Maine's Shawn Warren Wins at Pebble Beach
From Thursday, March 5th:
Pebble Beach, CA – The TaylorMade National Championship was contested at the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill Golf Course from March 3-5, 2020. The 2020 field was comprised of 84 Staff professionals – stroke play qualifiers, business exemptions and our members of our Presidential Advisory Board.
The event had two simultaneous formats – a pro/pro team and an individual stroke play championship. The team format was decided via a blind-draw pairing of one qualifier and one business exemption and scored as a Stableford best ball. In addition, and new for 2020, the top three business exemption players (plus ties) from the first round at Spyglass Hill qualified for the individual championship purse. It took even par rounds of 72 from three contestants: Devin Gee (Oakmont Country Club), Jeff Kaiser (TaylorMade Player Development Center), and Sam Kang (Essex Fells Golf Center) at Spyglass Hill to qualify for the reshuffle into the individual championship.
A beautiful and calm day at Pebble Beach produced an incredible finish. Shawn Warren (Falmouth Country Club) birdied the final hole of regulation to get to the clubhouse at 3-under par for the event. Playing directly behind Warren and watching him make birdie was Ben Kern (Georgetown Country Club) who sat at -2 for the championship. Kern, the 2019 low club professional at the PGA Championship, knew exactly what he had to do. After wedging it to 5’, he sunk the slippery left-to-right birdie putt to keep pace with Warren and force extra holes.
The sudden death playoff began on the first hole at Pebble, where the crowd saw both players hit the fairway off the tee. Kern hit the green and two-putted for par. Warren tugged his approach shot into the greenside bunker and made the difficult bunker shot look easy, curling it to 3 feet for a tap in par to stay alive. Shawn, invigorated by his unlikely up and down, split the fairway on the par 5 with one of the longest drives of the day and then two-putted for the win.
Having won the first ever pro-pro team competition in 2019, Warren holds the distinction of being the only player to win both the team and the individual championship. For his efforts, Shawn collected the championship trophy, the $7,500 winner’s check, a new Breitling watch and an invitation to the TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invitational in November.
Tied for third place was Cian Curley (The Golf Club of Purchase) in his first ever TaylorMade National Championship appearance along with Brian Thornton (Meridian Valley Country Club). Both finished at even par for the tournament. With their fine play, Shawn, Ben, Brian and Cian all secured exemptions into the 2021 National Championship.