PGA of America responds to Stacy Lewis’ comments that golf missed an opportunity with the Solheim and Ryder Cup back-to-back in Europe

“We are enthusiastic supporters of the U.S. Solheim Cup Team and are promoting the Solheim Cup in a number of ways.”

Stacy Lewis didn’t hold back on Wednesday when asked if she thought more could’ve been done to promote the first back-to-back Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup in Europe.

“I think it was a missed opportunity for the sport of golf,” said Lewis, who said she worked hard trying to get some synergy between the organizations.

The first Solheim Cup ever contested on Spanish soil gets underway Friday at Finca Cortesin, where Team Europe looks to win three in a row. Next week, the Ryder Cup will be held in Rome for the first time.

The PGA of America gave Golfweek the following statement in response to Lewis’ comments:

“We are enthusiastic supporters of the U.S. Solheim Cup Team and are promoting the Solheim Cup in a number of ways. For starters, we are creating digital assets and collaborating with our friends at the LPGA on our social media channels. For the first time, we produced a U.S. Ryder Cup Team video in which the players and our Captain expressed their support for the Solheim Cup Team.

“We are also supporting the Solheim Cup with editorial content on and by engaging with Solheim Cup content across PGA of America channels. Finally, our CEO Seth Waugh will be onsite in Spain to cheer on the U.S. Solheim Cup Team for all of us. While scheduling and logistics challenges precluded some other joint activations, the PGA of America will help to raise awareness in a meaningful way through our digital and social media efforts.”

The U.S. Ryder Cup Twitter account released a good luck video on Thursday at 10 a.m. with the likes of Wyndham Clark wishing luck to fellow 2023 U.S. Open winner Allisen Corpuz, and Brian Harman giving a shoutout to fellow British Open winner Lilia Vu.

The Solheim Cup has been contested in odd years since 2003. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing Ryder Cup officials to cancel in 2020, the biennial men’s event opted to stay with odd years after the 2021 contest at Whistling Straits.

The Solheim Cup moves back to even years next year at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia.

PGA of America’s 2023 Hall of Fame class includes Kathy Whitworth, Jim Nantz

The 2023 Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be in November at the PGA’s new home in Frisco, Texas.

The PGA of America’s 2023 Hall of Fame class will feature three PGA professionals, an LPGA legend, a past PGA president and a famous broadcaster.

The PGA announced its next Hall inductee list Monday, with the official ceremony set for Nov. 8, at the Omni PGA Frisco Resort in Texas.

PGA Members Robert Dolan (Middle Atlantic PGA Section), Don Wegrzyn (Illinois PGA Section) and Herb Wimberly (Sun Country PGA Section) will be inducted alongside past president Suzy Whaley, LPGA legend Kathy Whitworth and CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz at the 107th PGA Annual Meeting. The PGA’s Hall started in 1940.

“It is an incredible honor for the PGA of America to recognize and celebrate our six inductees who have made a real impact on the game of golf and the countless individuals they’ve inspired along the way,” said PGA of America President John Lindert.

Whitworth, who died on Christmas Eve in 2022, collected 88 victories during her 23-year career, the most tournament victories by a professional golfer. She was the LPGA’s leading money winner eight times, Player of the Year seven times and won the Vare Trophy (lowest scoring average) seven times.

Suzy Whaley is a Master Professional who became the first woman elected to serve as PGA President in 2018. She played on the LPGA in 1990 and 1993 and qualified for the 2003 Greater Hartford Open (now known as the Travelers Championship), becoming the first woman since Babe Zaharias in 1945 to play in a PGA Tour event.

Nantz is a member of the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. He’s also in the Pro Football and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fames. A three-time Emmy Award winner and five-time National Sportscaster of the Year, he’s been with CBS since 1985 and joined the network’s golf coverage in 1986.

Five players to watch at the KPMG Women’s PGA at Baltusrol and the numbers behind their success

The Performance Insights relies on caddies to gather information and turn in a special card after each round.

