PGA Professional Championship

Ben Polland Takes Three-Shot Lead Into Final Day of 2024 PGA Professional Championship

April 30, 2024


Greg Dillard

36-hole leader Worthington II, Jones T-2 at 3-under; Svoboda five shots back at 1-under 

Third round to resume at 7:30 am on Wednesday 

FRISCO, Texas (April 30, 2024) ー Ben Polland knew his third round of the 56th PGA Professional Championship would be a battle. Steady winds combined with the challenging demands of Fields Ranch East to provide a stern test. 

The PGA Director of Golf at Shooting Star of Jackson Hole (Wyo.) delivered a solid 1-under-par 71 on Tuesday to reach 6-under and take a three-shot lead into Wednesday’s finale. 

Wyatt Worthington II (Las Vegas, Nev.), the 36-hole leader, is tied for second with Jared Jones (Houston, Texas) at 3-under. Andy Svoboda (Oak Brook, Ill.) is fourth at 1-under. 

The third round of the 2024 PGA Professional Championship at Fields Ranch at PGA Frisco was suspended due to darkness at 7:59 pm. Third-round play is slated to resume at 7:30 am on Wednesday prior to the fourth and final round. 

“It feels good,” said Polland. “This is the position everyone wants to be in going into the last day. I’m just pleased with how I played today, playing conservative and trying to pick apart the golf course.”

Polland, representing the Rocky Mountain PGA Section, was one of only two players to complete their third round on the East course under par, alongside 2022 Champion Jesse Mueller (1-under). Defending Champion Braden Shattuck (Aston, Pa.) is 1-under and T-5 through 11 holes of his third round. 

“We all knew how this course’s teeth can show with the practice rounds and everything,” said Polland. “While this wasn’t quite that, it was still really difficult with how firm it was.”

The 33-year-old Polland began the day at 5-under (T-2), four strokes off the lead following rounds of 4-under-par 68 (West) and 1-under-par 71 (East).  

After an early bogey on the par-4, 410-yard 2nd, Polland hit into a hazard off the tee on the par-5, 593-yard 3rd hole. But he rebounded nicely to save par and gain momentum.  

“I knew I wasn’t going to get a lot of birdie opportunities, so saving par is always huge,” said Polland. 

Polland, playing alongside Worthington II and Jones, pulled closer with back-to-back birdies on the par-4, 299-yard 7th and par-3, 178-yard 8th. His par, coupled with Worthington II’s double bogey on the par-3, 220-yard 13th hole, vaulted him into the top spot on the leaderboard. 

A clutch birdie on the par-4, 353-yard 15th extended Polland’s lead to two. He sank a crucial 11-foot putt for par on the par-4, 498-yard 16th and maintained his lead with pars on holes 17-18. 

Polland is well versed when it comes to competing in big moments. He has registered fifth place (2021) and runner-up (2015) finishes in five previous PGA Professional Championship appearances.

“I always try to take every tournament as a learning experience and I feel like I get better at each one,” said Polland. “I’m doing that right now and I’m going to keep plugging away.” 

Worthington II had to finish his second round Tuesday morning, teeing off at 7:30 a.m. on Fields Ranch East. The Southwest PGA Section Member parred holes 5-7 before a clutch birdie at the par-3, 178-yard 8th hole. He then collected 10 consecutive pars to post a second-round 2-under-par 70, giving him the 36-hole lead at 9-under, four ahead of Polland, Jones and Kyle Mendoza (Oceanside, Calif.).

Worthington II, a PGA Golf Manufacturer Sales Representative at Eastside Golf,  had little time to catch his breath as he was off in the first group of the third round, playing with Polland and Jones. 

In an up-and-down third round, Worthington II tallied four bogeys and a double en route to a 6-over-par 78. Despite a challenging 32 holes on Tuesday, he remains confident heading into his final round. 

“I still love where my game’s at,” said Worthington II. “I’m definitely going to need some R&R, some good food and some rest, but I’ll be ready to go tomorrow. If you told me, you know, before we got here in the practice rounds, like, hey, you'll be right in contention and in the hunt, I’d take that. Definitely the fire is stronger than ever, and I'm excited to play some good golf tomorrow.”

Jones started his day T-2 at 5-under after shooting 3-under-par 69 (West) and 2-under-par 70 (East) over his first 36 holes. The Southern Texas PGA Member followed those with a 2-over-par 74 on the East course to remain at T-2.  

“It was a tough round out there,” said Jones. “The wind, certainly, the hole locations, it was championship golf at its finest. Pars were golden. I’m very pleased with how I hung in there. I had a couple of moments where I could have let it go, but I hung tough and really grinded it out today.”

The PGA Director of Instruction at River Oaks Country Club took advantage of steady play from all areas of his game. 

“I drove it well today,” said Jones. “I had some longer putts and they were just a little tougher. I made some critical 4-, 5-, 6-footers throughout the round. All in all, it was kind of like a full game exposure today.”

The Championship instituted a 36-hole cut to the low 70 scores and ties after the second round was completed on Tuesday instead of 90 scores and ties. 79 players advanced with the cut line at 3-over-par. 

Stephanie Connelly-Eiswerth (Fleming Island, Fla.) is T-9 after shooting 5-over-par 77 on Tuesday. 

Michael Block (Mission Viejo, Calif.) is T-21 at 1-over-par through 15 holes of his third round. 

Gabe Reynolds (Dallas, Texas) and Brian Norman (McKinney, Texas), both representing the Northern Texas PGA Section, made the cut and are T-48 (6-over-par) and T-73 (11-over-par) through 54 holes, respectively. 

Shawn Warren (Falmouth, Maine) made a hole-in-one with a seven-iron on Fields Ranch West’s par-3, 162-yard 12th hole during his second round on Tuesday.  

Wednesday’s final round of the 2024 PGA Professional Championship presented by Club Car, Corebridge Financial and Rolex will be broadcast live on Golf Channel from 3-6 pm (CT). 

The top 20 finishers will earn a spot on the Corebridge Financial Team to compete in the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, from May 13-19. 

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Media Contacts

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