Marcus Byrd cruises to second pro victory with hot putter at APGA Tour Valley Forge in Blue Bell

Rising APGA Tour star Marcus Byrd clinched his second title in 15 months, just winning the APGA Tour Valley Forge Championship, the second of four events in the APGA Tour Farmers Insurance(r) event, Wednesday at Bluestone Country Club in Montgomery County Series west of Philadelphia.

Byrd’s triumph, in just his second year on the tour, included three putts over 40 feet during Tuesday’s first round as he built a four-stroke lead. He played clean golf for the last 18 holes to bag the $7,500 first prize out of the $25,000 purse.

Finishing fifth in the regular season Lexus Cup Point standings, Byrd is now a top contender for bonus pool cashes in the Farmers Insurance Fall Series, which concludes with events in Houston (October 25-26) and Los Angeles (November). 9-10).

His first-round exploits included nine birdies en route to a six-under 65 and a four-shot lead over Andrew Walker of Holt, Michigan. He shot a nine-under, 65-68-133, five shots better than Gabe Lench of Lake Mary, Fla., who finished 71-67-138. Joseph Hooks of Farmington Hills, Michigan finished third with 70-71-141 on the par 71, 6,372-yard layout in Montgomery County.

The 25-year-old Washington DC resident played at Middle Tennessee St. and competed in the 2020 US Amateur at Bandon Dunes. He began playing golf with First Tee of Greater Washington DC at the age of seven and went on to a distinguished junior career. He won the Georgia State Junior Championship in 2013 before being acclaimed Player of the Year by Conference USA as a college senior.

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“My putter was hot and that helped with the long putts yesterday and a series of one-putt greens today,” said Byrd, who maintained his lead with a clean three-birdie round. “My game is going in the right direction. I’m a pro golfer who hasn’t gotten that far yet.” Byrd has had multiple second place finishes over the past few months, including a tied second place finish at the Mastercard APGA Tour Championship in San Antonio last month. He has just returned from Portugal where he competed in the DP World Tour Q-School and shot a 28 to the front nine in the third round but failed to advance to the next stage in the four-round tournament.

In the APGA Tour’s new Cisco Junior Series presented by the Champ Foundation, amateur Matt Vital of Bethlehem of the Philadelphia area defeated KJ Ofahengaue of Utah on the first playoff hole by sinking a 12-foot birdie putt . It was his second Cisco Junior Series win this year and he’s in the driver’s seat to secure a spot at the APGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Invitational in Torrey Pines in January, when the APGA Tour hosts a tandem event during the Farmers Insurance Open hosts the PGA TOUR .

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Among the other Philadelphia area players, Zach Juhasz of Bethlehem shot 72-70-142, good for fourth place; Louis Kelly of Sewell, New Jersey, shot 72-71-143 and finished sixth; and Jeff Cunningham of Philadelphia, who played golf at Drexel, scored 39th with a 72-81-153.

The APGA Tour Valley Forge was hosted by the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board, which promotes Montgomery County’s 50+ golf courses as part of its MontoGolf initiative. The APGA Tour Valley Forge week began Sunday with the Advocates Foundation Youth Clinic at The Club at Shannondell in Audubon, PA, where young people from The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia and other community organizations interacted with health/wellness and mental health professionals Health, Career Opportunities and Golf, including APGA Tour players and officials. The program included awarding $2,000 in educational scholarships to essay contest winners.

APGA Tour competition continues with the first international tournament in the series, the Butterfield Bermuda APGA Championship on October 11-12 at the Port Royal Course in Southampton, Bermuda.

The APGA Tour was founded in 2010 with the goal of diversifying the game of golf by hosting and operating professional golf tournaments, player development programs, mentoring programs and introducing the game to young people in the inner city. The tour has grown from seven events with prize money of over US$200,000 in 2020 and 14 events with prize money of over US$400,000 in 2021 to 18 events with prize money of over US$900,000 and bonus funds in 2022 .

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The Fall Series of APGA Tour Farmers Insurance was developed to further the APGA Tour’s mission of bringing more diversity to the game of golf and providing APGA Tour players with additional play and earning opportunities.

The sponsorship of the APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Fall Series is part of several actions and initiatives Farmers(r) has taken to advance its commitment to diversity and growth in the game of golf. The national insurer has provided funding for APGA TOUR events and the organization’s athletes, sponsored players including Kamaiu Johnson and Willie Mack III, hosted the first-ever APGA event at a PGA TOUR tournament at the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open and granted Mack granted a sponsorship waiver at the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open and granted Johnson and Ryan Alford sponsorship waivers at the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open. This endorsement resulted in a milestone for the APGA Tour as the 2022 APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Invitational was the first-ever APGA Tour event , which was televised nationally, with the finals being broadcast on Golf Channel.

Photo: APGA Tour

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