Twenty PGA Professionals to Play in the 100th PGA Championship

By John Dever
PGA of America

Ryan Vermeer of Omaha, Nebraska, who won the 2018 PGA Professional Championship on Wednesday (June 20), will lead a contingent of 20 PGA Professionals to the 100th PGA Championship, August 9-12, at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.

A 40-year-old Director of Instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Vermeer will be playing in his second consecutive PGA Championship.

Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio, will be the most experienced of the 20 PGA Professionals in St. Louis, as he will be participating in his 10th career PGA Championship, but his first since 2015.

Danny Balin of Rockville, Maryland; Michael Block of Aliso Viejo, California; Craig Bowden of Bloomington, Indiana; Omar Uresti of Austin, Texas; and Shawn Warren of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, earned the final five PGA Championship exemptions available this week, as they emerged from a tense nine-player playoff that lasted seven holes.

Uresti and Matt Dobyns of Glen Head, New York are tied the longest active streak among PGA Professionals. Both will be playing in their fourth straight PGA Championship at Bellerive.

Seven of the 20 PGA Club Professionals at Bellerive in August will be making their PGA Championship debuts, while six others return after playing in last year’s PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.

PLAYER HOMETOWN CLUB/FACILITY PGA SECTION PGA CHAMPIONSHIP EXPERIENCE
Danny Balin Rockville, Md. Westchester C.C. Metropolitan 2010-13
Rich Berberian Jr. Hooksett, N.H. Vesper C.C. New England 2016-17
Michael Block Aliso Viejo, Calif. Arroyo Trabuco G.C. Southern California 2014, '16
Matt Borchert Windermere, Fla. Isleworth C.C. North Florida None
Craig Bowden Bloomington, Ind. PGA Lifetime Member Indiana None
Matt Dobyns Glen Head, N.Y. Fresh Meadow C.C. Metropolitan 2012, ‘15-17
Jaysen Hansen Solon, Ohio Beechmont C.C. Northern Ohio 2017
Craig Hocknull Gilbert, Ariz. Saber Sports Trainer & Glenild G.C. Southwest None
Marty Jertson Phoenix, Ariz. Ping Golf, Inc. Southwest 2011-12
Zach Johnson Farmington, Utah Davis Park Golf Course Utah None
Ben Kern Abilene, Texas Diamondback G.C. Northern Texas None
Johan Kok Nashville, Tenn. Discovery Land Company Tennessee 2014-16
Sean McCarty Solon, Iowa Brown Deer G.C. Iowa None
David Muttitt Albuquerque, N.M. Los Altos Golf Course Sun Country 2013, '16-17
Jason Schmuhl Windsor, Calif. Windsor G.C. Northern California 2010
Brian Smock Coronado, Calif. Coronado Golf Course Southern California 2017
Bob Sowards Dublin, Ohio Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club Southern Ohio 1997, 2001, '03-04, '11-15
Omar Uresti Austin, Texas PGA Life Member Southern Texas 2015-17
Ryan Vermeer Omaha, Neb. Happy Hollow Club Nebraska 2017
Shawn Warren Cape Elizabeth, Maine Falmouth C.C. New England None