Lightning struck for nearly seven hours over Oak Tree Golf Club in Edmond, Okla., long enough to cancel the final 18-hole round of the 34th PGA Professional National Championship and produce the first 54-hole National Championship in event history. That left co-leaders Tim Thelen, of Richmond, Texas, and Mark Brown, of Glen Cove, N.Y., the last men standing to determine the holder of the Walter Hagen Cup. The PGA of America’s contingency plan – a first-ever five-hole cumulative score playoff – helped recharge the title chase and provide excellent theater for millions of viewers on The Golf Channel.

Thelen, a 39-year-old PGA assistant professional at Baywood Country Club in Pasadena, Texas, applied his gritty style of play to become the first Southern Texas PGA member to win this national Championship. Thelen rolled home a four-foot birdie putt on the fourth extra hole for a one-stroke victory over Brown, the 33-year-old PGA head professional at Tam O’Shanter Club in Brookville, N.Y. The players had tied after 54 holes at 1-over-par 214, matching the highest National Championship finishing total in relation to par.