Jim Troy admits to having an affinity for old-style, traditional golf courses.
The assistant pro at Mount Vernon Country Club proved it Wednesday when he cruised to a six-shot victory in the NOPGA Assistant Championship at the Mayfield Campus of Mayfield Sand Ridge Country Club.
Troy was the only player in the 34-man field to shoot back-to-back rounds of sub-par golf to win the 36-hole event for the second straight year with a score of 7-under 135 with rounds of 68-67.
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It marked the second straight week when Troy played well on an old-school course. He finished second by two strokes to Perrysburg’s Mike Stone in last week’s Professional Section Championship at Portage Country Club in Akron.
This time the finishes were reversed as Stone, the assistant at Belmont Country Club, finished second with rounds of 68-73—141.
Mayfield and Portage are among the many classic, old-fashioned courses in Northeastern Ohio.
“This is the first time I’ve played here,” said Troy, who won this event last year when it was played at Fairlawn Country Club. “I like courses like this, the old-style courses.”
The 1-2 finish sends Troy and Stone to the 43d National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship, to be held November 14-17 at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Luce, Fla.
The field had to deal with ever-increasing windy conditions in the afternoon and it was the talk around the scoring table.
The Country Club’s Collin Slattery (70-72—142), Portage Country Club’s Adam Lewicki (70-73—143) and Bowling Green State University head coach John Powers (75-69—144) will serve as alternates.
Troy, a 2004 graduate of the University of Nebraska, began his afternoon round on Mayfield’s back nine, standing at 3-under 68. He bogeyed the first hole by three-putting but quickly made up for that with a two-putt birdie on the 542-yard, par-5 11th.
He saved par on the par-3 12th by blasting out of the green-side bunker to three feet and birdied the 14th when his second shot from 150 yards stopped eight feet from the hole and he made the putt.
“It was a stock 9-iron for me,” said Troy. “Felt real comfortable over that shot.”
He closed his third nine at 33 by making birdie on the 18th.
Birdies on the 523-yard third and the 369-yard seventh got him to 7-under. He chipped to 4-feet on the third and a shot downwind from 117 yards sat a tidy 2-feet for a kick-in on the seventh.
“My swing has been solid and I trust it,” said Troy. “The little shots, the wedges and short game shots have been getting sharper. And, that saves shots.”
Troy was typical of the field when discussing the wind.
“It was a totally different golf course from the morning to the afternoon,” he said. “It got windier and drier and some of the greens really picked up some pace. You had to be careful.”
The National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship brings together a field of 132 contestants representing the PGA of America’s 41 nationwide Sections and features a total purse of $150,000. All rounds will be played on the Wanamaker Course. A cut after 36 holes of play to the low 70 scorers and ties will be made.
Begun in 1977, the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship is modeled after the PGA Professional Championship, with a field of PGA Professionals and PGA Associates who advanced through 41 Section Championships conducted from May through October this year.
If eligibility is met and maintained, the champion earns a berth in the 53rd PGA Professional Championship being played April 26-29, 2020, at Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas.