In some 23 rounds at Longaberger Golf Club, Bob Sowards of Columbus, Ohio, had gained enough course knowledge to apply for superintendent. He knew where every putt would break, where every hazard was located and could almost predict every change of direction in the wind.

The only missing piece to a championship puzzle, he said, was when to get aggressive and close out a victory. But Sowards was boosted by his caddie in the final round, along with seven one putt greens, to hold off Mike Small of Champaign, Ill., by one stroke and win the 37th PGA Professional National Championship. Sowards’ closing 2-under-par 70 gave him a winning total of 12-under-par 276, good for a career-high paycheck of $60,000 in the showcase event for PGA Professionals. A hard day’s work also helped provide Sowards with a healthy down payment on a new family home in rural Columbus.

Small, making his first appearance in the National Championship, closed with a solid back-nine 32 and a 69 for a 277 total. Chip Sullivan of Troutville, Va., was third at 280 after a 70.