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — Two years ago, KPMG launched an analytics platform to help narrow the information divide between the men’s and women’s games. The program, similar to what’s offered on the DP World Tour, relies on caddies to gather information and turn in a special card after each round. KPMG pays the caddies a small stipend.

It’s an evolving system that gets more useful over time as data accumulates.

Scorecard numbers can only tell so much of the story, and as the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship kicks off this week at historic Baltusrol for the first time, we take a closer look at the Performance Insights numbers of five players to keep an eye on in New Jersey.


From the current No. 1 to a past champion and last week’s champion, here’s what the numbers tell us about these noteworthy stars:

Padraig Harrington admits to ‘the longest pee ever’ at 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

Harrington is 18 holes away from his second senior major golf championship.

Padraig Harrington is 18 holes away from his second senior major golf championship. He’s doing his best to not let a prolonged pit stop knock him off track.

A member of the over-50 circuit since last year, Harrington leads the 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in Frisco, Texas, 16 under by a shot over Steve Stricker. Rounds of 64-68-68 at the brand new East Course has Harrington in a solid position and he’s happy with how his week is going so far.

“First day I shot 64 easy. Second day I got everything out of it to shoot 68. Today I left a lot out on the golf course and shoot 68,” he said Saturday after his third round. “Golf’s a crazy game.”

Golf can be crazy indeed.

Turns out during the third round Mother Nature came calling for Harrington and let’s just say he’s wasn’t shy about discussing a very personal incident.

“Probably have had the silliest, maybe the most silliest. … I come up with the silliest excuse ever for making. … I’m glad I broke my par streak. It’s not good not to have made a bogey. That’s not a good thing. I know that sounds strange, so that’s the first thing I’ll say,” Harrington began to explain, slowly working his way up to the, uh, well, the interesting part of the story.

“Sixteen came out of nowhere, which is, I have a. … so, essentially, I went in the toilet. The door was locked. Took me a minute to realize there wasn’t somebody in there, another few, another while to get the door open.

“As we are on the Champions Tour, I had the longest pee ever.”

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You gotta go, the door is locked, you’re not sure someone’s in there, your group is waiting on you. We’ve all been there.

“And then I kind of rushed down the fairway and hit my shot. The second shot was kind of innocuous because the pin was so tight I was just playing 15 feet left of it and to be honest, yeah, I just, I wasn’t. … I do that sometimes, I just wasn’t focused, I wasn’t into it and I hit a bad shot in the hazard.”

Harrington ended up with a double bogey on the par-4 16th hole. He carded five birdies on the day before that, and then closed with a birdie on the par-5 18th, keeping his lead intact after 54 holes.

“But, yeah, so when you get over 50 it sometimes takes a long time to have a pee. And that was, yeah, that’s my excuse. That’s got to be original, I would assume.”

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‘It’s nice to catch it’: After more than 40 years, PGA club pro Cameron Doan has finally achieved his major championship dream

Doan has been the director of golf at Preston Trail Golf Club in Dallas since 1999.

Last week, Michael Block was the feel-good story in golf. This week another club pro is having his moment in the sun.

Cameron Doan, the director of golf at Preston Trail Golf Club in Dallas since 1999, is making his first start in a major this week at the Senior PGA Championship, which is being played at Fields Ranch East at PGA Frisco in nearby Frisco, Texas, and Doan had the honor of hitting the opening drive on Thursday. He went on to post an opening-round even-par 72.

Doan, the PGA’s 2018 Bill Strausbaugh Award winner, competed in more than 10 PGA Professional National Championships before turning 50 without qualifying for the PGA Championship. He attempted to qualify for the Senior PGA four times in the Senior PGA Professional Championship without finishing in the top 35. Twice he came within just a few strokes of getting to that elusive major.

“You get to be my age at 55, you wonder,” Doan said.

Ahead of the 2022 Senior PGA Professional Championship in October, Doan, who was making his fifth appearance in the championship, told, “The goal of playing in a major has been there for 40 years. I have to show my students, staff and kids that you can do it. You can set goals, work hard and achieve them.”

