA Tour pro Barry Cheesman collects first Chapter Championship in playoff

LONGBOAT KEY -- With a sand wedge in hand, Barry Cheesman needed to hit it close and sink a putt to have any chance.

He did his part, closing the 18th hole at Longboat Key Club's Harbourside course with a birdie.

Playing competitor Kevin Paschall bogeyed moments earlier, which meant the 2015 North Florida PGA Southwest Chapter Championship was heading to a sudden-death playoff on Tuesday.

Cheesman, a former PGA Tour regular, converted for a par on the first playoff hole, while Paschall bogeyed for the second straight time to give Cheesman his first Chapter Championship title.

"It's an honor to play amongst your peers," said Cheesman, who earned $1,600 for the victory. "We all work really hard every day and we don't get to play as much as we'd like. And to compete against my fellow professionals, it's always a lot of fun."

Cheesman and Paschall fired matching 3-over par 147s for the 36-hole tournament that played at around 6,700 yards in Tuesday's final round.

Cheesman, who has his own golf academy based out of Tatum Ridge Golf Links, played tour golf for 20 years between the PGA Tour and the Web.com Tour.

His last season was in 2006 on the Web.com Tour.

Now he teaches golfers of all skill levels.

"I don't mind not playing competitively," Cheesman said. "I spent 20 years playing. That's enough. Between all the traveling and the playing, it's exhausting. I don't have the desire to compete like that anymore. I'd rather pass that knowledge to other kids and other people that want to play. ... I have a lot of fun teaching."

Following Monday's first round, Cheesman (74) and Paschall (72) each trailed Dave Hronek, who posted a 1-under par 71 for the lead.

But Hronek, the tournament's defending champion, soared to a 77 on Tuesday.

The four-time champ missed the playoff by one shot. Hronek was attempting to become the tourney's all-time career winner with five titles after tying Will Frantz with four championships in 2014.

To get into the sudden-death playoff, Cheesman stuck a sand wedge from 111 yards to six feet on the par-4 18th and sank the subsequent birdie putt.

"I didn't expect (Kevin) to make bogey on the last hole," Cheesman said. "But when he hit it the ball short of the green, I had a pretty good idea the putt I had was to tie."

On the playoff hole -- the par-4 first -- both players came up short of the pin's back-right location.

Paschall chipped to a few feet from the rough, while Cheesman two-putted from just off the green.

Then Paschall rammed his putt off the left edge of the cup that gave Cheesman the victory.

"Usually if I miss a putt, it's going to be to the right and I just forced it to not miss right and pulled it," said Paschall, a club pro from Serenoa Golf Club in Sarasota.

On Monday, the assistants and seniors divisions were decided following first-round action.

Paschall picked up the seniors title with his 72, two shots clear of Cheesman.

Ken Bartlett, also of Serenoa, bested Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club's Bryan Snyder in a playoff after each carded a 78.

In Tuesday's final round, TPC Prestancia's Kevin Swan aced the 167-yard seventh hole with a 7-iron for the shot of the day.

The top Manatee County pro was Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club head pro Mark Rummings, who tied for fifth place following a final-round 71.

Elsewhere

WEST FLORIDA GOLF TOUR -- For the second straight day, Bradenton's Domenico Geminiani holds the lead at the WFGT's Summer Tour event at Tara Golf & Country Club.

Geminiani posted a 5-under par 67 to take a 9-under total into Wednesday's final round.

He holds a one-shot lead over Georgia's Jeffery Cammon.

The cut came at 2-under par 142, and 21 players advanced following Tuesday's second round.

  Comments