Mike Kullberg, assistant professional at Blackhorse Golf Club in Cypress, won his second Southern Texas PGA Callaway Tradition Championship in a row, taking the 2009 title with a score of 5-under-par 68-71—139 at Houston’s Royal Oaks Country Club.
Kullbeg won the 2008 Callaway Tradition Championship with an identical score at Wolfdancer Golf Club in Bastrop. This year’s win is his second in a "major" Southern Texas PGA championship, and earned a first-place check of $3,000.
Kullberg edged out Ryan Polzin, a Royal Oaks assistant, for the 2009 victory. Polzin finished second at 70-71—141.
Kullberg had entered the second round with a 2-stroke lead on Polzin and the two battled all day long. Polzin finally caught up with Kullberg when the latter suffered a three-putt bogey on Royal Oaks 16th hole and then moved a stroke ahead with a birdie on 17.
Polzin's tee shot on 18 strayed left and his approach found a bunker to the left rear of the green, leaving a near-impossible up-and-down. When Kullberg planted his approach shot within two-putt range, Polzin was forced to try the impossible, and the result was a triple-bogey and a two-shot win for Kullberg.
"It feels pretty awesome to win two of these in a row," said Kullberg. "I just kind of hung in there during the second round and tried to stay focused. When I took birdies on 9 and 10, I thought maybe I could go all the way, but when I had the bogey on 16 and Ryan caught up, I thought, 'Uh oh, here we go.' But when I saw Ryan go in the bunker on 18, I knew I'd have a chance to at least get into a playoff."
With Polzin taking home a runner-up share of $2,100, Tim Thelen, director of instruction at The Traditions at Texas A&M in College Station, took third place with a score of 72-71—143, worth $1,700 in winnings.
Charlie Epps, director of The Golf Academy at The Houstonian Golf and Country Club, won the Senior Division of the 2009 STPGA Callaway Tradition Championship with a score of 74-68-142, earning $1,250 for the victory.
Steve Veriato of San Marcos finished in second place at 76-70-146 for $900 in winnings, followed by Houston’s Carl Baker, Jeff Cooper, head golf professional at Sunset Grove Country Club in Orange, and Jimmy Odell, assistant professional at Spring’s Gleannloch Pines Golf Club, who were knotted in a third-place tie at 148. The third-place trio won $491.67 each.
Mike Kullberg, Houston, 68-71-139
Ryan Polzin, Houston, 70-71-141
Tim Thelen, College Station, 72-71-143
Lonny Alexander, New Braunfels, 73-71-144
Ray Richmond, Spring, 73-71-144
Tony Johnson, Kerrville, 73-71-144