Toledo coach leads by three at PGA PNC

Jamie Broce, the men's coach at the University of Toledo, holds a three-shot lead at the PGA Professional National Championship.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Jamie Broce is acing the 47th PGA Professional National Championship.

The 37-year-old Broce (pronounced Bross), head coach of the men’s golf team at the University of Toledo, shot a third-round 71 on Tuesday to take a three-stroke lead at the Dunes Golf and Beach Club. On his way to adding two strokes to his one-shot advantage after 36 holes, he posted a three-day total of 5-under 211 to lead Michael Block of Alisa Viego, Calif., playing in his first PNC.

It was a brutally long day as play was suspended 80 minutes because of rain, pace of play approached 6 hours and only five players managed to post sub-par totals.

“I had a good mindset, hit it when they tell you to hit it,” said Broce. “I had to wait almost four groups on a par 3, hit a bad shot there, but was able to bounce back. That helps steady the ship.”

Several notable players made their way into contention. Jim McGovern, a former winner on the PGA Tour, shot a 3-under 69 to pass 69 players and settle at 2-over 218; 2004 champion Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio, climbed into the top 10 following a 2-under 70; and Sonny Skinner of Sylvester, Ga., a four-time Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year, jumped 74 places with a 68, the low score of the day that put him at 1-over 217.

“I let a lot of shots get away from me,” said Broce. “It was kind of a long day, didn’t have a good rhythm, but made up for it with a good up-and-down there to finish.”

Starting at the par-4 sixth, where Broce rolled in his first birdie of the day, he went through an eight-hole stretch with seven one-putts. A three-putt bogey from 50 feet at the par-3 14th dropped him back to 5 under par.

Broce has been one of Indiana’s best players.

He is a former high school state champion, has won consecutive Indiana Open titles (2002 and ’03) and was a standout at Ball State University. While playing for the Cardinals, he won six times and was All-Mid-American Conference three times. He graduated with honors and was a recipient of the Ben Hogan Award, given annually to the country’s top golf scholar-athlete. He was an assistant coach at Indiana University for four years before taking the position at Toledo in June 2012.

He also is a former Tour player. His best season was in 2005, when he made the cut in half of 22 starts, had one second-place finish and was 64th in earnings with $83,272.

The top 20 players from the Professional National Championship earn berths in the starting field in the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., in August.

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