In Gee Chun continues to crush the field at Congressional, leads by six at KPMG Women’s PGA

In Gee Chun is at 11 under and holds a six-shot lead over Lydia Ko and Jennifer Kupcho.

BETHESDA, Md. – In Gee Chun described her first round at historic Congressional as a near “perfect game.” She knew her opening 8-under 64, a course record on the renovated Blue Course, would be a tough act follow.

When asked if her second-round 69 at the KPMG Women’s PGA felt disappointing in comparison, Chun smiled broadly and said, “No, I think it’s still a great score.”

Who could argue?

Chun’s 11-under 133 total gives her a six-shot lead over Lydia Ko (67) and Jennifer Kupcho (68). Through two rounds she ranks tied for first in greens in regulation (31/36), tied for 15th in fairways (26/28) and second in putts per green in regulation.

After making four birdies with her 7-wood in the first round, she made three consecutive with her 9-wood early Friday. Both clubs are new to her bag this week, replacing her 4-hybrid and 3-hybrid. She got the idea after a scouting trip to Congressional a month ago.

“I used the 7-wood when I was really young,” she said. “I think at the beginning to start golf. I don’t know what age I stopped to use it, but I think almost more than 10 years. The 9-wood, it’s the first time to use.”

2022 KPMG Women's PGA Championship
In Gee Chun plays her shot from the tenth tee during the second round of the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports)

Chun earned LPGA status by winning the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club. The following year, she sank a 10-foot par putt on the last hole of the Amundi Evian Championship to finish at 21 under, setting a record for the lowest 72-hole score in men’s and women’s major championship history.

While the feat gave her more confidence, it also created higher expectations.

“That’s how I got a lot of pressure from my golf,” she said. “I just wanted to make perfect and another perfect. … I don’t want to get more stressed, or I don’t want to try to make a perfect game on the course. I just want to enjoy my golf game. That’s the key. I believe it’s the key.”

Ko, a two-time major winner who has yet to win the Women’s PGA, is in the midst of four consecutive starts. She has finished in the top five in each of her last three, including a fifth-place at the U.S. Women’s Open. Keeping her focus over the weekend will be key, she said.

“I know that sometimes when you are fatigued, you could lose focus and then hit some mistakes that you normally wouldn’t if you were a bit more sharp,” she said. “I think being rested is also really important for the weekend.”

Kupcho comes into this week fresh off a playoff victory at the Meijer LPGA Classic. In April, she held a six-stroke lead going into the final round of the Chevron Championship and held on to make her first victory on the LPGA a major.

“I think just in general, being back is a lot better,” said Kupcho, “whether it’s with a lot of people or not. I think being behind and trying to catch up is better.

“I mean, I had the lead at Chevron by a few strokes, so I know how it feels to be in her position. Being behind is at least my preferred way.”

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Emma Talley finishes opening round without putter after ‘freak’ accident at KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Thursday was already tough, but Emma Talley’s day got tougher after she damaged her putter.

BETHESDA, Md. – Emma Talley often hits her left foot with her putter. Not hard enough to break a toe. Just enough to let out a little steam, coupled with a “Gosh, dang it.”

On Thursday at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, a day that was already tough by any standard on Congressional’s Blue Course, Talley’s got tougher when she struck her foot with the putter after a short missed putt on the sixth hole and damaged her club.

“It was a freak accident,” said Talley, who said the club had probably weakened over time. While Rule 4.1a(2) says that regardless of the nature of what caused the damage, the damaged club can be treated as conforming for the rest of the round, Talley instead pulled out her 58-degree wedge to replace her putter.

KPMG Women’s PGALeaderboard | Photos

The former U.S. Women’s Amateur and NCAA champion played her last four holes in 3 over, finishing at 6-over 78. The tears flowed during and after the round. Talley said she felt both frustrated and embarrassed.

“Obviously you want to shed light when you’re out here,” said Talley. “If they didn’t see what happened, they’d probably think I snapped it over my leg.”

That was far from the case.

In Gee Chun leads after a sensational 8-under 64. On Friday, the field will be cut to top 60 and ties.

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Photos: KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club

The club, which was established in 1924, is hosting its first women’s professional major.

The third major of the LPGA’s 2022 season is the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at historic Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.

