FLOURTOWN, Pa. (AP) Matt Dobyns won the PGA Professional National Championship for the second time in four years Wednesday to top the 20 qualifiers for the PGA Championship.
Dobyns, the 37-year-old head pro at Fresh Meadow in Lake Success, New York, took advantage of playing partner Ben Polland's closing double bogey for a three-stroke swing and a one-shot victory at windy Philadelphia Cricket Club.
After Polland missed a 10-foot bogey putt on the par-4 18th, Dobyns holed a 4-footer for birdie for an even-par 70 and a 3-under 279 total. In 2012 in Seaside, California, the former University of Texas player won by a record eight strokes.
''I knew if I didn't hit a good tee shot or make birdie the tournament was over,'' Dobyns said. ''I hit it hard and off the bunker and it went about 300 yards and ended up in the middle of the fairway. He made a mistake off the tee and had a bad break in the left fairway bunker. When he hit the ball and it went into the water, I was shocked. I felt really bad for him, because I know Ben and know him well. He works in the same club that I worked for years and for the same mentor (Darrell Kestner).
Polland, a 24-year-old PGA assistant pro at Deepdale in Manhasset, New York, shot a 72. He hit his approach on 18 from an awkward lie above a bunker into the creek fronting the green.
''I hit it almost off the heel and it left me with a really weird lie,'' Polland said. ''To be honest, if it was a foot shorter, I probably would have laid up. Since it was on top, I thought that I could get it over the creek. I've hit that shot before. I used a 7-iron and caught it on the toe. On the (bogey) putt, I hit it well, but it didn't have enough speed.''
Dobyns birdied the par-4 13th to pull within four shots of Polland and picked up two more strokes when Polland bogeyed the par-4 14th and par-5 15th.
''I know how good of player Ben is and he's a better person, Dobyns said. ''At the same time, I'm also trying to win the thing.''
Dobyns earned $75,000.
Grant Sturgeon, tied with Polland for the third-round lead, had a 74 to drop into a tie for third with Alan Morin at even par. Sturgeon is a PGA assistant at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, New York. Morin, a PGA assistant at The Falls in Lake Worth, Florida, closed with a 68.
The PGA Championship is next month at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.