In one of the most exciting finishes of his career, GlenArbor Director of Golf Rob Labritz holed out a 95-yard wedge in the second playoff hole to earn a spot in the field for the PGA Championship. The video shows this amazing shot
Labrtiz had edged into the playoff at the PGA Professional National Championship at Sunriver Resort in Oregon with a one-over 288. He was one of six vying for three spots in the major to be played at Oak Hill in Rochester this August. Danny Balin, of Burning Tree in Greenwich, made the playoff as well. Balin dropped a birdie putt on the first playoff hole, as did Bob Gaus, leaving four contenders for the last spot in the major.
On the second playoff hole, the 457-yard par four eleventh on the Crosswater Club course, Labritz had pulled his tee shot into an ugly bunker where he was left with a difficult lie. He gouged it out into the fairway while the other three players put their second shots on or close to the green.
Left with 95 yards, Labritz called on hours spent working on wedge shots with his swing coach Tom Willson, head pro at Bonnie Briar, and took dead aim with a 52-degree wedge for the uphill shot to a pin placed precariously on the upper tier. His hope was to get close enough for a one-putt par to stay in the playoff. The video shows what happened instead.
Standing ready for the post-shot interview was Labritz compatriot at GlenArbor Brian Crowell, head pro at the Bedford club, who was providing on-course commentary for the Golf Channel coverage of the event.
This will be the fourth PGA Championship for Labritz, who was the low club pro at Whistling Straits in 2010. Oak Hill may be a particularly memorable tournament for another big reason: Labritz and his wife Kerry are expecting a baby girl to be born about that time.
Two other Met Section pros made the cut in the tournament, but finished just outside the line for the championship. St. Andrew's Greg Bisconti was tied for 24th. Metropolis assistant John Guyton finished in a tie for 59th.
Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf