Pinehurst Golf Academy instructor has been Carolinas Section Player of the Year four times
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Low Country has been good to Pinehurst Resort’s Kelly Mitchum.
Just three weeks after competing in the PGA Championship on The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, S.C., Mitchum won the Carolinas PGA Professional Championship for the fourth time late Thursday evening at the Beresford Creek Golf Course at the Daniel Island Club.
“I played well and it has been several years since I have won a major,” said Mitchum. “It feels good to be back in the winner’s circle.
Mitchum, 41, a lead instructor at the Pinehurst Golf Academy, won the event with an 11-under-par total of 133, beating Wilmington’s Billy Anderson by two shots. Fellow Pinehurst professional Todd Camplin, the head pro at Pinehurst No. 7, finished at 6 under to finish in a tie for sixth.
Mitchum, who finished second in the 2012 PGA Professional National Championship to earn his fourth berth into the PGA earlier this month, had already secured a return trip to the 2013 PGA National Championship. He has also earned a berth in either of two PGA Tour events next year – the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head Golf Links or the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro.
Mitchum last won the Carolinas PGA in 2006, with additional victories in 2002 and 2004. He has been named the Carolinas Section Player of the Year four times (2004-07).
Inclement weather forced the Carolinas championship to be shortened to 36 holes. But there was no catching Mitchum, who made seven birdies and no bogeys on his way to a 7-under 65 in the first round, sharing the lead. He was nearly as good Thursday despite dodging torrential rains – the course was dumped with 1.7 inches of rain before the final round, delaying Mitchum’s start until mid-afternoon – recording five birdies against just one bogey.
“It was crazy with the weather the way it was with so many delays. We didn’t know if we were going to get even 36 holes in,” Mitchum said.
Mitchum, who won $8,000 for the victory, made par or better on a staggering 97.2 percent of the holes he played in the championship, easily leading the field. He averaged a score of 3.7 on par 4s, also tops in the tournament.
Camplin, who was one shot off the Carolinas lead after a 6-under 66 in the first round, won the Carolinas PGA Championship in 2010. He also earns a bid back to the PGA National Championship, which he has competed in the last few years. Camplin finished among the top 20 and played in the 2011 PGA Championship.
The 46thPGA Professional National Championship will be played June 23-26, 2013, at the Sunset Resort in Oregon and feature both the Crosswater Club and Meadows Golf Course.
The 95th PGA Championship will be played from Aug. 8-11, 2013, at Oak Hill Country Club.
The Carolinas PGA Section is the largest of the PGA’s 41 sections with nearly 2,000 professional members located in North and South Carolina.