Oh So Close

Coloradans Matt Schalk and Micah Rudosky fall just short of qualifying for 2024 Senior PGA Championship; both finish in top 40 at 264-player national Senior PGA Professional Championship

By Gary Baines – 10/29/2023

In golf — as in life — sometimes fortune smiles upon a person and sometimes it doesn’t.

In the case of a 72-hole golf tournament, a mere single stroke over four days can spell the difference between a big accomplishment and a near-miss.

Just take the cases of a couple of Coloradans on Sunday. With the top 35 finishers at the national Senior PGA Professional Championship in Port St. Lucie, Fla., earning berths into next spring’s KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, Matt Schalk of Erie and Micah Rudosky of Cortez tied for 38th place and missed a playoff for the final spots by one stroke.

Schalk, the defending overall champion in the 264-player national championship, played his final five holes in 2 under par but his final-round 1-over-par 73 left him one short of the playoff. This after in May falling two strokes shy of qualifying for the PGA Championship at the PGA Professional Championship.

Rudosky, winner of the last three Colorado PGA Professional Championships, bogeyed his final hole for a 72 that left him tied for Schalk. 

And Caine Fitzgerald of Parker was also in the mix on Sunday, but he finished three out of the playoff after a final-round 77. 

Schalk, runner-up in the 2023 Inspirato Colorado Senior Open, and Rudosky ended up at 5 over par for 72 holes — 20 strokes behind champion Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio, who won by six. Schalk and Rudosky earned $2,630 each. Fitzgerald (7 over) received $1,880.

For the top 35 finishers — following a six-for-four playoff for those at 4 over par — the Senior PGA, a PGA Tour Champions major, is set for May 23-26 in Benton Harbor, Mich.

Scores for Coloradans at the Senior PGA Professional Championship in Port St. Lucie, Fla.:

38. Matt Schalk, Erie 71-74-74-73–292

38. Micah Rudosky, Cortez 74-72-74-72–292

56. Caine Fitzgerald, Parker 68-79-70-77–294

Failed to Make 36-Hole Cut

Doug Rohrbaugh, Carbondale 71-77—148

Jason Brandt, Arvada 80-70–150

Mike Zaremba, Pueblo West 75-75–150

Perry Holmes, Denver 76-79–155

Bill Hancock, Parker 73-83—156

Chris Johnson, Castle Rock 81-83–164

David Lopez, Parker 83-85—168

For all the scores, CLICK HERE.

About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates