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Ohio Professional Wins Senior PGA Professional Championship

  • Ohio Golf Journal, November 14, 2018 by Pat
  • 3 Days ago

Bob Sowards

Bob Sowards has amassed over 17 wins at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida, but none as prestigious as the Senior PGA Professional Championship. Sowards resides in Dublin and is the Head Professional at Kinsale Country Club.

He is the first winner of the Senior PGA Professional Championship from the Southern Ohio PGA Section and is just the second person to have won both the PGA Professional Championship (2004), as well as, the Senior. Steve Schneiter from Utah also won the 2016 Senior PGA Professional to accomplish the rare feat.

With the win, Sowards earned $21,000, plus a spot in the field of the 2019 Kitchenaid Senior PGA Championship, to be held at historic Oak Hill Golf Club in Rochester, New York May 21-26.

In all 35 professionals qualified for the Kitchenaid Senior PGA Championship among those was Dave Bahr, Head Professional at Maketewah Country Club near Cincinnati.

Five senior pros from the Northern Ohio PGA Section competed in the Senior PGA Professional, Tom Atchison, Mitch Camp, Craig Goldsberry, Rob Moss and Steve Parker. Moss finished inside the top 35 to punch his ticket to Oak Hill next year.


Sowards Plays in 2001 PGA 
Minford Native Misses Cut, Wins Memories
Taken from The Portsmouth Daily Times, Monday, August 27, 2001, written by BJ Parsons 


Last Sunday, the 83rd PGA Championship came to a close at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Duluth, Georgia.  David Toms, a PGA Tour regular, claimed the title by defeating some of the world's best golfers.  While Toms celebrated his victory, the rest of the field went home wondering about what might have been.  Bob Sowards, a native of Minford, was one of those players.

Sowards, 33, doesn't have a PGA Tour card and earned his Championship exemption in what many playing professionals consider the hardest way possible--the club professionals' exemptions.

The current course pro at Wedgewood Country Club in Powell, Ohio, Sowards qualified for the PGA by first winning the Club Pro sectionals in Columbus, through which he gained entry into the Club Pro Championship in Oregon.  From Oregon, the top 25 scores were taking as exemptions into last week's PGA.

Sowards finished with the 21st low score out of the Oregon championship.

"The CPC was certainly a lot more pressure than the PGA Championship."  Sowards said from his home in Columbus.  "At the PGA, there is no pressure because you are already there.  The crowds never bothered me because I played in the Nike Tour in '98 which accustomed me to that sort of thing."

As accustomed to the big crowds as Sowards' was, he still had a tough time at this year's event, shooting a first-round 78 (+8) on Thursday before firing 72 (+2) on Friday, missing the cut.

"I didn't bring my A game to this year's tournament," Sowards explained. "I had a lot of confidence going into this year's Championships.  The course seemed to be perfect for my game.  I just didn't play well.  The first day my irons weren't very good, the second day it was the putter that let me down.

Sowards, who grew up playing the Elks Country Club in McDermott, Ohio, was introduced to golf at the age of eight by his father Charles Sowards, who is still a member of the Elks.  "He loved to play golf as a kid" Charles said.

Bob credits another relative for spurring his passing, though.

"My brother is two years older than me, and he always used to beat me," he said.  "I kind of used it to spur me on."

As a senior at Minford High School, Sowards claimed the Class AA Championship in the state, as well as many other accolades. According to Sowards, success in the rest of his career and reaching new levels inprofessional golf depends on one thing:  improving  his iron game.  "I have really struggled with my iron game," he said.  "My short game is great.  I think I can tee off with anybody and putt with anybody, but my iron game needs work."   Although Sowards still has room to improve his game, he can still be happy that he has made it this far, according to his father.

"We are very proud of him.  Being at the PGA Championship with him was just awesome," he said.



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