The 2022 qualifying tournament was held at Twin Warriors and Santa Ana Golf Clubs in New Mexico, where Doan grew up. Hailing from Silver City, Doan learned the game at a nine-hole course where his dad was the head pro and the course superintendent.

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“During the summers, the course was the babysitter for my younger brother and me,” he said.

Fittingly, he finished the tournament T-3 in his native state to secure a spot in his first major this week.

“I chased this a long time. It’s nice to catch it,” he said.

North Texas PGA CEO Mark Harrison caddied for Doan on the first hole—helping him start the Championship with a par.

“The first call I made, I called him (Harrison) and said, ‘All right, you’re in for the first hole,’” Doan said. “When I was in the hunt in New Mexico last October, he flew out, showed up Sunday morning on the last round and came strolling up on the 8th fairway when it’s blowing 30 and cold.”

“Incredible, better than you could dream, I would say,” said Harrison after handing off the bag to Doan’s son, Tristan, to caddie the rest of the round. “And to have him hit it right on the screws, that was incredible.”

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What some pros, and designer Gil Hanse, are saying about new golf course at Fields Ranch East at PGA Frisco, host of 83rd KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

The East course at PGA Frisco is scheduled to host 26 championships through 2034.

There are big plans for the PGA of America’s new home in Frisco, Texas, including the playing of multiple major championships.

The first of those is taking place this week at the 83rd KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.

PGA Frisco officially opened on May 2, with the Beau Welling-designed West course the first to open. The East, designed by the team of Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner, is scheduled already for 26 championships through 2034.

The Fields Ranch courses are part of the Omni PGA Frisco Resort. The property also serves as the new headquarters for the PGA of America, which previously had been located in South Florida.

How will the East course play? Ahead of the Senior PGA, several players discussed the layout, as did Hanse, the mastermind behind the venue.

Oak Hill member Jeff Sluman enjoyed the highlight of his career at the 1988 PGA Championship

“It was the first time ever in 95-degree heat that I had chills going up and down my entire body,” Sluman said of his hole-out eagle at 5.

Jeff Sluman didn’t lose a ball in the final round en route to winning the 70th PGA Championship, but he did lose a note from Jack Nicklaus.

The Golden Bear missed the cut at Oak Tree Golf Club in Edmond, Oklahoma, but stuck around to do television for ABC Sports and jotted a congratulatory note to Sluman, who not only won his first major but his first PGA Tour title 35 years ago.

“Here’s one of my all-time heroes saying how great I did,” Sluman recalled. “Your first win, they’re pulling you in a million directions, come over here and hold the trophy, do this interview. They physically gave me a check out of a checking book for $160,000. You had to sign the back of it. That’s one of the unique things I remember. Well, in all the hubbub, I lost the note. The following week I went up to Jack and thanked him for the note and said, ‘Jack, I hate to ask you this but any chance you remember what you wrote and would jot it down again?’ Kind of a unique request. I just wanted it for my personal scrapbook. He was very kind and did.”

MORE: PGA Championship live updates

Sluman, a longtime Oak Hill Country Club member who estimated he’s played between 300-400 rounds at the host of the 105th PGA Championship, will be working on the broadcast team instead of playing. He was born in September of 1957 and raised in Greece – not the country but rather the town in Monroe Country and suburb of Rochester, New York. He still recalls his father taking him to a practice round for the 1968 U.S. Open at Oak Hill and parking on one of the fairways of the West Course before watching childhood favorites Al Geiberger and Roberto de Vicenzo and trail after Arnold Palmer, who his dad supported.

“I got out of the car and remember saying, ‘Dad, we’re parking on fairways that are better than the greens we play on,’ He said, ‘Son, this is what real golf is.’ We were muni players. It still actually exists; Oak Orchard CC, which was a 45-minute drive from where we lived, near Albion, New York.”

