Former champion Ron Philo Jr. fires a 66 to grab lead in the 52nd PGA Professional Championship

BLUFFTON, S.C. – Former Champion Ron Philo Jr. of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, awakened the echoes of past signature performances by posting a near-flawless 6-under-par 66 Sunday on the West Course at Belfair for a one-stroke lead in the 52nd PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac, Club Car and OMEGA.

Alex Beach of Stamford, Connecticut, a PGA Assistant Professional at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, New York, was a stroke off the pace after a 67, also coming on the par-72 West Course.

I’ve got a student, Trevor Lopez, and I try to keep up with him and that helps me.” Alex Knoll of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, and 2013 Champion Rod Perry of Port Orange, Florida, led the chasers at 4-under-par.

My pace isn’t super-fast; I’m giving myself the time I need and every swing was confident.” Beach is competing in his fourth consecutive PGA Professional Championship.

He followed a practice round Friday at Belfair by driving more than 200 miles to conduct a Member-Member event Saturday at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where he is PGA Director of Golf.

The staff at Belfair has done a great job setting the course up and it really feels like home.” Alex Knoll has played 54 holes this year to prepare for his fourth appearance in the Championship.

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