The club, which was established in 1924, has hosted several men’s majors but this will be the first women’s professional major there.

Originally designed by Deveneau Emmet, the course hosted the 1949 U.S. Junior Amateur, the 1959 U.S. Women’s Amateur, the 1964 U.S. Open, the 1976 PGA Championship, the 1995 U.S. Senior Open and the 2011 U.S. Open, which was won by Rory McIlroy.

Just ahead of the KPMG, the PGA of America, KPMG and the LPGA announced a big bump in the purse for the 2022 tournament, doubling it to $9 million.

Take a look at some of the best photos of the week.

PGA of America sells major-championship site Valhalla Golf Club to Louisville investors

Several Valhalla members form investment group to buy Valhalla, past site of majors and a Ryder Cup as well as the 2024 PGA.

Valhalla Golf Club has been sold by the PGA of America to a group of Louisville investors who want to “continue to bring major championships” to Kentucky, according to new co-owner Jimmy Kirchdorfer.

“Valhalla, for a 36-year-old club, has amazing history,” said Kirchdorfer, an executive with ISCO Industries. “It’s already hosted a Ryder Cup and three major championships. We just saw it as important that this is returned to local ownership. That way, we can control. We know people are going to operate in the best interest of the community.”

Kirchdorfer is a Valhalla board member who joined the club in 2004 and has previously worked with the PGA on events that have been held at the course. Three other well-known local executives joined him in the purchase: former Yum! Brands CEO David Novak, Musselman Hotels President Chester Musselman and Junior Bridgeman, a former University of Louisville basketball player who built an entrepreneurial empire following a 12-year run in the NBA.

The PGA, which bought the course from founder Dwight Gahm in 2000, confirmed the sale in a Wednesday press release, and Valhalla members were informed in an email from Keith Reese, the club’s general manager. The sale is effective immediately, according to Kirchdorfer, who did not disclose the cost of the course.

Paul Azinger
USA captain Paul Azinger is sprayed with champagne after defeating the Europeans on Day 3 of the 37th Ryder Cup at the Valhalla Golf Club in 2008. (Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports)

“Valhalla Golf Club has proven itself to be a wonderful test of championship golf, one that is as fair as it is challenging for the top golfers in the world,” PGA of America President Jim Richerson wrote in the release. “We look forward to partnering with the new ownership group on a highly anticipated 2024 PGA Championship and working with the new owners to continue to have it as one of our championship sites.”

Valhalla, which stands on nearly 500 acres in eastern Jefferson County, is “an icon in the community,” Kirchdorfer said. It had been the only private club owned and operated by the PGA, and it was ranked by Golfweek’s Best as the No. 1 private course in the state. It ties for No. 74 on Golfweek’s Best 2022 ranking of Modern Courses in the U.S.

The course was designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus ahead of its opening in 1986 and has hosted three PGA Championship tournaments, including a famed victory by Tiger Woods in 2000. It was home to the Ryder Cup in 2008, bringing stars of the sport from around the world to Louisville, and is set to host the PGA Championship again in 2024.

The 2024 event, which tournament officials say could pump $100 million into the local economy, will not be affected by the sale.

Kirchdorfer, a longtime golf advocate, said he got to work forming a group to bid on Valhalla after members were informed in November that the PGA had been approached by a potential buyer and would entertain other offers. All four buyers are longtime members of the club.

Tiger Woods 2000 PGA
Tiger Woods celebrates making a birdie putt on the 18th hole to force a playoff at the 2000 PGA Championship at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. (Donald Miralle/Allsport)

Valhalla’s status brings value to the community, he said, which the ownership group took into consideration. And while some club members expressed concerns over potential redevelopment when it hit the market last year, Kirchdorfer said the 18-hole course isn’t going anywhere.

Instead, the ownership group will work to highlight “Kentucky hospitality,” he said, and “build upon the great tradition and culture that’s already there.” So, concerned club members and others in the Louisville golf community have got that going for them, which is nice.

“Valhalla’s the crown jewel of Kentucky golf, and we wanted it locally owned like it was with the Gahm family,” Kirchdorfer said. “The Gahm family had an amazing vision and took a big risk when they took a farm and hired Jack Nicklaus to build a golf course with the hopes of bringing major championship golf to this community – and they succeeded, which a lot of people don’t.