Jeff Sluman of Rochester, N.Y., reacts after holing out for an eagle at the 5th green during the final round of the PGA Championship at Oak Tree Club in Edmond, Okla., Sunday, Aug. 14, 1988. Sluman surged into the lead and went on to win the tourney. (AP Photo/Dave Crenshaw)

Sluman grew up playing golf at Craig Hill Country Club (now known as Deerfield) and quickly became known as one of the top junior athletes in the Rochester area. His father, George, and older brother, Brad, were also low-handicap golfers, and helped guide a young Sluman, who won the Rochester District Golf Association’s (RDGA) Boys’ Sub-Junior Championship in 1971 at Durand Eastman Golf Course. He was also an impressive bowler in his youth, having competed in Rochester Junior Bowling Association leagues.

At 14, he recorded his first hole-in-one at Rochester’s Ridgemont Country Club, and qualified for the 1975 U.S. Junior Amateur. Locally, Sluman won the Rochester men’s district championship in 1977 and the New York State amateur title in 1978. He attended Tennessee Tech for one year and Monroe Community College in Rochester for another before transferring to Florida State. He turned pro in 1980, won just $13,643 as a PGA Tour rookie in 1983 and lost his card before regaining it the following year. He can recount nights spent in YMCA’s in far-flung places such as Singapore for $4 a night.

“If I didn’t make it by 1984, I decided it may be time to throw in the towel,” Sluman said.

But he stuck with it and started to show promise, earning more than $100,000 in 1984. Yet he arrived at the 70th PGA Championship, held August 11-14, 1988, north of Oklahoma City, winless in six years on Tour. Sluman flew under the radar all week carding rounds of 69-70-68, three strokes off the pace set by Paul Azinger.

Those rounds were lost in the flurry of scoring records on the usually severe Pete Dye-designed course, which was weakened by soft greens and a lack of wind. Bob Gilder set a course record of 66 on the first day; club pro Jay Overton tied that, and Dave Rummells, a journeyman pro, established a new one with his 64 on Friday. Saturday, Azinger made a hole-in-one to take a one-stroke lead over Rummells going into Sunday’s round.

That week, Sluman stayed in the guest house of fellow pro Willie Wood, who lived across the street from the golf course. On Saturday night, Sluman turned on the TV in his room and watched the local telecast, which previewed the final round and failed to mention his name even though he was in the thick of the trophy hunt. Playing in the penultimate pairing on Sunday, Sluman went into the final round with a chip on his shoulder.

“I kind of sat there and just scratched my head and said, ‘Jeez, I’m sitting there in third. Not that they’re supposed to say anything about me, but they’re at least supposed to mention my name.’ I was a little honked off.”

“He’s a little mighty mite, but he could really play,” said Craig Harmon, Oak Hill’s longtime head professional, who began coaching Sluman when he was about 18. “He was driven by the fact that everybody thought he was too small. But he was a little bulldog.”

Azinger, who began Sunday’s round with a 10-foot birdie putt to expand his lead to three, never could get comfortable. After the first birdie, he missed the green on four of his next five holes and fell behind for keeps. The turning point of the championship came early in the final round at the fifth hole, a sweeping 590-yard par-5 completely bordered on the left by water and on the right by scrub trees. Here, Sluman smacked a driver and a 4-iron to within 115 yards of a tiny, peninsula green. He pulled out his pitching wedge, but put it back in favor of a sand wedge. He then lofted a shot that bounced twice and rolled in for eagle to vault him to 9 under.

“It was the first time ever in 95-degree heat that I had chills going up and down my entire body,” Sluman said.

Azinger made bogey at the same hole and the three-shot swing was the springboard to a career-defining win for Sluman. He hit his first 10 greens in regulation, picking up birdies on No. 10 with a 20-foot putt and No. 12 when he stiffed an 8-iron. His only bogey was on the 13th hole, and he came back with a crucial 15-foot par putt at No. 14 and posted a 72-hole aggregate of 12-under 272. Sluman threw the ball in the crowd but otherwise reacted just as he had all day—with a little right-fisted pump, a touch of his visor, a nod, a tight-lipped smile. His 65 equaled the record for low final round by a PGA champion, set by David Graham in 1979.

