While Brooks Koepka was winning his second PGA Championship, Rob Labritz was winning his second title in the tournament as well. Patience and intimate knowledge of Bethpage Black put the low club pro trophy into Rob Labritz’s hands for the second time.
He also took home the crystal bowl in 2010 when he won at Whistling Straits, making him the only two-time club pro winner since the PGA of America limited the Championship exemptions to 20 players in 2006.
The 47-year-old Director of Golf at Bedford Hills’ GlenArbor GC posted a 2-over-par 72 in his final round for a 290-stroke 72-hole total on the difficult Black. Labritz was cheered on by “Rob’s Mob,” an estimated fifty fans who wore t-shirts carrying that inscription to support him. Most of them came from GlenArbor, the club where Labritz holds his days job. “They know how important playing good golf is. They know that it helps my teaching ability,” he says. “They know that it helps me as a person. I’m fulfilled when I play good golf. They support me 100 percent.”
Labritz has a long and happy history on the course. He won the NY State Open there three times and says he’s played 73 competitive rounds there since his first in 1997. “She’s a hard test,” he says. “If you are nice to her and take care of her, she will treat you nicely. If you are not so nice and hit it off line, and you swear at her or get mad at her, she’s going to beat you up.
“You have to be patient out here. That’s all you must do. If you can hit it in the fairway, you have an opportunity to get it on the green and close.” Labritz had previously revealed his game plan to Westchester Magazine.
Westchester Country Club’s Alex Beach and Hollow Brook Golf Club’s Brian Mackey, both new to their jobs in the county this year, also qualified for the championship but missed the opportunity to play on the weekend.