METAIRIE, La. – Derek Sanders of Destrehan, La. held onto the lead to finish two strokes ahead of his competitors at the conclusion of the 2012 Gulf States PGA Professional Championship. With this victory, Sanders will make his fifth appearance in the PGA Professional National Championship. The Section Championship was held over August 20-21, 2012 at Hattiesburg (Miss.) Country Club.
Sanders, a sales representative for AHEAD, said he was very content with his two-day total of 8-under-136 (67-69).
“I birdied every par 5 of the tournament and eagled two of them,” said Sanders. “I was very happy about that.
“I didn’t make any mistakes,” said Sanders of his first place performance. “I wasn’t thinking of what the outcome would be. My main goal was to be in the top 4.”
Sanders said he has not been able to golf much lately but still manages to improve his game by caddying for John Huston.
“Just watching and learning from John Huston has helped me to elevate my game,” said Sanders. “He taught me how to stay focused.”
Members were vying for four qualifying spots available to the Section in the 46th PGA Professional National Championship being held at Sunriver Resort in Oregon on June 23-26, 2013. Joining Sanders in Sunriver are V.J. Trolio, PGA of Old Waverly Golf Club finished at 67-71—138 and Tim Yelverton, PGA of Old Waverly Golf Club with a total score of 70-70—140. Kevin Tracey, PGA of New Moon Drive In Range birdied the 18th hole of the second round to claim the last qualifier spot; ending the event at 69-71—140.
Sander’s victory also earns him an exemption into the 2013 Sanderson Farms Championship.
The Gulf States PGA Section would like to thank the presenting sponsors Club Car, Mercedes-Benz and Omega as well as supporting sponsors Titleist FootJoy, Callway Golf, Nike Golf, TaylorMade-adidas Golf and the PGA TOUR. In addition, the Section thanks Golf Cars of Louisiana and Ladd’s for their continued support of this event. The Section especially thanks David Allen, PGA and the entire staff at Hattiesburg Country Club for their hospitality and tireless efforts to help the Section put on a first class event.