Iceman Cometh: Daniel Iceman III, PGA Rallies for Victory at Wildwood
Daniel Iceman III, PGA’s late comeback clinches fourth Assistants Section Championship victory while Sara Stephens, PGA wins Women’s Championship for third straight year.
LOUISVILLE, KY (September 6, 2022) – Multi-time past champions of the National Car Rental Kentucky Assistant PGA Professional Championship and the Kentucky Women’s PGA Professional Championship each added another piece of hardware at Wildwood Country Club on Tuesday. Daniel Iceman III, PGA won the Assistants Section Championship for the fourth time and first since 2018, while Sara Stephens, PGA claimed the Women’s Section Championship on a third straight occasion.
Iceman’s victory featured one of the top comebacks of the year, as he found himself trailing by six shots after Tuesday’s opening round, entering the second round of the day with four players in front of him. Gavin Burns began the day in style with an impressive 65 (-7) which had him up by two shots in between rounds, and his lead blossomed to as many as four strokes early in the back nine while Iceman trailed by five.
Not deterred, Iceman made four birdies in the span of eight holes to quickly scoot up the leaderboard. As Burns encountered trouble in the group behind, Iceman’s final hole of the day (the par-four 1st) was the site of Iceman’s seventh birdie over the course of a clutch round of 67 (-5). It sealed the deal for a one-shot victory with a total score of 138 (-6) while Jeremy Martin crept up to second place and obtained the runner-up spot.
Doing so for Martin was significant, because now he and Iceman are exempt for November’s National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship in Florida by virtue of finishing in the top-two today. Burns is the first alternate, Nathan Hincks earned the second alternate spot, and Gabe Wheeler got the third alternate spot. For Iceman, it will be yet another start on the national stage for him, while it will be Martin’s debut appearance in that competition.
For the ladies, Sara Stephens, PGA duplicated her previous showings in the 2020 and 2021 Women’s Section Championships by obtaining another multi-shot victory on this occasion. After previously winning at Hunting Creek Country Club and South Park Country Club, Wildwood became her newest victory lane after shooting 77 (+5) for a five-shot victory over Whitney Paul, PGA. Stephens’ day was highlighted by a birdie on the par-three 18th, a notoriously difficult hole, to win the title once more.
NOTES & STATS
- There were eight eagles recorded throughout the day. Half of them came on the par-five 9th while the 5th, 7th, 15th, and 17th holes each had one. Paul Jackson, Jake Finn, PGA, Blake Moody, and Robbie Parsons each had the solo eagles.
- Of the eagles on the 9th, Aaron Eldridge was responsible for 50% of them as he impressively made eagle on it in both rounds.
- Even with the 9th surrendering three more eagles, the par-five 17th was actually the easiest of the day. It played to a stroke-to-par average of -0.15.
- The par-four 14th gave players the most fits as the hardest hole. It tallied +0.93.
- The back nine was nearly a full stroke harder than the front side. Holes 10-18 averaged 38.92 strokes (+2.92) versus 37.98 (+1.98) on the front.
- Combined, the scoring average at Wildwood was 76.90 (+4.90).
The Kentucky PGA extends its thanks to Josh Griffin, PGA plus the entire staff at Wildwood Country Club for their assistance in conducting today’s event. Additionally, the KPGA lends its appreciation to each player who competed in the tournament.
Iceman and eleven other top players within the KPGA will be in action on Wednesday at Valhalla Golf Club in the Coomer Cup supported by 2UNDR, a Ryder Cup-style competition against a dozen of Kentucky’s top amateurs. Individual play within the Section resumes next week from The Club at Olde Stone with the KPGA Members’ biggest event, the 71st Kentucky PGA Professional Championship.
About the Kentucky PGA:
The Kentucky PGA Section (KPGA) is one of forty-one Sections across the country representing the PGA of America and its Members. It is also one of three organizations encompassed within Golf House Kentucky, which also includes the Kentucky Golf Association (KGA) and Kentucky Golf Foundation (KGF). The KPGA contains more than 275 Members and more than 30 Associates working in various roles across Kentucky; all of whom share the goal of bettering the game and its players. The KPGA and its Members assist with the organization of many chief growth-of-the-game initiatives including PGA HOPE and PGA Jr. League among others. The Section also operates more than thirty tournaments throughout the golf season, including the three State Open championships and qualifiers for the Barbasol Championship.
Ethan Fisher, PGA | Golf House Kentucky | firstname.lastname@example.org | (502) 792-9703