Uresti Wins PGA Pro Championship, Uproar Ensues

Twenty spots in the field for the PGA Championship in August were up for grabs during this week’s PGA Professional Championship. The tournament went into a sudden-death playoff with a familiar name taking first place: Omar Uresti.

 
While the 19 finishers after Uresti qualified for the major event at Quail Hollow, Uresti also qualified for a handful of other tournaments as the winner: six PGA Tour events in the next 12 months.

The win did not sit well with many PGA of America members, who argue that Uresti, a longtime PGA Tour member, has never worked as a club or teaching professional.

Michael Powers, a teaching professional out of Boston, summed up the frustration best on Twitter.


Bullets

  • The annual PGA Professional Championship was held this week in Sunriver Oregon, with Omar Uresti beating Dave McNabb in a playoff. A brutal course, Sunriver Resort yielded just seven under-par finishers after four rounds, with Uresti finishing at just -4.
  • For the victory, Uresti qualified for the PGA Championship in August. Other notables to qualify via the event were Paul Claxton, Rich Berberian Jr, and three-time PGA Professional winner Mike Small.
  • The 48-year-old Uresti has played 356 career PGA Tour events, but with no victories. He has twice finished third place: 1997 Bay Hill Invitational and the 2006 Byron Nelson Championship. He has not held status on Tour since 2010, when he made just 10 cuts in 27 events.
  • Uresti also qualified for last year’s PGA Championship, shooting 72-78 (+10) and missing the cut.

PGA Press Release

The PGA of America issued the following statement:

“The PGA of America has a diversified membership, which includes former and current Tour players. Omar is eligible to compete in our PGA Professional Championship because PGA Tour pros are eligible for PGA of America ‘Class A’ membership [which is how he originally became a member].

“He played more than 20 years on Tour. Once he was no longer playing on Tour, like any other PGA Member who had 20+ active years of PGA Membership, Omar became eligible for ‘Life Member-Active’ [and] therefore eligible to compete in the PGA Professional Championship, and in addition, hold PGA office and vote.

“Omar, like all other ‘Life Member-Active Members,’ is required to complete the Member Service Requirements of the Professional Development Program (continuing education and Association activities) over a three-year period.

“We congratulate Omar on his victory and look forward to seeing him compete this August at the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club.”


Joel Cook

Joel Cook is Pro Golf Weekly's Lead Writer. He is a member of the Golf Writer's Association of America.



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