“We just wanted to make sure that the next owners had the same mission of doing what’s best for Valhalla and the community of Louisville.”

The new owners have plenty of work to do in the next two years ahead of the 2024 PGA Championship, set for May 16-19 that year. The group plans to invest in the property to ensure it’s a “reflection of our community,” Kirchdorfer said.

An impressive turn at that 2024 tournament can send a message to the PGA – which works to promote the game with more than 28,000 members – that Louisville is a capable host for the sport’s biggest moments, according to Kirchdorfer, who previously served as vice chair of a Louisville PGA Championship.

“When we show how much this community will support the ’24 championship, we’re confident they’ll continue to bring more championships,” he said.

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Former PGA of America President Pat Rielly, who was in office during Shoal Creek controversy, dies at 87

Former PGA of America President Pat Rielly was in office during the Shoal Creek incident in 1990.

Former PGA of America President Pat Rielly, who was in office during the Shoal Creek incident, died on Wednesday. He was 87.

A former lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, Rielly went on to captain the Penn State golf team and receive his business degree. After moving to California, he served on the Southern California PGA Section Board of Directors for 11 consecutive years, and also became the Section’s president. The Section honored Rielly three times as its Professional of the Year, and Association’s president from 1989-90.

“The PGA of America mourns the passing of our 26th President Pat Rielly. As a former Marine, Pat knew all about excellence in leadership, and he proved that time and time again through his various roles in our Association,” current PGA President Jim Richerson said. “Pat helped lead the charge for golf in requiring all future PGA of America Championship venues to have open membership policies, a decision the rest of the sport followed shortly thereafter. Pat also led by example in his efforts to help position PGA professionals as business leaders and to place the best interests of the PGA professional at the center of all important decisions. We extend our sympathies to Pat’s wife, Sue, and children Suzie, Mike, Maggie and Rick.”

Rielly was thrust into the center of controversy in 1990 during his presidency when Shoal Creek founder Hall Thompson touched off a national debate in 1990 with his remarks about the private club in Alabama’s no-Blacks-allowed membership practices. In the face of TV sponsor boycotts and threatened picketing by civil rights groups, Rielly arranged contingency plans to move the Championship elsewhere.

“Shoal Creek was easy for me,” Rielly told Golfweek in 2015. “I knew what I was going to do. If they didn’t do what they did, we weren’t going to be there. The game is bigger than the PGA. The game is everything.”

The club relented the week before the tournament and extended honorary membership to a Black Birmingham, Alabama, businessman, Louis J. Willie. As a result, professional golf changed its rules regarding clubs with exclusionary practices.

Rielly, whose father was a boxer and once fought middleweight champion Billy Conn, was raised in Sharon, Pennsylvania, where he was introduced to the game shagging balls at nearby Sharon Country Club.

“I made about a dollar a day, but that was a dollar more than any other 11-year-old in Sharon was making,” Rielly told the Los Angeles Times. “When I got big enough, I started to caddie, but they only made $1.25 for a round and 10 cents of that went to the caddie master.”

By age 15, he became the caddie master, and became a standout junior golfer through osmosis.

“The pro (at Sharon CC) was an old Scotsman, George Swankee, and I watched him teach day after day and I guess I was an imitator because when I started to play, the game came easy for me,” Rielly said. “I seemed to have learned my swing from watching him.”

In high school he lettered not only in golf but in football and basketball and later was inducted into his school’s Hall of Fame.

He graduated in 1958 from Penn State with degrees in business and labor management and joined the Marine Corps for four years. Next, Rielly took a job as an assistant in the pro shop at the Circle R Ranch course in Escondido, California.

“While I was there, I tried to find a sponsor so I could play on the tour,” he said. “I felt I could make it out there, but later that year when I got the head professional’s job at El Camino Country Club in Oceanside, I changed my thinking.

“I knew I could play, but I also knew I was no Arnold Palmer. I had a wife and three kids (at the time) and the economics of the thing told me to stay at El Camino. To this day, I have no regrets. I have been comfortable as a golf professional, rather than as a professional golfer, and I’ve received enough recognition for my game to satisfy my ego.”

Rielly joined the PGA in 1966.

