Skinner wins another PGA event

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Albany's Sonny Skinner picked up $5,000 on Thursday for his latest PGA Club Pro Tour by winning the top prize of $10,000 and splitting it with playing partner Ricky Smallridge of Auburn, Ala., at the 52nd annual TaylorMade-adidas Golf PGA Senior-Junior Championship.

"Not too bad for a club pro," said Skinner, who won for the fifth time in the last five months. "I don't think I'm playing any better ... but maybe I am. I'm surely putting as good as I ever have."

Smallridge, 51, head professional at the Auburn University Golf Club, and Skinner, 49, a teaching professional at River Pointe Golf Club in Albany, posted their highest score of the week to win -- but still won by five strokes on the Wanamaker Course at The PGA Golf Club.

Smallridge and Skinner each made an eagle and added one and three birdies, respectively, for 64 and a record 72-hole total of 38 under par 250 in the four-ball stroke play (better ball) format. They shot 63-62-61 the first three rounds. In 72 holes, they had three eagles, two by Smallridge, 32 birdies and 37 pars. They did not make a bogey.

However, they will not be able to defend as the dividing line between seniors and juniors is 50-and-over and 49-and-under. Since Skinner will be 50 at this time next year, he will no longer be able to be the junior member of a team.

"At least we got one in before we were both over the hill," Skinner said.

Smallridge and Skinner split $10,000 from the $110,000 purse. It's the first time in the 57-year history of the PGA Winter Championships that prize money has exceeded $100,000. Next up for Skinner is the Stroke Play Championship on the same course.