Block rallies to win 93rd SCPGA title

Michael Block of Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club came from three strokes behind in the final round, shooting 5-under-par 67 to win the 93rd Southern California PGA Professional Championship by two strokes over Alan Scheer of Steele Canyon Golf Club at Bermuda Dunes Country Club.

Brian Smock of Coronado Golf Club and Paul Devine of Pauma Valley Country Club, who shared the lead after each of the first two rounds, wound up three shots back in a tie for third with Alison Curdt of Wood Ranch Golf Club.

“I played well,” said Block, who punctuated his victory with a birdie on the final hole. “I knew that today I needed to go out and have a great round. I had to reach deep to catch Brian and Paul, especially because they are such great players and they had a three-shot lead on me. I also knew I needed birdies in order to make it happen.”

Block carded a score of 71-71-67—209, 7-under, while Scheer finished at 72-71-68—211.

Curdt totaled 73-73-66—212 to wind up even with Devine, who was at 68-71-73—212, and Smock, who also came in at 68-71-73—212, while Barry Mahlberg of Stadium Golf Center was sixth at 73-70-70—213.

Grant Strobel of Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club shot 72-71-71—214 to tie for seventh with Gregory Casagranda of the Hodges Golf Learning Center, who wound up a 69-74-71—214, while Thomas Chu of Valencia Country Club was ninth at 74-68-73—215.

Defending champion Kenny Pigman of Goose Creek Golf Club recorded a score of 75-74-67—216 to tie for 10th with Mike Mitchell of Hideaway Golf Club, who totaled 71-73-72—216, and Chris Starkjohann of Carlsbad Golf Center, who wound up at 72-71-73—216.

The top 10 players not already qualified advanced to the PGA Professional National Championship next June 17-20 on the Bayonet and Black Horse Courses in Seaside. That group included Scheer, Curdt, Devine, Mahlberg, Strobel, Casagranda, Chu, Mitchell, Starkjohann and Rick Garboski, who finished 13th at 73-71-73—217.

Curdt became the first female from the Southern California PGA to qualify for the national tournament.

Block, Smock, and Pigman already had qualified.

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