Met Area Locals set to Compete at PGA Championship
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (August 5, 2013) - The Met Area will be well represented again at this year’s PGA Championship at New York’s own Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y. This season’s final major will take place this starting Thursday, August 8 at the venue that Ernie Els said is the best, fairest and toughest championship golf course he has ever played as a professional.
- The local rooting interest begins with 2011 PGA Champion and former member of the St. John’s golf team, Keegan Bradley. Bradley was voted PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2011 after making perhaps the biggest splash on tour that season by not only winning the PGA Championship, but also the Byron Nelson Championship, the Franklin Templeton Shootout and the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. In 2012, Bradley didn’t slow down, winning the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, coming in second at the Northern Trust Open and third at the PGA Championship. He finished off 2012 with an excellent showing at the Ryder Cup, despite a USA loss. He will be looking for his first win of 2013 at Oak Hill this week, as well as his second major championship.
- Three Met Area Club Professionals will be teeing it up at Oak Hill this week as well. All of them needed a top-20 finish at the PGA Professional National Championship at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Ore. this past June. Leading the way and tieing for ninth at 1-under for the event was Mark Brown of Tam O’Shanter, who will be making his third PGA appearance. Brown is a 2-time New York State Open Champion, a 2-time Met PGA Champion and winner of the 1999 Met Open Championship, where he shot a final round course-record 65 at Tuxedo.
- It would take playoff holes and a little bit of drama for the other two Met Area local pros to get into the top-20 and earn their PGA Championship spot. Last year’s Met Open champion and back-to-back NYS Open winner Danny Balin of Burning Tree won on the first playoff hole with a birdie, making this his fourth straight PGA Championship.
It was six players vying for three spots and Balin escaped early, unlike Rob Labritz of GlenArbor. Labritz stood 95 yards away on the second playoff hole, a par-4. It was his third shot from the fairway and it would have to be a magical up and down just to extend the playoff, but instead Labritz miraculously holed out with a gap wedge for his birdie getting him into the PGA Championship. The back-to-back Met PGA Professional Champion will be making his second PGA Championship appearance in four years, his last coming at Whistling Straits in 2010, where he was low club pro.
- Labritz will be the first off No. 1 tee at Oak Hill on Thursday. He will go off at 7:10 a.m. with John Senden and Shane Lowry. In round two on Friday they will go off the 10th tee at 12:20 p.m.
- Danny Balin will tee off Thursday at 12:25 p.m. on tee No. 1 and at 7:15 a.m. Friday on No. 10 tee. He will play alongside John Huh and Ryo Ishikawa.
- Keegan Bradley will be playing in what should be a very entertaining group, with Davis Love III and Tiger Woods. They will go off the 10th tee Thursday at 8:35 a.m. and the first tee Friday at 1:45 p.m.
- Mark Brown will be playing with Scott Piercy and Brooks Kopeka. They will tee off No. 10 Thursday at 12:20 p.m. and at 7:10 a.m. Friday on the first tee.
Television coverage can be seen on TNT and CBS Thursday through Sunday.