Snyder Defeats Rolland in Playoff to Win Minnesota PGA Professional Championship
Brent Snyder of Troy Burne G.C. defeated Eric Rolland of Augsburg College in a playoff to take home the 2017 Minnesota PGA Professional Championship presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz and OMEGA at The Pines at Grand View Lodge.
The two finished the 36-hole tournament tied at a 3-under 141; a shot ahead of Don Berry of Edinburgh USA and Craig Brischke of Tanners Brook G.C.
Snyder began the day with a three shot lead over Rolland, Berry, Scott Cole of RTG Golf and John Cleary of the University of Minnesota. While Cole and Cleary faded, both Berry and Rolland were nipping at his heels all day from the pairing ahead.
“I tried to stay in the same process and not do anything different. It was really fun having my wife on the bag since most of the time it is my brother.” said Snyder. “It’s the same mindset I tell my students to have. It’s just another round and another day.”
“Winning a tournament like this, obviously, there is a lot more reward on the back end,” he added.
After birdieing the par-5 6th to move to 5-under for the tournament, Snyder found trouble for the first time all week. He saw his tee shot go left and in the water leading to a bogey and would follow that up with another bogey at the par-4 8th. Snyder responded, as winners do, with a nice 12-foot birdie at the 9th to make the turn at 4-under total.
“I pulled that tee shot on the 7th about four yards and hit a rock and went into the water,” Snyder said shaking his head. “I had to re-tee it, so I hit a 9-iron about 6-feet and saved bogey. I made a loose bogey on the par-4 8th, but I hit it close on 9 and made that which was huge.”
Rolland would make the turn at even-par for the tournament while Berry was applying some pressure at 2-under—two shots back.
Snyder had several near miss birdies on the back that equated to seven straight pars. Rolland was beginning to catch fire as he birdied three of his first six holes on the back nine to move one shot off the lead.
Berry found himself in the trees on the par-3 14th and double-bogeyed. He missed a few opportunities down the stretch and could not get back in it.
The door opened for Rolland when Snyder hit a bad approach shot missing the green on the par-4 17th. This led to a bogey and a tie atop the leaderboard at 3-under between the two.
“I missed one green late on the 17th,” he said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t get that up-and-down which led to the playoff.”
With Rolland already in the clubhouse, Snyder had a 15-foot birdie opportunity on 18 that barely missed; forcing a playoff.
On the first playoff hole, the par-5 18th, both were on the green in three shots with about 10-15 feet to hole. They both missed their birdie chances.
Snyder, going first, made his 4-footer downhill and Rolland needed to respond. Instead, his putt lipped out from about 2-feet giving the win to Snyder.
“It’s heart-wrenching to be honest; Eric [Rolland] is a dear friend of mine. We’re very close, and I work with a lot of players on his team,” emphasized Snyder. “We do a lot of stuff together, so it’s really hard to win that way and see him miss that putt.”
Sounds familiar when you have PGA Tour players such as Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas who consistently root for one another and remain the best of friends regardless of the result.
Snyder, Rolland, Berry, Brischke all qualified for the 2018 Professional National Championship at Bayonet Black Horse Courses in Seaside, Cali. on June 17-20, 2018. Also qualifying were Dave Tentis of Troy Burne G.C., Jeff Kringen of Spring Hill G.C., Mike Barge of Hazeltine National G.C. and Derek Stendahl of Rush Creek G.C.