Nine Pros Representing Met Area in PGA Championship
UPDATED 4:30 p.m. (August, 9 2012) - The 2012 PGA Championship is underway and defending champion Keegan Bradley kept his momentum running from his victory last week and opened with a 4-under 68. Bradley was in the marquee pairing this morning with Tiger Woods, who also got off to a hot start with a 3-under 69.
Meanwhile, Matt Dobyns and Mark Brown were also on the course early and didn't fare as well. Dobyns opened with an 81 (T154) and Brown shot a 78 (T144). Darrell Kestner (the oldest competitor in the field at 58), Frank Bensel, Brian Gaffney, and Dan Balin all teed off in the afternoon. You can follow their progress with this customized leaderboard.
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (August 6, 2012) - The Met Area will be well represented when the 94th PGA Championship kicks off this Thursday, August 9 at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Nine total players will compete amongst the strongest field of the PGA Tour season on what is also being deemed as one of the most difficult tests of the year.
The par-72, 7,676-yard seaside layout will present shifting winds normally reserved for the Open Championship. Headlining the field of local pros looking to make some noise at Kiawah is 2012 National Club Professional champion Matt Dobyns of Fresh Meadow. Dobyns not only won the National Club Pro, he broke a 41-year-old record set by Sam Snead for largest margin of victory (won by five shots).
The 2010 Met Open runner-up, Danny Balin of Burning Tree, will be making his third consecutive appearance in the PGA and is seeking his first cut at Kiawah. Playing in his fourth major championship is Rumson head pro Brian Gaffney. It'll actually mark his second major in two months, as Gaffney qualified for the U.S. Open at Olympic Club through the Canoe Brook Sectional Qualifier. He has also appeared in the 2000 and 2009 PGA Championships.
Three-time Met Open winner Darrell Kestner of Deepdale is a veteran when it comes to majors. The 58-year-old has qualified for eight U.S. Opens, 10 PGA Championships and the 2010 Senior PGA Championship. The 2007 Met Open champion, Frank Bensel of Century, is making his first visit back to the PGA since 2004, when he competed at Whistling Straits, and 1999 Met Open champion Mark Brown of Tam O'Shanter is making his third visit to the PGA and is also looking for his first cut in the championship.
All six club pros mentioned in the PGA field are also slated to compete in the 2012 Met Open at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J. beginning August 21. Click here for Met Open pairings.
In addition, there are the pros with Met Area roots that play on the big stage every week. St. John's University alumnus and Wheatley Hills member Keegan Bradley is returning to the PGA as the defending champ. He's also riding strong momentum after a come-from-behind win at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational this past weekend.
Five-time MGA major winner and 2012 Sony Open victor Johnson Wagner is still trying to top his T38 finish at the 2008 Masters, which is his best finish in a major. Connecticut native and 1997 Ike runner-up J.J. Henry is also riding a wave of momentum heading into Kiawah. Like Bradley, Henry collected a PGA Tour victory last week at the Reno-Tahoe Open.
For complete coverage of the PGA Championship, visit the championship's official website here.