BLUFFTON, S.C. (April 27, 2019) – The PGA Professional Championship celebrates its first niche on the spring golf calendar by visiting historic Belfair of Bluffton, South Carolina, one of the Southeast’s premier golf destinations. The largest all-professional national championship in the game is Sunday, April 28 through Wednesday, May 1.
The 52nd edition of the PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac, Club Car and OMEGA features a 312-player field representing 45 states and all 41 PGA Sections.
Defending Champion Ryan Vermeer of Omaha, Nebraska, is one of 17 past Champions in the field competing for a total purse of $550,000. In 2018, Vermeer, the PGA Director of Instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, became the first Nebraska PGA Member to capture the national championship and a PGA Professional Player of the Year award.
The host Carolinas PGA Section will have 12 representatives in a field that also includes the largest women PGA contingent: Sherry Andonian of La Quinta, California; Alexandra Braga of Denver, Colorado; reigning PGA Women’s Stroke Play Champion Joanna Coe of Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland; and Ashley Grier of Hagerstown, Pennsylvania.
“We are excited to take the PGA Professional Championship to Belfair, one of the true golfing gems in the country, and make it our first national championship of the spring,” said PGA President Suzy Whaley. “It’s a week for the best playing members of our Association to showcase their talents through coverage on Golf Channel and be recognized for being instrumental at their respective facilities as executive managers, golf course operators, teachers and coaches.”
James Swift, PGA Director of Golf at Belfair, said his staff and 650 volunteers are ready to host their first national championship. Belfair follows the Ocean Course of Kiawah Island (2005) and The Dunes Club of Myrtle Beach (2014) as South Carolina hosts sites.
“It’s an exciting time at Belfair and an honor to host 312 of the best playing PGA Professionals,” said Swift. “We hope that their time here is a pleasant one, but also that they enjoy all of the facilities we offer. We anticipate a great week.”
Belfair, a former plantation, cattle ranch and turkey farm dating to 1811, was transformed into a world-class golf destination in the 1990s. The Championship will be contested on two Tom Fazio-designed courses – the West and the East. There will be 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 after Wednesday’s final round earn a berth in the 101st PGA Championship at Bethpage Black Course in Farmingdale, New York.
The West Course, ranked among Golfweek’s Top 100 Private Residential Golf Courses, will host the final two rounds. Golf Channel provides coverage all four rounds.