“It wasn’t long before I realized that I wasn’t pleased with the plight of the club professional,” he explained to the Los Angeles Times in 1988. “I decided the way to do something about it was to get to work and make my presence known.”

Rielly moved to Annandale Country Club in Pasadena in 1972, and remained a proud member of the PGA even in retirement.

“For as much as the game has changed, the PGA professional is by and large the same they were 100 years ago. They are teachers, players, and they are dedicated to the game of golf. They follow the rules, enforce the rules and do the best they can. Some are better than others,” he told Golfweek in 2015. “We still have the same passion. We still have the same dedication to the game. It is the PGA golf professional that grows the game. It’s not some fancy program with a motto. It has to do with their dedication and motivation and what they have in their heart. And what they have in their heart, they have in their mind. It hasn’t changed. The organization is bigger in terms of PGA and Ryder Cup and events it puts on. But the rank-and-file member hasn’t changed. They are the same. I feel great about the rank-and-file member.”

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Is this golf hotbed a possible World Golf Hall of Fame landing spot?

It’s been widely speculated since PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan was lukewarm on the facility. 

Will the World Golf Hall of Fame move from its current location in St. Augustine, Florida, when the current lease runs out in 2023?

That’s been widely speculated since PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan was lukewarm in his public address at The Players Championship about the facility.

Florida Times-Union columnist Gene Frenette hopes if there is a shift, it means moving trucks will simply head south down I-95.

If the WGHOF moves after a quarter-century in St. John’s County, one logical destination could be a place that deserves consideration as the golf capital of the world – Palm Beach County.

Just Jupiter alone is home to five of the world’s top-10 golfers — Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa — as well as four-time major champion Brooks Koepka. Oh, yeah, and Jupiter Island is where the 757th-ranked player in the world, Tiger Woods, has a residence.

Click here to see more from Frenette.

Back when it opened in May 1998, it would’ve been unimaginable to think that the Hall could fail.

With a brand-new interchange off Interstate 95 and a location 20 miles south of Jacksonville, one million visitors were projected to pull off and attend the Hall and IMAX Theater, the 400,000 square feet of shops anchored by a 32,000-square-foot golf shop, golf-themed restaurants and two championship courses that would host a PGA Tour Champions event and episodes of Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf.

LPGA Hall of Fame member Pat Bradley, who attended the first induction when Nick Faldo and Miller joined the exclusive membership, summed up what it meant to have a place where the greats of the game were celebrated: “It’s thrilling to know that long after I’ve left this world, people can gather and see the history of golf in this facility.”

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Ohio teaching pro who once got a lesson from Tiger Woods earns berth into 2022 PGA Championship

Worthington was one of 20 players to earn a berth into the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills.

AUSTIN, Texas — Wyatt Worthington II stood just off the 18th green at Barton Creek Spa and Resort and shook his head slowly.

After posting a steady 73 on a blustery day, the 35-year-old teaching pro from a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, saw his name near the top of the leaderboard at the PGA Professional Championship and knew he was in the clear — Worthington was one of 20 players to earn a berth into next month’s PGA Championship at Southern Hills.

Although this wasn’t the first time he’d made the cut — in 2016, he became the second Black PGA Club Professional to earn a berth in the major, following Tom Woodard of Denver who qualified in 1990 and played in the 1991 PGA Championship at Crooked Stick — but the road back made this just as special as Worthington’s first foray.

“Looking around, to even see my name on my leaderboard, I’m still in shock. It hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said. “I know it needs to be a quick turnaround because there’s a lot of things that be done.

“But you know, I’m blessed. I definitely didn’t have my best by any means, but to finish this high and to be in the top 20, and to have another crack at the PGA Championship, I still can’t believe it.”

Worthington, who teaches at The Golf Depot at Central Park in Gahanna, is aware of the game’s need for diversity and inclusion. He hopes his story will help shed light on the need to bring more people of various races into the game, not just as players, but in the industry as a whole.

And while Worthington has made a career out of giving lessons, he once received instruction from perhaps the game’s greatest player — Tiger Woods. During his freshman year in high school at Groveport High School, Worthington was part of a Tiger Woods Foundation event at the now-shuttered Bridgeview Golf Course in Columbus.

