Sonny Skinner, the PGA teaching professional at River Pointe in Albany, continued his successful season by winning the Georgia PGA Senior Championship at Ansley Golf Club – Settindown Creek in Roswell.
Skinner competed in the PGA Championship at Oak Hill in August, tied for 35th at the Senior PGA Championship and tied for ninth at the PGA Professional National Championship. Skinner is also a two-time PGA Professional of the Year.
Skinner opened the Georgia PGA Senior with a 70 and trailed by four shots entering the final round. But he fired a tournament-best 65 the second day and wound up with a three-stroke win over Georgia PGA Section champion Craig Stevens, the PGA teaching professional at Brookstone Country Club in Acworth.
Skinner, Stevens, James Mason of Dillard, Tommy Brannen of Augusta Country Club, Russell Smith of the Bent Tree Golf Course in Jasper, Jeff Gotham of Cateechee Golf Club in Hartwell, Stephen Keppler of Marietta Country Club and Bob Burk of Stone Creek Golf Club in Valdosta all advance to the Senior PGA Professional National Championship in Virginia Oct. 10-13.
Web.Com Tour concludes: Next week’s Web.com Tour Finals will determine the final 25 cards for the 2013-14 PGA Tour. Those players, along with the 25 who already earned their card during the regular season, will be eligible to play the big tour. The others will be exempt for the Web.com Tour.
Among those trying to hold their place in the top 25 are 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman, two-time winner Troy Matteson of Georgia Tech, Will Claxton of Swainsboro, former Georgia All-American Hudson Swafford, four-time winner Heath Slocum of Alpharetta and two-time winner and former Ryder Cup member Vaughn Taylor of Augusta.
Former Tech star Chesson Hadley and former Bulldogs Kevin Kisner and Brendon Todd already earned exemptions during the regular season.
Hopper defends Public Links title: John Hopper of Eatonton successfully defending his Georgia Public Links Championship, winning by seven shots at Legacy on Lanier. Hopper shot 73-68 for a 3-under 141 to beat Todd Eaker of Lawrenceville by seven strokes. Jackson Bishop of Gainesville was one shot behind in third. Hopper, 25, is the fourth player in the event’s 25-year history to win back-to-back titles.
Weller gets national honor: Nicole Weller, the PGA director of instruction at The Landings Club in Savannah, has been named the PGA’s Junior Golf Leader.
Weller is the second Georgian to receive the award, which honors the professional who is a leader in junior golf and reflects the positive ideals of those who work with young people. Weller, 41, played golf at Wake Forest and turned professional in 1995. She was the 2012 Georgia PGA Horton Smith Award winner for contributions to PGA education.
Weller is a nationally recognized for her work with junior golfers. In 2012 she was named one of the Top 5o Women Teachers by Golf Digest. She is listed by U.S. Kids Golf as one of its Top 50 Junior Instructors. In 2011 she published a children’s book, “Stick to Sports: Let’s Play Golf. Weller is married to Ty Weller, also a PGA professional at The Landings.
She will be honored at the PGA Awards Ceremony on Jan. 22 in Orlando.
Tech leads USCC field: Host Georgia Tech, which overcame a double-digit deficit on the back nine to win a year ago, headlines the U.S. Collegiate Championship, which will be played Oct. 18-20 at the Golf Club of Georgia. The Yellow Jackets have already won two tournaments this fall.
Other teams in the field include UCLA, last year’s runner-up, along with Stanford, Southern Cal, Washington, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Iowa, Auburn, East Tennessee State, Kent State and ACC competitors Duke, Clemson, Virginia and Wake Forest.
Etc.: Anthony Maccaglia of Oglethorpe was medalist at the Rhodes College Fall Classic in Tunica, Miss. The team finished sixth. … Former Atlanta Falcon Chris Doleman will compete on Golf Channel’s Big Break NFL Puerto Rico. The NFL Hall of Famer carries a 4.1 handicap at the Country Club of the South.