Richland's Aichele advances to final round

Tri-City HeraldJune 24, 2014 

Richland’s Jason Aichele shot a 4-over-par 76 on Tuesday and is tied for 48th at the PGA Professional Championship at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

That leaves Aichele at 7-over par heading into today’s final round, also on the same course.

If he can finish the tournament among the top 20, Aichele — an assistant pro at Meadow Springs Country Club — would qualify for the PGA Championship at Valhalla in August in Louisville, Ky.

Aichele had a rough morning on Tuesday, with five bogeys on the front nine.

“I had to get it going,” he said. “I was a little tired today. We had an almost 2-hour rain delay. I got there on time for my tee time, and it starting dumping. Then it stopped and it made it steaming hot. I was kind of going through the motions on the first nine.”

But he shook himself out of it on the back nine, getting birdies on 11 and 16 against one more bogey on 17.

“If I had shot even par I’d be in top 20 right now,” said Aichele. “But I actually like my start (for today). I get the weather. I don’t have anything to lose at this point.”

Aichele said his first goal was to make the cut all the way through, from the original 300 plus golfers to today’s final 70.

“Now I’d like to make the top 20,” he said.

It’s not out of the question.

“I like the position I’m in,” he said. “I’m going out there with really nothing to lose. I’ll be more aggressive with the pins. I wasn’t putting really well today on the front nine. I just wasn’t focused. I’ve been short on my (putting) speed. I’ll be more cautious to make sure all putts make it there tomorrow.

“It’s either top 20 or nothing.”

This week has been a major grind for the Richland High graduate.

“Including practice rounds, I’ve played seven rounds here,” he said. “Then with the humidity and walking.”

But he’s proud of his performance.

“I’m still getting paid (today),” he said. “There are 30,000 PGA Professionals in the United States. Only 1 percent make it to this event. A smaller percentage qualifies for the PGA.”

University of Toledo coach Jamie Broce shot a 1-under 71 to increase his lead to three strokes.

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