Milburn Country Club head professional Sean Dougherty took a two-shot lead into today's third round of the 2011 PGA Professional National Championship at Hershey (Pa.) Country Club.
Dougherty shot a second-round score of eight-under-par 64 to take over the lead at 11-under 131 at the halfway mark in the national championship for club professionals. Dougherty's 36-hole score broke a tournament record by one shot that had stood since 1971. The previous record was held by Sam Snead. Dougherty had only one bogey over the first two days.
Trailing Dougherty going into today's third round are Jeff Sorenson, a PGA teaching professional at Columbia Country Club in Minneapolis, and Scott Erdmann, an assistant professional at Oswego Lake Country Club in Oregon. Both are two shots back of the Milburn pro. Dougherty and Sorenson played together in Monday's second round.
Rob Shipman, the PGA director of instruction at Milburn, is caddying for the 32-year-old Dougherty. "I've got one of my best friends on my bag, my caddie and my teacher, so that makes it very special Dougherty told the Associated Press on Monday. "He keeps me loose and he gave me a lot of good reads and helped me hit shots where I wanted. I hit a lot of putts on line, and some of them fell in, so I feel very fortunate."
"There are a lot of good players here, and it's fun to contend," he added.
Two other Kansas City-area professionals failed to make the cut. Jeff Sheppard of Creekmoor Golf Course in Olathe shot a five-over-par 36-hole score of 149. Hallbrook Country club head professional Blake Graham, fighting an injured wrist, fired an eight-over 152 for two rounds.
As a measure of the quality of the golf talent competing for this year's Professional National Championship. the cutline to play on the final two rounds was even-par 144. Eighty-five of the 312 players entered in the tournament made the cut. The final two rounds will be played on the Hershey Country Club East Course. The legendary pro golfer Byron Nelson won the 1940 PGA Championship on that course.
The top 20 club pros in this tournament earn a spot in the PGA Championship to be played August 11-14 at the Atlanta Athletic Club.