Mabee, Hillman off to rocky starts at PGA Professional Championship

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SUNRIVER, Ore. — Country Club of Pittsfield head professional Eric Mabee and Taconic Golf Club head professional Josh Hillman both got off to rocky starts and never fully recovered in Sunday's opening round of the PGA Professional Championship at the Sunriver Resort.

Mabee, playing the 7,530-yard, par-72 Crosswater course, suffered a double bogey on the first hole, a 413-yard par 4, on his way to a disappointing 7-over 79 that placed him well down the leaderboard. He'll need a miraculous second round in order to make the 36-hole cut.

Hillman, who started on the 10th hole of the 6,974-yard, par 71 Meadows course, made a disastrous 9 on his third hole of the day, a 419-yard par 4, on his way to an 86 that ended any hopes of his being around for the final two rounds. The 312-player field will be cut to the low 90 and ties after today's round.

Mabee, who made the cut in last year's event at Turning Stone Resort in upstate New York, followed his opening double bogey with a bogey 5 on the 457-yard second hole before stringing together 10 consecutive pars to briefly right the the ship. However, he bogeyed four of his final six holes, including the final two, on a day when he failed to record a birdie.

Hillman never got back on track, and suffered two double bogeys on his back nine to find himself near the bottom of the leaderboard with some players still on the course.

The leader in the $600,000 event at press time was Loren Personett, who shot a 5-under 66 on the Meadows course. Defending champion Rich Berberian Jr. was in second place after shooting a 67, also on the Meadows course.

The field switches courses for today's second round in the 72-hole tournament.


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