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December 20, 2023

Canebrake’s Whitt defends PGA National Club Championship

By Alabama Golf News Staff
Stewart Whitt PGA National Club Championship winner

Hot putter aided in win at Troon North

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The 2023 PGA National Club Championship produced a trio of compelling finishes during Tuesday’s final round at Troon North Golf Club and Westin Kierland in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The 54-hole championship featured three Men’s Divisions: Open (any age), Senior (50-over) and Legend (60-over) competing across Troon North Golf Club’s Monument and Pinnacle courses and Westin Kierland’s Ironwood/Acacia course.

The PGA National Club Championship brings together club champions from all 41 PGA sections across the U.S. to compete for a national title. Flighted events are also held for women club champions.

Stewart Whitt (Canebrake Club, Athens) clinched the Men’s Open Division crown following a final-round 3-under-par 69. Tray Tyner (Riverhill Country Club, Kerrville, Texas) emerged victorious in the Senior Men’s Division following a final-round 1-over-par 72. Bob Brooks (Bella Vista Country Club, Bella Vista, Ark.) registered a 1-over-par 73 to finish atop the Legend Men’s Division leaderboard.

Whitt, who played high school golf for Athens High School and at the University of Alabama, recorded scores of 71-74-69 to capture a one-stroke victory in the Men’s Open Division at 1-under-par 214. Finishing tied for 2nd at even-par 215 were Michael Schnegelberger (Heritage Park Golf Club, Overland Park, Kan.), Jordan Elsen (Mayacoo Lakes Country Club, Wellington, Fla.), Matthew Johnson (Charter Oak Country Club, Cambridge, Mass.) and Barry O’Neill (Pelican Lakes Golf & Country Club, Windsor, Colo.).

2nd PGA National Club Championship win

With the PGA National Club Campionship win, Whitt secured back-to-back Men’s Open Division titles following his victory at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in 2022.

“It’s really cool,” Whitt said. “This is the fourth year they’ve had it and to win two of the four and to do it back-to-back is really neat. It’s a great event and one that I look forward to playing in every time it comes around.”

Whitt began his final round on the Troon Monument course five strokes off the lead at T9. Birdies at the par-4 first, par-5 third and par-3 seventh holes began his climb up the leaderboard.  

The now two-time champion posted a flawless, bogey-free 34 on the back-nine, highlighted by birdies at the par-3 13th and par-4 18th holes. A 25-foot birdie putt at No. 18 sealed the win.

“The putter definitely kept me in it,” Whitt said. “I really didn’t hit it all that great today, but I missed it in the right spots to be able to get up and down when I needed to or have a good look at a birdie when the opportunity presented itself.”

Whitt looks forward to sharing his PGA National Championship win with his club and PGA General Manager/Director of Golf Micky Wolfe.

“Micky is great,” Whitt said. “His family has had some difficult things going on recently. He is a fantastic human and does a great job for our golf course and the membership. With everything they’ve had going on, being able to have a little bright spot for the club that he cares so much about, it’s a privilege to be able to do that for them.”

Whitt’s win came on the heels of Susan West’s third-place finish last week in the PGA Senior Club Championship event. West, who plays out of NorthRiver Yacht and Country Club, shot 73-79-74 to finish at 226, two shots behind Kim Keyer-Scott.

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Featured image of Stewart Whitt courtesy of the PGA of America

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