Ramey & Troutman qualify for National Championship
METAIRIE, La. – A step up from last year’s second place finish, Kyle Ramey, PGA apprentice from Windance Country Club in Gulfort, Miss., won the National Car Rental Gulf States PGA Assistant Championship by one stroke to secure his position in the 2014 National Championship. This year’s Section event was contested at Canebrake Country Club in Hattiesburg, Miss. over July 28-29.
Canebreak C.C. was in stellar condition and provided a great test to the twenty-one players, who certainly felt the heat from the high temperatures as well as from the pressure to compete for the two spots available to the Section for the National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship taking place this fall.
Ramey said his solid playing set him up for the win, shooting rounds of 70 and 68 for a total of 4 -under-138.
“I was a little shaky on the front nine of the final round,” admitted Ramey. “I played much better on the back nine. I ended up making three birdies.
“I struggled with the putter all week. That all seemed to change on the back nine on the last day. It was good timing.”
Also a highlight on the back nine was Ramey’s par save on the 13th hole as well as his 5-foot putt downhill for the win on the final hole.
Ramey has already enjoyed a successful season, taking first in both the Gulf States PGA Stroke Play Series event at Les Vieux Chenes Golf Course and the Bushnell 3 Player Scramble Championship at Great Southern Golf Club. He also finished in the top 3 at the Section’s National Car Rental Pro-Am Series event at the Country Club of Canton in addition to the Page & Tuttle/Haas-Jordan Pro-Pro Championship at Pelican Point Golf Club.
Ramey will play in the Ben Nelson Golf Cars Coast Open hosted at Windance in early August, which will be his last competition before the National Championship in October.
Claiming the second available spot for the National Championship was last year’s Section Assistant Champion Beck Troutman, PGA apprentice at Fernwood (Miss.) Country Club, who finished a stroke behind Ramey at 3-under-139 (69-70).
Troutman said he was a bit rusty from not having played much this season which accounted for two double bogeys during the first round, but those would eventually be overshadowed by six birdies that same day.
“I birdied the first two holes each day,” said Troutman. “That really took the pressure off of me. I was able to squeeze by to make it into the National event.”
Troutman secured his spot by sinking a 20-foot putt on the last hole of the final round.
“Ramey is a good friend of mine,” said Troutman, who was joined by Ramey in the 2013 National Championship. “It was fun to battle it out on the last day.”
With both Ramey and Troutman returning to the National Championship for a second time in a row, they agreed that they feel better about their chances now that they have experienced the course.
“I had a hard time keeping the ball in play,” said Troutman of last year’s Championship. “I was disappointed, and I feel like I can improve. I can definitely compete on that golf course.”
“There is definitely room for improvement,” echoed Ramey who finished tied for 25th in 2013. “I’m more familiar with the course now that I’ve played it. I hope to play better this year.”
The 38th National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship will be held October 30-November 2, 2014 on the Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
The Gulf States PGA would like to thank PGA Director of Golf Trey Wilson and his staff at Canebrake C.C. for providing the Section with a tremendous setting for this annual event and for their terrific job in hosting us. The Section also thanks National Car Rental for sponsoring our event and providing an impressive display of signage.