Hideout PGA Head Golf Professional Justin Bertsch is heading to Bethpage Black in a couple of weeks for the PGA Championship. And PGA Assistant Golf Professional at Royal Poinciana, Andrew Filbert will be joining him.
Naples' Bertsch shot a final-round even-par 72 to tie for 13th at the PGA Professional Championship in Bluffton, South Carolina, on Wednesday. Bertsch shot 73-69-74-72 for a 288 total. The top 20 qualified for the PGA Championship, which is May 16-19.
"It's pretty special," said Bertsch, who had former Estero High and FGCU golfer David Steele as his caddie. "It's the first time I've been able to play in the PGA Professional Championship, so to finish in the top 20 the first time is really something else."
Bertsch was already inside the top 20 when the day started, and when two other golfers starting pulling away early in the round, he had to in essence, play not to lose.
"It was difficult," Bertsch said. "Winning the tournament was a long shot to say the least. We were right on the bubble in terms of the top 20 when the day started. We knew a couple under par would be plenty good enough."
Bertsch was even -- with a bogey and a birdie -- after nine holes, then made back-to-back birdies on Nos. 12 and 13, back-to-back par 5s.
"As the day went on, the conditions got tougher and tougher," the 37-year-old said.
Bertsch followed with back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 14 and 15, to put him right back where he was to start the day.
"That kind of got us thinking a little bit," as he put it. "I played the last three holes, which are quite difficult, real solid. I made three good pars.
"My final round came down to playing smart and sticking to our strategy, and finished inside the number by two shots, and really happy to be going to Bethpage."
Filbert fought hard until the end as he earned his way into his second PGA Tour event of the year. Finishing T19 firing a final round score of 71, he found himself in a playoff with six other individuals and only two spots to be had. Beginning the week, he had dreamed about making it to the PGA Championship, and now that dream has come true.
Bertsch and Filbert were two of fifteen South Florida PGA Professionals who competed in this weeks event. Six of the fifteen competing made it through two cuts into todays final round.
The 2019 PGA Championship will be held May 13th - 19th and we wish them well.
To view complete results from this week's event, click here