1988 PGA Championship
Jeff Sluman throws his golf ball to the crowd after sinking a par putt on the 18th green to win the 1988 PGA Championship at Oak Tree Club in Edmond, Oklahpma. (Photo: Steve Helber/Associated Press)

Sluman went on to win six PGA Tour titles in all and six more times on PGA Tour Champions after turning 50. In 2019, he joined a group of 21 players who’ve played in 1,000 PGA Tour events, with the likes of Arnold Palmer, Hale Irwin and Tom Kite. And he’s not done yet.

“I’m not playing full-time anymore. I’m doing 15 events. Did that in 2021 and this year,” Sluman explained in late 2022. “I played 100 events in a row at one point. I took a week off and everyone called me and thought I was hurt. I said, ‘No, I just got tired of hearing I had played in 100 in a row.’ ”

But of the more than the thousand times Sluman has teed it up in competition, none was sweeter than his win at the 1988 PGA Championship.

“You talk about Johnny Miller’s 63 at Oakmont to win the (U.S.) Open, or Jack Nicklaus’ 65 to win the Masters in ’86, but Jeff Sluman’s round today had to be one of the greatest,” Azinger said on that fateful day.

If ever the little bulldog needs a reminder of the peak of his greatness, all Sluman has to do is look at Nicklaus’s note, which he saved and framed, and he’ll know that he once played like a giant.

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Fleece or flip-flops: The weather is greatest unknown for 105th PGA Championship in May at Oak Hill, as seen in the 2008 Senior PGA

Only Mother Nature knows for sure whether fans will be dressed in fleece or flip-flops.

“Bring some nice warm clothes,” advised Kerry Haigh, chief championships officer for the PGA of America.

Then he added: “And bring some warm weather so you won’t need your warm clothes.”

Such is the conundrum of hosting the 105th PGA Championship at Oak Hill’s East Course in Rochester, New York, where only Mother Nature knows for sure whether fans will be dressed in fleece or flip-flops May 18-21.

“Oak Hill is a hard enough course in beautiful weather,” said Jay Haas. “Heaven forbid if they have a late spring.”

Haas, now 69, should know. Fifteen years ago, he survived windy, wet, bitter-cold conditions to win the 2008 Senior PGA Championship. The first few days of that event the temperature dipped into the low 40s, an example of the worse-case scenario for Haigh come May. And this year’s PGA Championship is being staged one week earlier than the senior version that has some of its competitors still thawing out. It has some concerned that the weather at this year’s PGA could be something the pros want no part of, especially if it snows. (The 7-day forecast predicts temps ranging from 40-71 degrees, with a high of 56 on Wednesday but hitting 70 on Friday.)

MORE: PGA Championship live updates

Veteran pro Leonard Thompson, who made more than 1,000 starts combined between the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions, remembers teeing off on the 10th hole at Oak Hill in 2008, his first hole of the championship, and it was sleeting.

“I missed the cut there and I wasn’t that upset about it,” he recalled. “None of us could figure out why they went there in May. That’s not prime season in Rochester.”

2008 Senior PGA Championship
Jay Haas at the 69th Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club on May 22, 2008, in Rochester, New York. (Photo: Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

There’s a reasonable explanation for the decision to host the PGA Championship on Lake Ontario’s southern shore this May: it wasn’t part of the original plan.

When the PGA of America signed a contract in September 2015 to bring the PGA Championship there a decade after Jason Dufner won what has proved to be his lone major, the PGA still was held in its customary August date and was dubbed “Glory’s Last Shot” as the final major of the season. But that was before the PGA Tour decided to revamp its schedule and bump the FedEx Cup Playoffs into August so that its season concluded before college football and the NFL kicked off and dominated the attention of sports fans.

To do so, the Players Championship shifted to March, opening a window for the PGA Championship to have the spotlight in May. The first spring PGA was held in 2019 at Bethpage Black in New York and the weather cooperated. Last year, the temperature the week of the PGA was warmer in Rochester than in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Justin Thomas won the Wanamaker Trophy for the second time.

