Mueller leads 20 club professionals to Tulsa; Phillips misses berth, readies for Senior PGA

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Final results:

AUSTIN, Texas (April 20, 2022) 一 Jesse Mueller of Phoenix, who won the 2022 PGA Professional Championship on Wednesday, will lead the team of 20 PGA Professionals to the 2022 PGA Championship, May 16-22, at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Not in the field will be one Tracy Phillips, whose valiant effort to become one of the older PGA club professionals (at 59) to play in the PGA Championship was undone by two bad and costly swings.

The first came on the eighth hole, a topped tee shot that found a hazard and led to a quadruple bogey 8 on the toughest hole on the course. The second came on the par-4 16th hole and again found a hazard, resulting in a double bogey at a time when three straight pars to finish would have put Phillips in the PGA Championship.

As it was, a bogey on 17 followed and after a closing par Phillips finished at 2-over and tied for 28th.

“It would have meant a lot to me,” Phillips said while waiting on a flight home to Tulsa Wednesday night. “I really never was nervous today. I started out great and was swinging well. I just had two bad swings that really cost me and chose a bad club or two as well.”

The bad club was Phillips fourth shot on the eighth hole, an 8-iron that came up short of the green in another hazard, making two water balls on the same hole.

“I thought I hit it perfect but it just came up short,” Phillips said. “Two balls in the water makes for an easy eight.

“But even then, I thought I was okay. I just needed to play the back nine in two or three under and I would have been fine.”

Phillips made a birdie and five pars on 9-15 to keep himself solidly in the top 20, but playing 16-17 in 3-over knocked him out.

Though he would have found it a tremendous challenge to play Southern Hills at close to 7,500 yards, Phillips has a great consolation prize. He and Tim Fleming from Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club have both qualified for the 2022 Kitchenaid Senior PGA Championship May 29-29 at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich.

“I’m really looking forward to playing in the Senior PGA,” Phillips said.

A 39-year-old General Manager at Grand Canyon University Golf Course in Phoenix, Mueller will be playing in the PGA Championship for the first time. He also secured a berth on the U.S. Team that will compete in the 30th PGA Cup, Sept 12-18, at Foxhills Club and Resort in Surrey, England.

Alex Beach of Stamford, Connecticut, and Ryan Vermeer of Omaha, Nebraska, will be the most experienced of the 20 PGA Professionals at Southern Hills. Both will be participating in their fifth career PGA Championship.

Beach and Tyler Collet of Vero Beach, Florida are the only two PGA Professionals returning to the PGA Championship for a second consecutive year. Beach, in fact, will be making a fourth straight appearance.

Beach; Paul Dickinson of Montauk, New York; and Tim Feenstra of Fall City, Washington claimed the final three PGA Championship spots available this week as they emerged from a four-players-for-three-spots playoff.

Twelve of the 20 PGA Club Professionals at Southern Hills in May will be making their PGA Championship debuts.

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Ken MacLeod

Publisher Golf Oklahoma | Oklahoma's No. 1 Golf Source