VERONA, NEW YORK | If there has ever been a good triple bogey, Rich Berberian made one.
He stood on the par-5 12th tee at Turning Stone Resort’s Atunyote Golf Club tied for the lead in the final round of the PGA Professional Championship having just erased a five-shot deficit over the previous five holes, but the moment was fleeting. A hooked drive into the hay couldn’t be found. His provisional cut wildly into a lake. By the time the towering 28-year-old assistant professional from Derry, N.H., got a putter in his hand, he needed two strokes from 70 feet just to salvage a snowman and fall three shots off the pace.
It could have ended his chances, especially after the same hole bit him 24 hours earlier when he pulled a drive into the weeds and needed two hacks to extricate himself en route to a double bogey. But on his father’s birthday, Berberian wouldn’t go down swinging without remembering the advice of his old man, a PGA life member who was watching from his home in Melbourne, Fla.
“He’s been telling me not to give up since I was a kid,” Berberian said. “There have been times when I haven’t even come close to winning tournaments because I’ve given up. It’s easy for you to say in this game that my swing is gone. I just hit one straight left and the next one straight right, so where is the next one going?”
The next one went straight. Needing a rally to catch former PGA Tour journeyman Omar Uresti and 49-year-old Mark Brown, men with 12 major championship appearances between them, Berberian strayed from his game plan on No. 13 and decided to push the envelope by hitting a driver. ….. READ FULL ARTICLE