SANTA ANA PUEBLO, New Mexico – The Leo Fraser Trophy will again be on the line as the 2022 Senior PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac begins Thursday, Oct. 13, at Twin Warriors & Santa Ana Golf Clubs in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico. The four-day, 72-hole event is supported by Golf Channel.
Defending Champion Paul Claxton of Claxton, Georgia leads a full field of 264 players looking to earn a spot in the 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, the first major to be played at Fields Ranch East at PGA Frisco. Claxton is a PGA Life Member and Head Club Professional at Richmond Hill Golf Club in Richmond Hill, Georgia.
Claxton twice parred the Wanamaker’s always-difficult 18th hole, once in regulation to cap a final-round, 2-under 70 and again 20 minutes later, in a playoff, to win the 2021 Senior PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac over Mark Mielke at PGA Golf Club. Claxton went on to make the cut and finish tied for 39th at the 2022 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.
Several key exemptions are at stake this weekend:
- The low 35 scorers earn a berth into the 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Fields Ranch East at PGA Frisco in Frisco, Texas, May 25-28 – the first major to be contested at the new Home of the PGA of America.
- The Senior PGA Professional Championship’s top five finishers also garner an exemption into the final stage of the 2023 PGA Tour Champions Qualifying School – Final Stage 2022.
- Those who finish in the top eight, including ties, will automatically qualify for next year’s Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida, Oct. 24-29, 2023.
The field will include players from 46 states highlighted by 15 Texans and five players from New Mexico.
Every player will compete at the Twin Warriors and Santa Ana Courses Thursday and Friday, to be followed by a cut to the low 90 scorers and ties. Following Saturday’s round, a second cut will be made to the low 70 scorers and ties.
The third and final rounds will be played exclusively on the Twin Warriors Course.
In addition to the Leo Fraser Trophy, named after the 16th president of the PGA of America, players are competing for a $318,000 purse including the winner’s share of $26,000.
Claxton is one of 12 past Champions in the field, including two-time winners: Frank Esposito Jr. of Florham Park, N.J. (2014, ‘17) and Kirk Hanefeld of South Hamilton, Massachusetts (2008, ’11).
The 2022 Senior PGA Professional Championship will be the first of three PGA of America events to be staged at Twin Warriors in the next seven months. The 2022 Women’s PGA Cup will take place Oct. 25-29. The 2023 PGA Professional Championship is scheduled for Apr. 30-May 3. Twin Warriors has previously hosted a variety of notable events, including the PGA Professional Championship in 2003 and 2009.
For more information about the 2022 Senior PGA Professional Championship, visit PGA.com