“I’m looking at the bigger picture,” he said. “Having this type of exposure for African-Americans not only in the golf industry but it’s seeing the bigger picture in and getting more people who look like me involved in this game, that’s what it’s really about.”

During the final round, Worthington battled high winds on the Fazio Foothills course, but maintained his presence on the back nine, dropping just a single shot on the 13th hole.

“Once the wind picked up, it was like somehow the fairways just got a little tighter, some of them got a little smaller, but I think they kind of just had the trust your lines and trust your numbers,” Worthington said, crediting his caddie Andy Gibson.

Worthington finished in a tie for fourth with Ryan Vermeer at 4 under for the event, a shot behind the duo of Michael Block and Jared Jones and six shots behind champion Jesse Mueller. The low 20 scorers earned exemptions into the 2022 PGA Championship, which will be held May 16-22 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

And how did Worthington plan to celebrate an invitation to a major?

“I need to rest,” he said. “I’m actually in agony right now, a lot of pain with my knees. I thought I was going to withdraw, to be honest. Nothing too crazy. Maybe I’ll have a milkshake.”

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With wife as caddie, Jesse Mueller wins PGA Professional Championship, earns one of 20 PGA Championship berths

Jesse Mueller and his wife celebrated their anniversary this year with dinner from Domino’s Pizza.

AUSTIN, Texas — Jesse Mueller’s idea of the perfect anniversary gift was heavy, time-consuming and required a little elbow grease. And his wife, also named Jessie albeit with a different spelling, wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Just a few days after celebrating his 12th wedding anniversary, the Arizona State University product and golf director at the Grand Canyon University course enjoyed a perfect Wednesday stroll around the grounds at picturesque Barton Creek Resort and Spa. He did so with his wife hauling his clubs around in the fill-in role of caddie, something she did for four days because her husband needed a helping hand.

And Mueller, who held a five-shot advantage heading into the final round of the PGA Professional Championship, did nothing to compromise his comfortable lead during Wednesday’s final round, finishing with a ho-hum 74 to earn take the title and one of 20 berths into the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, next month.

Mueller’s story is familiar — after a stellar high school at Red Mountain High School in Mesa, Arizona, and a college career at ASU, he kept grinding through a few years on minor circuits and mini-tours, with a dozen-and-a-half starts on the Tour sprinkled in.

He said his appreciation for the game has never wavered, but the weight that’s been lifted by his jump into course management has allowed him to enjoy the game a bit more.

“Some of the pressure’s off. It’s not my livelihood to play, so it’s more of a bonus,” he said. “I’m still working on it, practicing, but I might be a better player now than I was when I was playing full-time.”

Mueller — who became the first Southwest Section champ in the tournament’s history, dating back to 1968 — used an impeccable short game to build a big advantage, and while his chipping wasn’t as flawless in Wednesday’s final round as it had been earlier in the week, he managed to pull a few more key shots out of the bag.

PGA Professional Champion Jesse Mueller poses with the Walter Hagen Cup after winning the 54th PGA Professional Championship at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa on April 20, 2022, in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/PGA of America)

For example, Mueller saved par on No. 14 with an exquisite chip to a few inches that kept the lead at five strokes.

“On the first three days, I could not have chipped any better,” he said. “I chipped in three times for the week and I was just getting up and down all over the place. Out here, you have to because it’s so hard to hit all the greens with how windy is. So you have to get up and down out here.”

Despite a pair of bogeys coming down the homestretch, Mueller still finished the four-day event at 10 under, topping Jared Jones and Michael Block by five strokes.

Among those who also made a big move in the wind on Wednesday was Shawn Warren, a 37-year-old pro from Maine who qualified for his third PGA Championship by lighting up the windy course on Wednesday. While others were going backward, Warren fired a 66 — the best of the day — to leapfrog his way into the top 20. Warren, a former four-year captain at Marshall University, first reached the major in 2018.

But the big story was Mueller, who has previously played in one major— the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. His wife has been training for a climb this summer at Mount Rainier, and that helped as the two traversed the rolling Austin hills.

And although her anniversary dinner consisted of Domino’s Pizza — since the pair finished their round late on Sunday and couldn’t find any nearby restaurants still open — Jessie insisted it was well worth the change in plans.

