The group that will compete at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, August 3-9, is led by Ryan Vermeer, Director of Instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Neb. The 2020 PGA Professional Championship was cancelled, making the top 20 on the 2019 PGA Player of the Year list eligible to compete at Harding Park.
Ryan Vermeer, the 42-year-old PGA Director of Instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Neb., will lead a contingent of 20 PGA Professionals in the 2020 PGA Championship, August 3-9, at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, 18 of whom currently work for country clubs, golf courses and resort properties throughout the U.S.
The 2020 PGA Professional Championship, which had been scheduled for July 19-22 at the Fazio Foothills and Coore Crenshaw Cliffside courses at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas, was canceled on June 29 because of the coronavirus outbreak, making the top 20 on the 2019 PGA Player of the Year list were eligible for the 2020 PGA Championship.
Vermeer will be playing in his fourth consecutive PGA Championship after claiming the top spot on the 2019 Professional Player of the Year Standings. He collected 962.975 total points last year, while Marty Jertson of Phoenix and Ping Golf was runner-up with 816. Danny Balin of Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, N.Y. finished third with 800 points.
Others now expected to play in the Championship at Harding Park include:
- Rich Berberian Jr. of Vesper Country Club in Tyngsborough, Mass., who will participate in his fifth straight PGA Championship, the longest active streak among PGA Club Professionals (Vermeer is second with four). Berberian (2016) and Vermeer (2018) are both past winners of the PGA Professional Championship.
- Bob Sowards of Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club in Powell, Ohio, who will participate in his 11th career PGA Championship and first since 2018. Sowards’ 11 career PGA Championship starts are tied for second all-time among PGA Club Professionals (Steve Schneiter of Schneiter’s Pebblebrook Golf Course in Sandy, Utah, leads with12).
- Jeff Roth of the Boyne Golf Academy in Michigan will be making his sixth career PGA Championship appearance, but his first in 16 years. The 62-year-old Roth’s initial PGA Championship came in 1988 at Oak Tree Golf Club in Edmond, Okla, while his most recent start came in 2004 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
- PGA Life Member Jeff Hart of Solana Beach, Calif., one of four PGA Club Professionals making his PGA Championship debut next month. Hart is the lone PGA Club Professional in the field from the state of California.
The Metropolitan (New York area) PGA Section leads the way with four players in the field—Balin, Alex Beach of Westchester Country Club, Rye, N.Y.; Jason Caron of the Mill River Club, Oyster Bay, N.Y.; and Rob Labritz of GlenArbor Golf Club, Bedford Hills, N.Y. Combined, the four have played in 15 PGA Championships.
The Michigan, New England and Southern Ohio PGA Sections are represented by two players apiece.
Vermeer, Jertson and Balin are also assured of spots in the 120th U.S. Open Championship, to be held September 17-20 on the West course at Winged Foot Golf Club, in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
By finishing in the top three of the 2019 Professional Player of the Year Standings. the trio was granted exemptions for that Championship by the United States Golf Association
Here is the complete roster of the 20 PGA Professionals who will compete in the 2020 PGA Championship:
|NAME||HOMETOWN||CLUB/FACILITY||PGA SECTION||PGA CHAMPIONSHIP EXPERIENCE|
|Michael AUTERSON||Milford, Ohio||Hickory Woods Golf Course||Southern Ohio||None|
|Danny BALIN||Great Neck, N.Y.||Fresh Meadow Country Club||Metropolitan||2010-13, ’18-19|
|Alex BEACH||Rye, N.Y.||Westchester Country Club||Metropolitan||2017, ’19|
|Rich BERBERIAN Jr.||Hooksett, N.H.||Vesper Country Club||New England||2016-19|
|Justin BERTSCH||Naples, Fla.||Club Pelican Bay||South Florida||2019|
|Jason CARON||Oyster Bay, N.Y.||Mill River Club, Inc.||Metropolitan||2019|
|Ben COOK||Caledonia, Mich.||Yankee Springs Golf Course||Michigan||2019|
|Judd GIBB||Fort Dodge, Iowa||Lakeside Municipal Golf Course||Iowa||None|
|Jeff HART||Solana Beach, Calif.||(PGA of America Life Member)||Southern California||None|
|Marty JERTSON||Phoenix||Ping Golf, Inc||Southwest||2011-12, ’18-19|
|Zach J. JOHNSON||Farmington, Utah||Davis Park Golf Course||Utah||2018|
|Alex KNOLL||Jim Thorpe, Pa.||Glen Brook Golf Club||Philadelphia||None|
|Rob LABRITZ||Pound Ridge, N.Y.||GlenArbor Golf Club||Metropolitan||2002-03, ’10, ’13, ’16, ’19|
|David MUTTITT||Albuquerque, N.M.||Los Altos Golf Course||Sun Country||2013, ’16, ’17-18|
|John O’LEARY||Sterling, Va.||Trump National Golf Club Washington||Middle Atlantic||2019|
|Rod PERRY||Port Orange, Fla.||Crane Lakes Golf & Country Club||North Florida||2012-14, ’16-17, ’19|
|Jeff ROTH||Farmington, N.M.||BOYNE Golf Academy||Michigan||1988, ’91, ’94, ’96, 2004|
|Bob SOWARDS||Dublin, Ohio||Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club||Southern Ohio||1997, 2001, ’03-04, ’11-15, ’18|
|Ryan VERMEER||Omaha, Neb.||Happy Hollow Club||Nebraska||2017-19|
|Shawn WARREN||Portland, Maine||Falmouth Country Club – ME||New England||2018|