A Closer Look at the Team of 20 at Southern Hills
The PGA of America does so much more to contribute to the growth of the game of golf beyond hosting the PGA Championship. Made up of nearly 28,000 men and women PGA Professionals across the country, they play an instrumental role in bringing the game to both juniors and adults. Each year, 20 of those PGA Professionals earn the opportunity to compete in the PGA Championship based on their finish in the PGA Professional Championship.
“For us what's really special is the Team of 20. It's the 20 PGA Club Professionals that are representing the 28,000, but those individuals that have kept their games at an extremely high level, some of our professionals that have made the cut in this championship in the past,” said Jim Richerson, President of the PGA of America. “We've got individuals who have played in the Championship multiple times, but they also are the ones that are living out our mission on a daily basis of elevating the status of PGA members around the country and the role that they have in the game and growing the game.”
At Southern Hills Country Club, the Team of 20 is made up of nine first-timers, nine repeat participants and two professionals who have won the PGA Professional Championship, including the most recent winner in Jesse Mueller who won this year’s championship in April at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa.
Here’s a closer look at the Team of 20 who are competing at Southern Hills Country Club.
Club: Westchester Country Club, Rye, New York
Fun Fact: Winner of the 2019 PGA Professional National Championship, Beach chipped in for birdie to earn a spot in the field at Southern Hills Country Club where he will make his fifth PGA Championship start.
Quote: “Everytime you play out there you learn a lot, feel more confident, more comfortable. And I think those are two of things that are hardest to achieve, at that level, for us.”
Club: Bent Tree Country Club, Dallas, Texas
Fun Fact: Bingaman began the final round of the PGA Professional Championship at T61 at 4-over par and rallied on the final day to earn a spot in the top-20 to advance to the PGA Championship.
Quote: “I’m one of the most competitive people I’ve ever met.”
Club: Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club, Mission Viejo, California
Fun Fact: Michael’s son, Dylan, caddied for him at the 2022 PGA Professional Championship last minute after his original caddie was injured and had to drop out. When Dylan was 13-years-old, he caddied for his dad in the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in Michael’s hometown of St. Louis.
Quote: “To have my son on the bag, it’s something I will never forget. It’s what you live for, you know?”
Club: Isleworth Golf & Country Club, Windermere, Florida
Fun Fact: Played competitively for 13 years, going to Q-School every year between 2000 - 2013 and earned his PGA Tour card in 2008. Borchert has worked at Isleworth Golf & Country Club for nine years.
Quote: “Every day is pretty much a fun one. I get to go to a land of great golf and great people.”
Club: John’s Island Club, Vero Beach, Florida
Fun Fact: After competing in the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island where he finished +26 for the week, it made him rethink his game. His wife helped him see how much pressure he was putting on himself and he soon realized that everyone has bad days.
Quote: “I kinda took a step back and evaluated how that event went, and really had to tell myself, it’s just a game.”]
Club: Atlantic Golf Club, Bridgehampton, New York
Fun Fact: Dickinson’s family have been the longtime operators of Deep Hollow Ranch, one of the oldest cattle ranches in the country in Montauk on Long Island. At the age of 12, he took a job at the ranch but quickly realized it wasn’t for him.
Quote: “I guess I cut the cord for the Dickinsons and the cowboys!”
Club: Broadmoor Golf Club, Seattle, Washington
Fun Fact: Feenstra dreamed of being able to play on the PGA Tour but decided all the traveling involved wasn’t something for him and became a PGA Professional. In his eighth start at the PGA Professional Championship he earned a spot for the first time in the field at the 2022 PGA Championship.
Quote: “Being able to say I’ve played in a major, to my members and friends and family, it’s pretty fun.”
Club: Wing Point Golf & Country Club, Bainbridge Island, Washington
Fun Fact: During his freshman year playing for Washing State University, Hurt set what was, at the time, the lowest scoring average in the school’s history with an average of 73.8.
Quote: “I like to hit it straight and I don’t mind making the 15-footer for par, I can tell you that. I like making birdies too but I like to be in the fairway and I like to be on the green in regulation and I know that’s going to be a challenge at the PGA Championship but it’s one I’m looking forward to.”