“It’s been a roller-coaster, for sure,” she said. “But he’s a phenomenal player, and I know that. The key was just to keep things going and have his game working at the right times, which he did this week.

“I’m really, really proud of him.”

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Jesse Mueller fires 66, holds sizable 54-hole lead at PGA Professional Championship

Barring a major meltdown, the Arizona State product will get a second crack at a major.

The only time Jesse Mueller qualified for a major — the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco — he did himself proud, making the cut and finishing T-51 with a host of others, including current PGA Tour member Branden Grace.

Barring a major meltdown, the Arizona State product will get a second crack at a major when the PGA Championship gets underway at Tulsa’s Southern Hills in May.

Mueller maintained a hot hand, firing a 66 during Tuesday’s third round to take a sizable lead into the final day of play at the 2022 PGA Professional Championship in Austin, Texas.

While playing the Fazio Foothills course at Barton Creek Spa and Resort, Mueller was consistently attacking the stick on a windy, overcast day in the Texas state capital. He dropped just a single shot, on the long par-4 13th, but posted birdies on two of the last three holes to take a commanding five-stroke lead.

Mueller, the Director of Golf at Grand Canyon University’s Golf Course in Phoenix, sits at 13 under through three rounds. Casey Pyne is 8 under while three players — Kyle Mendoza, Colin Inglis and Michael Block — are all six shots back at 7 under.

Through a solid and steady front nine, Mueller dropped a birdie on No. 4 and then had a spectacular hole-out birdie on No. 8.

A total of 103 players made the first cut Monday night and the field will be cut again in advance of Thursday’s final round with the low 70 scorers and ties playing again on Fazio Foothills.

The lowest 20 scorers will be offered a spot in the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club on May 16-22.

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Omar Uresti set to defend at PGA Professional Championship on home soil in Austin

The 2022 PGA Professional Championship is being held April 17-20, at the Omni Barton Creek Resort.

At 52, Omar Uresti became the second-oldest PGA Professional Championship winner last year when he took the title at the Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Uresti was only behind Hall of Famer Sam Snead, who was 59 when he won in 1971, and the victory earned the Austin native a spot in the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island as well as six PGA Tour exemptions over the next year and a spot on the 2022 U.S. PGA Cup team.

But it also afforded the veteran of nearly 400 PGA Tour starts the chance to defend his title on home turf at the 2022 PGA Professional Championship being held April 17-20, at the Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa.

Uresti, who went to Crockett High School and the University of Texas — where he twice earned All-American status — is part of an elite group of multiple winners of the event that includes Larry Gilbert (1981, 1982, 1991), Mike Small (2005, 2009, 2010), Roger Watson (1974, 1975), Tim Thelen (2000, 2003) and Matt Dobyns (2012, 2015).

Omar Uresti
Omar Uresti reacts to his putt on the 16th hole during the final round of the 54th PGA Professional Championship at PGA Golf Club. (Photo: Montana Pritchard/PGA of America | Palm Beach Post)

“It’s pretty cool to sleep in my own bed and get some support here locally. You cannot put a price on that,” said Uresti.

Although you might expect Uresti to have a major advantage since he lives in town, he admitted he doesn’t often play the two (of four) courses on the property that will be used for the event — the Coore Crenshaw course and Fazio Foothills.

“I have not played the two golf courses as much as you’d think,” said Uresti. “At least not recently. I played them a lot when I was in college, when they were new, but that was a while back. I went out (last week), but the winds were up to 25 mph., so it was tough to get a good feel.

A number of past champions will make the trek to Austin with Alex Beach (2019), Rich Berberian Jr. (2016), Michael Block (2014), Dobyns, Scott Hebert (2008), Darrell Kestner (1996), Rod Rerry (2013), Ron Philo Jr. (2006), Jeff Roth (1993), Steve Schneiter (1995), Bill Schumaker (1984), Small, Bob Sowards (2004) and Ryan Vermeer (2018) all joining Uresti at the PGA Professionals’ signature event, which offers a total purse of $675,000.

The Championship field will have a 36-hole cut Monday to the low 90 scorers and ties, and a 54-hole cut Tuesday to the low 70 scorers and ties. The low 20 scorers earn a berth in the 2022 PGA Championship, which will be played May 16-22 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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