20 Good Men: USPGA Club Pro Qualifiers

A look a the 20 club pros who have qualified to play in the USPGA

Matt Dobyns
Matt Dobyns
(Image credit: Getty Images)

One of the great features of the USPGA Championship is that 20 club professionals get a chance to compete by qualifying through the PGA Professional National Championship.

One of the great features of the USPGA Championship is that 20 club professionals get a chance to compete by qualifying through the PGA Professional National Championship.

Leading the way in that event was Matt Dobyns of Glen Head in New York. He birdied the final hole to win the 48th PGA Professional National Championship at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in Pennsylvania. It was the second time the 37-year-old has won the tournament – he also triumphed in 2012. He’ll be looking to perform a little better at Whistling Straits than he did at Kiawah Island that year – he fired rounds of 81 and 79 to miss the cut by 10 strokes. He was 18 shots behind eventual winner Rory McIlroy at that stage.

In this video Rory tells us how he became a champion:

The men making it through to Whistling Straits courtesy of their performance in the PGA Professional National Championship are:

Brian Cairns of Walled Lake, Mich., and the Fox Hills Learning Center

Matt Dobyns of Glen Head, N.Y., and Fresh Meadow CC

Sean Dougherty of Overland Park, Kan., and Oakwood CC

Charles Frost of Johns Island, S.C., and Kiawah Island Club

Brian Gaffney of Darien, Conn., and Quaker Ridge GC

Brett Jones of Basking Ridge, N.J., and Due Process Stable

Ryan Helminen of Menasha, Wis., and Ridgeway CC

Ryan Kennedy of Ventura, Calif., and Oakmont CC

Johan Kok of Brentwood, Tenn., and The Hideaway at Arrington

Alan Morin of Royal Palm Beach, Fla., and The Falls CC

Jeff Olson of Delaware, Ohio, and Golf Club of Dublin

Austin Peters of Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Wood Ranch GC

Ben Polland of Manhasset, N.Y., and Deepdale GC

Adam Rainaud of South Hadley, Mass., and Black Hall Club

Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio, and New Albany CC

Brent Snyder of Hudson, Wis., and Troy Burne GC

Grant Sturgeon of Port Chester, N.Y., and Winged Foot GC

Omar Uresti of Austin, Texas

Daniel Venezio of South Hamilton, Mass., and Myopia Hunt Club

Steven Young of Midland, Texas, and Midland CC

Of those qualifiers there are some excellent players to watch out for, including:

Alan Morin has qualified to play in the USPGA Championship on five previous occasions – 2002, ‘03, ’05, ’08, ’12. The 46-year-old turned pro in 1996 and has played a number of events on the PGA Tour. He’s yet to make the cut in the USPGA but, with the experience he’s gained form previous outings, this could be the season.

Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio has been extremely successful in qualifying for the USPGA in recent years. He’s made it every season since 2011. He also qualified way back in 1997, also 2001, ’03 and ’04. In 2008 Sowards played 22 events on the PGA Tour and picked up almost $300,000 in prize money. He didn’t retain his card. Like Morin, he’ll be desperate to make his first cut in the USPGA Championship.

Omar Uresti had 350 starts on the PGA Tour but never won an event. He did, however, pick up almost $4 million in 15 years on the circuit. This will be his first PGA Championship. Uresti has just turned 47.

Omar Uresti

Omar Uresti

But these guys will all have to work hard to make it to the weekend at Whistling Straits; the last Club Professional to make the cut in the USPGA was Mike Small back in 2011.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?