What to watch this week: Oklahomans in action across the U.S.

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Phillips, Fleming, Young in Senior PGA Professional Championship

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (October 20, 2021) – The Leo Fraser Trophy will again be on the line as the 2021 Senior PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac begins Thursday at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The four-day, 72-hole event is supported by Golf Channel and is being contested at PGA Golf Club for the 14th time since it debuted in Port St. Lucie in 2002.

Defending Champion Omart Uresti of Austin, Texas, is the favorite—and for good reason. The 53-year-old PGA Life Member is on a remarkable run at PGA Golf Club, having won five different PGA of America events there in the last 12 months.

Three Oklahomans will be in the field seeking one of 35 spots in the 2022 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton, Mich., May 26-29. They are Tulsa-based teaching pro Tracy Phillips, Tim Fleming, the director of golf at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, and Jim Young, the director of instruction at Gaillardia Golf Club in Oklahoma City.

Uresti’s 6-shot win in the 2020 Senior PGA Professional Championship last October sparked an unprecedented run on Florida’s Treasure Coast. He subsequently claimed victories in Events #1 and #2 of the PGA Tournament Series in December, the Quarter Century Championship in early January and the PGA Professional Championship by three shots in late April.

Uresti will attempt to fend off a full field of 264 players, with several key exemptions at stake in addition to the Senior PGA Championship.

  • The Senior PGA Professional Championship’s top five finishers also garner an exemption into the final stage of the 2021 PGA Tour Champions Qualifying School – Final Stage.

  • Those who finish in the top eight, including ties, will automatically qualify for next year’s Championship at Twin Warriors Golf Club at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa and Santa Ana Golf Club, both in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico, October 13-16, 2022.

The field will include players from 42 states, led by 28 Floridians, 19 Californians, and 17 Texans.

Every player will compete on the Ryder and Wanamaker Courses Thursday and Friday, to be followed by a cut to the low 90 scorers and ties. Following Saturday’s round, a second cut will be made to the low 70 scorers and ties.

The third and final rounds will be played exclusively on the Wanamaker Course.

In addition to the Leo Fraser Trophy, named after the 16th president of the PGA of America, players are competing for a $318,000 purse including the winner’s share of $26,000.

Uresti is one of 12 past Champions in the field, including a trio of two-time winners: Frank Esposito Jr. of Florham Park, N.J. (2014, ‘17); Kirk Hanefeld of South Hamilton, Massachusetts (2008, ’11); and Mike San Filippo of Hobe Sound, Florida (2002, ’05).

Sherry Andonian of Centennial, Colorado, is the lone woman competitor in the field.

Kaitlin Milligan

Milligan seeks to move on in LPGA Qualifying Stage II

VENICE, Fla. — With the Symetra Tour season complete and the LPGA Tour on its Asian swing, the rest of eyes on women’s golf shift to the Sunshine State for Stage II of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament this Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 21-24. A 179-player field is set to compete in southwest Florida on the Panther and Bobcat Courses at Plantation Golf & Country Club.

“It’s great to be back in Venice to provide these athletes the opportunity to chase their LPGA Tour dream,” said Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer of LPGA Qualifying Tours. “After finalizing the Race for the Card Top 10 on the Symetra Tour just a couple weeks ago, we are eager to continue the Q-School process and see who will join the newest 10 members of the LPGA on Tour in 2022.”

Kaitlin Milligan of Norman, who last spring completed an outstanding career at the University of Oklahoma, is in the field, as are several players who have completed their careers at Oklahoma or Oklahoma State or are playing as amateurs. Among them are former Oklahoma State golfers Maja Stark and Maddie McCrary, former OU golfer Julienne Soo and current OU golfer Libby Winans.

Individuals will battle in a 72-hole, stroke-play format featuring no cut. To be eligible for LPGA Q-Series from Nov. 29—Dec. 12 on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama, a player must finish inside the top 45 plus ties at Stage II and meet all criteria for LPGA Tour membership. If a player finishes within the top 45 plus ties but is not eligible or able to compete in Q-Series, her vacated spot will not be allocated to another player.

Action begins at 7:00 a.m. CDT all four days with the rotation Bobcat Course-Panther Course to be used in the first two rounds. The entire field will be re-paired by score for round three with lower scores playing the Panther Course and higher scores playing the Bobcat Course. In the final round, players will alternate the course played in round three and be re-paired by score. If a player started the third round on the Bobcat Course, she will be re-paired by score and play the Panther Course in the final round.

Mason Overstreet
Brendon Jelley
Quade Cummins
Logan McCraken

Oklahomans seek spots on 2022 Korn Ferry Tour

Most of the second stage qualifiers for the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour began Wednesday and continue through Saturday. A complete list and live scoring for the qualifiers is here.

Among players with Oklahoma ties competing in Dothan, Ala., are Mason Overstreet of Kingfisher, Matt Mabrey of Tulsa, Tyson Reeder of Edmond and Blake Trimble of Edmond.

Among those at the qualifier at the University of New Mexico Championship Course in Albuquerque are former Oklahoma Sooner Jonathan Brightwell, Logan McCracken of Oklahoma City, Quade Cummins of Weatherford and Thomas Johnson of Norman. Competing at Bear Creek Golf Club in Murietta, Calif., is Brendon Jelly, a lifelong Tulsa resident until a recent move to Arizona.

The top 19 or 20 and ties in each event will advance to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals Nov. 4-7 at The Landings Club in Savannah, Ga., for a chance to earn a card on the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour.

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Ken MacLeod

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