COLUMBUS, OH – Reigning Champion Sam Arnold, PGA holds a one-stroke lead over the field after opening the 2022 SOPGA Tour Championship at Scioto Country Club with a score of even-par 71. 

Southern Ohio PGA Professionals earned points throughout the season competing in weekly events at facilities around the region. Now the Top-35 SOPGA Tour players from the points list earned a spot in the 5th SOPGA Tour Championship field held at the home of golf legend Jack Nicklaus – Scioto Country Club. 

Arnold, PGA General Manager at Vineyard Golf Course in Cincinnati, began the tournament in second place on the SOPGA Rolex Player of the Year list earning 985 points this season. The three-time SOPGA tournament winner and Southern Ohio PGA Professional Champion arrived ready to defend his Tour Champion title. He started the day strong as the only player in the field to card a birdie on the opening hole. Keeping a steady pace through the next 17 holes, Arnold posted the lowest score of the day, even-par 71 in the first round. 

Chasing down the leader, Jeff Olson, PGA General Manager at the Golf Club of Dublin earned 855.33 points this season to find himself in the Championship field. The SOPGA Queen City Classic winner opened the Tour Championship even-par through the first nine holes. Three bogeys on the back-nine didn’t stop him from fighting for a spot in Wednesday’s final round pairing. He carded two birdies to post a score of one-over-par 72. 

Chad Ammer, PGA Assistant Professional at Maketewah Country Club and Bob Sowards, PGA Director of Instruction at Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club finished the Tour Championship opening round tied in third place at two-over-par 73. Reed Black, PGA Head Professional at Dayton Country Club rounds out the top-five at three-over-par 74. Five players at five-over-par or better remain in the hunt heading into the Tour Championship’s final round.

Click here to view the full 2022 SOPGA Tour Championship Main Division leaderboard. 

While Arnold and Sowards lead the SOPGA Tour Championship in both the Main and Senior Divisions, two players are close behind in the race for the Senior title. Tim Krapfel, PGA Head Professional at Bel-Wood Country Club and Dave Bahr, PGA Head Professional at Maketewah Country Club both carded birdies on Scioto Country Club’s 18th hole to post scores of three-over-par 74 in the first round. 

Click here to view the full 2022 SOPGA Tour Championship Senior Division leaderboard. 

Click here to view a photo gallery of the 2022 SOPGA Tour Championship field.

Thanks to Joe Falardeau, PGA and his team at Scioto Country Club for hosting the 5th SOPGA Tour Championship!