“Low 60s will be a beautiful day,” Haigh said of the weather at Oak Hill. “From an agronomy standpoint, the question is will they be able to grow the grass? They just need a minimal growing season.”

That’s a big if.

In 2008, the Senior PGA Championship dealt with frost delays during the practice rounds. An Eastern Mountain Sports store in a nearby shopping plaza had a run on gloves, performance undergarments and stocking caps. The lemonade stands and ice-cream carts at the course? They never opened for business. Too chilly. One look at the 10-day forecast led to a wave of pre-tournament withdrawals, including the likes of Ben Crenshaw, Fred Funk and Lanny Wadkins. And even those who showed up had second thoughts. Nick Price cited a back injury in withdrawing after shooting 3-over 38 for nine holes in the second round while Jerry Pate cited no reason after carding a 14-over 84 in the first round, which wasn’t even the highest score in the 156-player field.

“It was unforgiving, one of the hardest weeks we’ve had,” said Haigh.

Craig Harmon, who retired in 2013 as Oak Hill’s head pro after a distinguished 42 years at the club, said he was glad to see Oak Hill play tough in 2008, although the rough may have been too thick, heavy and wet for the 50-and-over set.

“You don’t want your historic golf course to play like a pitch-and-putt and 22 under wins,” Harmon said. “I remember when Johnny Miller shot 63 at Oakmont in the final round of the (1973) U.S. Open, the following year the Open was at Winged Foot and my dad (Claude) was the pro there and he said to the superintendent, ‘No one is shooting 63 next year on our watch.’ They grew the rough up and it was called the Massacre at Winged Foot.”

Hale Irwin famously won the 1974 Open with a score of 7 over par. After a loss at the 1995 Ryder Cup at Oak Hill, Haas found redemption by winning the 2008 Senior PGA with the highest winning score in championship history at 7 over. Haas played the first two rounds alongside Irwin, who missed the cut at Oak Hill’s massacre. But before he departed for warmer climes, Irwin left a note in Haas’s locker encouraging him that his game was sharp and to go take the title.

“Hale wasn’t one to throw around bouquets,” Haas said.

The mercury rose enough on the weekend to be tolerable, but scoring kept rising too. In the third round, Haas hit a low, drawing 8-iron from 172 yards at the 17th hole that rolled in for eagle and catapulted him into a tie for the lead. At Sunday’s trophy ceremony, Harmon watched from nearby, and as soon Haas finished his various duties he made a beeline to Harmon and said, “I’m on the wall baby,” a reference to joining an impressive roll call of the winners of majors at Oak Hill who are pictured in the club’s Hill of Fame.

2008 Senior PGA Championship
The 69th Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club on May 24, 2008 in Rochester, New York. (Photo: Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

In preparation for hosting the 105th PGA, Oak Hill superintendent Jeff Corcoran handled normal spring maintenance practices such as aerification to the course in the fall, knowing that any recovery time would be limited for a May championship. In another new twist, the PGA instructed its tent company to build out the scaffolding of its three largest structures ahead of time. That should allow them to do the rest of the decking and flooring even while snow still is on the ground.

What will the move to May mean for future championships? The PGA still has Aronimink in Pennsylvania (2026), Baltusrol in New Jersey (2029) and Congressional in Maryland (2030) on the docket in coming years, but the May date could eliminate the traditional great courses of the northeast from future consideration. It very well could be that Oak Hill’s fourth PGA Championship since 1980 could be its swansong.

“As long as the weather is halfway reasonable it can be our greatest championship yet,” said Haigh, trying to put a positive spin on the biggest unknown of staging this major. “Let’s talk in June about future PGAs at Oak Hill.”

By then, it might even be flip-flop weather.

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Photos: 2023 United States Disabled Open at PGA Golf Club

Chad Pfeifer failed to record a birdie in the final round but did collect 16 pars.

The United States Disabled Open was held for a fifth time in 2023, and for the second time, Chad Pfeifer came out victorious.

