Rachey Is 4th, Beach T5 Going into Final Round of Assistant PGA Club Pro Tournament
November 17, 2019
PORT SAINT LUCIE, Fla. -- Matt Rachey and Alex Beach dropped out of a tie for the lead at the National PGA Assistant Club Pro Championship on Saturday, but both are still within striking distance of the first place going into Sunday's final round.
Rachey, who is in his first year as the assistant golf coach at the University of Minnesota, led after the first round with a 4-under-par 68 on the Wanamaker Course at the PGA Golf Club complex. The 24-year-old former Waconia High School star who played for the Gophers from 2013 to 2017 -- and made the Big Ten All-Academic team three times -- shot 71 in the second round. His 36-hole total of 139 put him in a tie for the lead with another former Minnesota high school golfer, Beach.
Beach, 29, played at Stillwater He tied for 58th at the state high school tournament as a senior (2007) and didn't get a lot of attention from college coaches. Although he went to Nebraska and was in the Golf Management Program there, he never played college golf. When he went to work as an assistant pro on the East Coast, however, he decided that becoming a successfull tournament player would enhance his career prospects. Consequently, he got serious about working on his game, and the results have been impressive.
This summer, he won the National PGA Club Pro Championship. That earned him an exemption through the Pre-Qualifying and First Stage of Korn Ferry Q-School, and he made the most of it by finishing sixth in the Second Stage qualifier in Plantation, Fla., earlier this month. As a result, the long-hitting left-hander who worked this year at Westchester CC in Harrison, N.Y., will be in the Final Stage of Q-School in December. He is therefore guaranteed to have some status on the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour. Exactly how much will depend on where he finishes in the Final Stage.
On Thursday, Beach shot 69 at Wanamaker and was tied for second. He pulled even with Rachey by shooting 70 in the second round.
On Saturday, Colin Inglis, an assistant at Emerald Valley GC in Creswell, Ore., (near Eugene), birdied three of the last six holes to shoot the low score of the day, a 69. That put him at 210 (6 under) and gave him a one-stroke lead over Zanesville (Ohio) assistant Caleb Wittig, who matched Inglis' 69.
Rachey was even par through 15 holes, having made two birdies, both on par-5's, and two bogeys, but he bogeyed the 507-yard, par-5 16th hole and had to settle for a 73. As a result, he is now in fourth place, two behind Inglis at 212.
Beach was cruising along through 12 holes, 2 under for the day and 7 under for the tournament, with two par-5's to play in his last six holes. But he double-bogeyed fhe first of the par-5's, the 551-yard 13th. He then bogeyed the 462-yard, par-4 14th. A birdie at the 16th seemed to get him going in the right direction again, but he made his second double in a five-hole span at the par-3 17th (217 yards). A par at the 18th finished off a 74, and that has Beach one behind Rachey at 213, tied for fifth with a former PGA Tour player, Carlos Sainz.
There are two other Minnesota assistants in the top 25. One of them, Derek Holmes (Dellwood CC) shot 74 and is tied for 15th at 217. The other is another former Gopher, Thomas Campbell (2nd Swing), and he's tied for 23rd at 219, after shooting 72.
43rd Assistant PGA Professional Championship
At PGA Golf Club
Par 72, 7,104 yards
Port Saint Lucie, Fla.
1. Colin Inglis, Eugene, Ore. 70-71-69--210
T2. Caleb Wittig, Zanesville, Ohio 75-67-69--211
T2. Colin Van Es, Davenport, Fla. 69-71-71--211
4. Matt Rachey, St. Paul 68-71-73--212
T5. Alex Beach, Harrison, N.Y. 69-70-74--213
T5. Carlos Sainz, Houston, Texas 71-72-70--213
T15. Derek Holmes, White Bear 70-73-74--217
T23. Thomas Campbell, Mpls. 72-75-72--219
Missed cut (151)
Bennett Smed, Brainerd 75-81--156