By Mike Dougherty
There weren’t many nervous moments as Frank Bensel qualified for another major championship by finishing tied for seventh at the PGA Professional National Championship. He was steady all week in California under difficult scoring conditions, and that was enough to keep him on the first page of the leader board.
The 44-year-old assistant from Century Country Club was tied for sixth heading into the final round and secured a spot in the upcoming PGA Championship at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in August when he closed with an even-par 72. Only top 20 finishers got invitations. Bensel played in the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in 2004 and the U.S. Open at Oakmont in 2007.
“I was really happy with how I finished,” he said by phone before hopping on the red-eye in San Francisco. “I left a few shots out there, but overall, I felt like I was in complete control, which is kind of nice.”
A busy schedule is about to get busier.
“I’m not going to change anything I’m doing outside of adding the PGA Championship,” Bensel said. “I’ll try to be as prepared as I can be without neglecting family or work.”
Five members of the Metropolitan PGA got into the field at Kiawah.
Matt Dobyns (Fresh Meadow) won the championship by eight shots. Darrell Kestner (Deepdale), Mark Brown (Tam O’Shanter), and Danny Balin (Burning Tree) are going, as well. St. Andrew’s Greg Bisconti finished tied for 40th.