HERSHEY, Pa. – Scott Erdmann birdied three of the final four holes Tuesday on Hershey Country Club's East Course for a 2-under 69 and a one-stroke lead over Sean Dougherty in the 44th PGA Professional National Championship.
The top 20 players after the final round Wednesday will earn spots in the PGA Championship on Aug. 11-14 at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Erdmann, the 34-year-old assistant pro at Oswego Lake Country Club in Lake Oswego, Ore., had a 12-under 202 total. He made a downhill 25-foot birdie putt on No. 18
"I prepared probably too hard and was really struggling to find a swing. I wasn't super confident coming in," Erdmann said. "As soon as I got out of the car and hit some balls on the range, for some reason everything's been clicking. This is just way out of my element, with the TV cameras and all the people, it's not something I'm used to. But when your swing feels good, it feels good, and I'm just riding it."
Dougherty, the 32-year-old PGA head professional at Milburn Country Club in Overland Park, Kan., shot a 72, making a 30-footer for birdie 18. He opened with rounds of 67 and 64 to break the tournament 36-hole scoring record set by Sam Snead in 1971.
"I didn't have too many chances today, while the first two days I hit it a lot better and had a bunch of chances at birdies," Dougherty said. "I was more nervous today then I was during the first two rounds. I guess that it to be expected."
Faber Jamerson of Appomattox, Va., was third at 10 under after a 69.