Club: Shadow Hills CC, Junction City, Oregon
Fun Fact: Colin’s sister, Caroline Inglis, competes on the LPGA Tour.
Quote: “[Caroline’s] only beat me once in her life and it was only for nine holes, so I think I’ve got the bragging rights in the family”
Club: Preston Trail, Golf Club, Dallas, Texas
Fun Fact: Former PGA Champions Lee Trevino, Lanny Wadkins and David Graham are members at Ishee’s club.
Quote: “I’ll talk to them about golf courses, playing in The Open or the PGA [Championship] or the Ryder Cup and about certain shots they’ve hit. They’ve been great supporters. They’re awesome to talk to. Give great advice, golf swing, any kind of tip, great story.”
Club: River Oaks Country Club, Houston, Texas
Fun Fact: Jim Mclean, a top-ranked PGA of America Professional, is a mentor of Jones.
Quote: “You’re going to make mistakes along the way, that’s probably the biggest thing I learned along the way. Make mistakes, learn from them, move on.”
Club: Brown Deer Golf Club, Coralville, Iowa
Fun Fact: In 2018, McCarty recorded the highest single swing speed on the PGA Tour at 131.4 mph. His two teenage sons, Mac and Jack, are now able to outdrive their dad
Quote: “[My sons] outhit me. I’ve accepted that, now.”
Club: The Farms Golf Club, Rancho Sante Fe, California
Fun Fact: Members at Mendoza’s club include the PGA Tour’s Xander Schauffele, Charlie Hoffman, and Emiliano Grillo.
Quote: “Playing with those guys and seeing how they go about their craft and knowing, hey, you know golf is not a perfect game. Those guys hit bad shots like everybody else does.”
Club: Grand Canyon University Golf Course, Phoenix, Arizona
Fun Fact: With his wife Jessica on the bag, Mueller won the 2022 PGA Professional National Championship and celebrated not just his victory, but also their wedding anniversary, after the final round by ordering pizza to their hotel room.
Quote: “[Jessica] helps keep me grounded. She doesn’t tell me too much, emotions getting up and down too much, she tells me to settle down a little bit. She’s not telling me what club to hit or anything but more just keeping it light and keeping me calm.”
Club: Brae Burn, CC, Purchase, New York
Fun Fact: Newman’s fiancé, Carly Peters, is also a member of the PGA of America.
Quote: “I love having [Carly’s] support. I feel a sense of calm when she's around, I just know when she’s there I feel comfortable.”
Club: Bidermann Golf Club, Wilmington, Delaware
Fun Fact: Oakley turned to watching YouTube videos of Tiger Woods for inspiration when he was struggling with his own game. Within 10 minutes of watching, something clicked that turned his game around
Quote: “From the swing, to every aspect of the game, [Tiger’s] basically my video coach.”
Club: The Stanwich Club, Greenwich, Connecticut
Fun Fact: Cyne wasn’t able to sleep several nights while competing at the 2022 PGA Professional National Championship because he was so nervous and excited.
Quote: “It’s the PGA Championship. It’s a major. Are you kidding me? This is as good as it gets. If you're a golfer and you're playing in a major. There are not words to describe the feeling.”
Club: Happy Hollow Club, Omaha, Nebraska
Fun Fact: Vermeer’s father is a lifetime member of the PGA of America.
Quote: “I just grew up at the golf course. [Dad] never said that I had to be there, he never said that I couldn’t. He just gave me the access to go to the golf course whenever I wanted to go there.”
Club: Falmouth Country Club, Falmouth, Maine
Fun Fact: Warren competed in the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club where the major championship saw record-setting crowds.
Quote: “To know what it’s like to go there, and to know we're going to experience that again, you can’t put it into words.”
Wyatt Worthington II
Club: The Golf Depot at Central Park, Gahanna, Ohio
Fun Fact: Received a lesson from Tiger Woods during a golf clinic in Columbus, Ohio in 2001 and compared the experience to what he imagined it would be like meeting Michael Jordan
Quote: “Without having that type of exposure, of a face that looks like me that I can relate to on so many different levels, it pretty much just changed the entire crash course of my life.”