Pfeifer fell behind by three strokes through eight holes Wednesday at PGA Golf Club. But he stayed the course while he failed to record any birdies, he did card 16 pars, to go along with two bogeys, to shoot a 73 and ultimately win by two shots over Jeremy Bittner.

Pfeifer lost part of his right leg while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq in 2007.

“It means a lot to win,” he said. “I know I have a target on my back because a lot of guys are looking to try and beat me. That doesn’t always make it easy.”

Bailey Bish, of Tucson, Arizona, won the women’s division, her first win in a 54-hole disabled event. Her 88 on Wednesday was her best round of the week. Kelsey Koch was second, eight shots back.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” said Bish, who suffers from dystonia on her right side and uses crutches to get around the course. “Three years ago, I couldn’t even play nine holes, much less win a 54-hole tournament. I am so proud because I have worked really hard the last three years.”

World Golf Hall of Famer Dennis Walters of Jupiter, Florida, won the Seated Division by 18 shots.

The United States Disabled Open is run by the US Disabled Golf Association with the PGA of America serving as Presenting Partner of the Championship.

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Former PGA of America president Dick Smith dead at 80

“The PGA of America is heartbroken by the passing of our 27th PGA President Dick Smith.”

Dick Smith, the PGA of America president from 1991-92, passed away on March 8 after complications from a stroke, the PGA said. He was 80.

“The PGA of America is heartbroken by the passing of our 27th PGA President Dick Smith. A PGA Member since 1964 and a member of the PGA Hall of Fame, he had a great influence on our sport both as an administrator and a competitor,” said PGA President John Lindert. “One of the finest playing presidents in our Association’s history, Dick competed in 13 major championships during his career, highlighted by a 44th place finish at the 1970 U.S. Open and a 17th place showing at the 1992 Senior British Open.”

Smith was born in Ohio in 1942 and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. At age 10, he began playing golf with his father at the Mount Pleasant Golf Course, a public course in Baltimore where he also caddied.

Dick Smith speaking during the 54th Senior PGA Championship held at the PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. April 15-18, 1993. (photograph by The PGA of America).

In 1959 he won the Maryland State Jaycee Junior Championship. Smith attended Loyola College in Baltimore and turned pro in 1962. That year he came to the Philadelphia Section of the PGA as an assistant at the Green Valley Country Club, and would go on to win three section championships in succession and five overall. Smith worked at a variety of clubs during his career, most notably Woodcrest Country Club, Galloway National Golf Club and purchased the Williamstown Golf Center, which he operated for seven years. Smith and the Philadelphia Section created the Dick Smith Cup, an annual match between the assistants from the Central Counties Chapter and the assistants from the rest of the Philadelphia Section.

Smith played in five PGA Championships and a U.S. Open. That included the 1982 PGA Championship, where he opened with 76 in the first round, 13 strokes behind Raymond Floyd, who coasted to the title.

“I was an OK golfer back then, but that was the day when I realized how good the touring pros were compared to me,” Smith told Golfweek during an interview last year.

But among his peers, he more than held his own. He qualified for the PGA Club Professional Championships 15 times and the PGA Senior Club Professional Championship three times. In addition to being a five-time Section champion, he won more than 25 Philadelphia PGA championships during his career. He also captured the Section’s Player of the Year Award six times.

Smith came from humble beginnings and rose to the top of his profession. He served as Philadelphia PGA President from 1978-1980. He was in office for the PGA in the role of vice president during the Shoal Creek controversy surrounding the 1990 PGA Championship.

“Neither of our families had two nickels to rub together,” Smith told Golfweek for a story on Shoal Creek in reference to himself and his predecessor as PGA president, Pat Rielly. “One of our favorites sayings was ‘Never forget where you come from.’”

Smith was inducted into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2005.

“His service as President of the PGA from 1991-92 was extremely impactful on our membership, the game and the golf industry,” Lindert said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Smith family, including his wife Adrienne, daughter Stephanie and son and quarter-century PGA Member Dick Jr., along with his grandchildren, Alexandria, Zakary and Marissa.”

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