Bios: 20 pros qualify for PGA Championship

Mike Small at the 2009 PGA Championship.

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1Ben Martin-3F-20
2Kevin Streelman-6F-18
3Russell Knox-1F-16
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Here are capsules of the 20 qualifiers from the 43rd Professional National Championship into the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis. (presented in order of finish):

1. Mike Small

  • Age: 44
  • Occupation: Head coach of the men’s golf team at the University of Illinois
  • Hometown: Champaign, Ill.
  • College: University of Illinois
  • Major championships: Five PGA Championships (2004-07, ’09); three U.S. Opens (1994, ’98, 2007).
  • Career accomplishments: A three-time winner of the Professional National Championship (2005, ’09, '10) and has finished second twice (2004, ’07) and fourth (2006); shares the PNC record for most career victories with Larry Gilbert; has been a member of three U.S. PGA Cup teams; was the low club professional at the 2007 PGA Championship; has won eight Illinois PGA Championships and seven in a row starting in 2001; has won four Illinois Opens; won twice on the Nike Tour (1997 Monterey Open and 1997 Cleveland Open).

2. Sonny Skinner

photo

Sonny Skinner during the 2009 PGA Cup.

  • Age: 49
  • Occupation: Teaching professional at River Pointe Golf Club, Albany, Ga.
  • Hometown: Sylvester, Ga.
  • College: Abraham Baldwin Colllege
  • Major championships: 2008 PGA Championship (MC)
  • Career accomplishments: Runner-up at the 2008 Professional National Championship; 2008 PGA professional of the year; 2006 Georgia PGA player of the year; 2010 PGA Match Play Championship winner; won Nationwide Tour’s Shreveport Open (1993) and Richmond Open (1994).

3. Mark Sheftic

  • Age: 35
  • Occupation: Teaching professional at Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa.
  • Hometown: Blue Bell, Pa.
  • College: Coker College
  • Major championships: 2009 PGA Championship (MC).
  • Career accomplishments: T-2 at the 2009 Professional National Championship; was a member of the 2009 U.S. PGA Cup team; runner-up at the 2004 and ’07 Philadelphia Opens; has three top-10 finishes at the Pennsylvania State Open.

4. Danny Balin

  • Age: 28
  • Occupation: Assistant professional at Burning Tree Country Club, Greenwich, Conn.
  • Hometown: Greenwich, Conn.
  • College: Penn State
  • Career accomplishments: T-9 at the 2008 Metropolitan PGA Open, eighth in 2007; finished 25th in the 2009 Argentine Open.

5. Troy Pare

  • Age: 34
  • Occupation: Head professional at Wannamoisett Country Club, Rumford, R.I.
  • Hometown: Wauregan, Conn.
  • Career accomplishments: Won the 2005 New England PGA Championship and the New England PGA Assistant Professional Championship; runner-up at the 2004 and ’10 New England PGA; runner-up at the 2010 New England Open.

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Mitch Lowe at the 2009 PGA Championship.

6. Mitch Lowe

  • Age: 43
  • Occupation: Director of instruction at Del Rio Country Club, Modesto, Calif.
  • Hometown: San Francisco
  • College: University of the Pacific
  • Major championships: 2009 PGA Championship (MC).
  • Career accomplishments: Northern California PGA player of the Year in 2000 and ’05.

6. David Hutsell

  • Age: 39
  • Occupation: Director of instruction at The Elkridge Club in Baltimore, Md.
  • Hometown: Baltimore, Md.
  • College: Towson State
  • Career accomplishments: T-25 at 2001 Professional National Championship; T-70 at the PGA Tour’s Booz Allen Championship in 2002; medalist at a U.S. Open local qualifying site in 2000.

6. Chip Sullivan

  • Age: 45
  • Occupation: Director of golf at Hanging Rock Golf Club, Salem, Wa.
  • Hometown: Troutville, Va.
  • College: Mississippi
  • Major championships: Four PGA Championships (MC in 2003, ’06, ’07; T-31 in 2004).
  • Career accomplishments: Won the 2007 Professional National Championship; won three Middle Atlantic PGAs; was a member of the 2007 U.S. PGA Cup team; won 1998 Carolinas PGA; a three-time Middle Atlantic PGA player of the year; as an amateur, was the medalist at the 1986 Southeastern Conference Championship; won consecutive (1981-82) Louisiana State Junior titles.

9. Stu Ingraham

  • Age: 50
  • Occupation: Head professional at M Golf Range and Learning Center, Newtown Square, Pa.
  • Hometown: Harrisburg, Pa.
  • College: East Tennessee State
  • Major championships: Five PGA Championships (MC in 1989-91, T-78 in 1996, T31 in 1993)
  • Career accomplishments: 1998 Pennsylvania Open champion; three-time Philadelphia PGA player of the year; made the cut at two PGA Championships and finished T-31 in 1993.

9. Keith Ohr

  • Age: 35
  • Occupation: Head professional at Wildwood Country Club, Louisville, Ky.
  • Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
  • College: University of Louisville
  • Career accomplishments: Third in the 1994 Kentucky State Amateur, runner-up in 1996; won the 2001 Kentucky Open and the 2005 Kentucky PGA Match Play Championship; was named the 2008 Kentucky PGA player of the year.

photo

Tim Thelen won the 2003 PGA Club Professional Championship.

11. Tim Thelen

  • Age: 49
  • Occupation: Assistant professional at The Falls Golf and Country Club, New Ulm, Texas
  • Hometown: College Station, Texas
  • College: Houston Baptist
  • Major championships: Eight PGA Championships (MC 1999-2003, ’05, ’07, ’08)
  • Career accomplishments: Two-time winner of the Professional National Championship (2000, 2003) with six other top-10 finishes; 2001 PGA professional of the year; has a 12-5 career record as a member of four U.S. PGA Cup teams (2000, ’03, ’05 and ’07); T-12 at the PGA Tour’s B.C. Open in 2001.

11. Ryan Benzel

  • Age: 31
  • Occupation: Teaching professional at Battle Creek Golf Course, Tulalip, Wash.
  • Hometown: Bothell, Wash.
  • College: University of Idaho
  • Major championships: 2007-09 PGA Championships (71st place in 2007, MC in 2008-09).
  • Career accomplishments: Three-time winner of the Washington State PGA Match Play Championship (2004-06); member of the last two U.S. PGA Cup teams; T-2 at the 2007 Professional National Championship, T-4 in both 2008 and ’09; 2007 Washington PGA assistant professional of the year.

11. Scott Hebert

  • Age: 41
  • Occupation: Head professional at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Acme, Mich.
  • Hometown: Traverse City, Mich.
  • College: Ferris State
  • Major championships: Three PGA Championships (MC 2007-09).
  • Career accomplishments: Won the 2008 Professional National Championship and has two other top-20 finishes (T-13 in 2007, T-16 in 2009); has won the Michigan Open six times and the Michigan PGA four times; Michigan PGA player of the year in 2006, ’07 and ’09; was a member of the 2009 U.S. PGA Cup team.

11. Robert Moss

  • Age: 41
  • Occupation: Head professional at Pepper Pike (Ohio) Club
  • Hometown: Broadview Heights, Ohio
  • College: Kent State
  • Major championships: 2005 PGA Championship (MC)
  • Career accomplishments: Won three Ohio Opens (1999, 2001, 2005); two-time Northern Ohio PGA player of the year; runner-up at the Nike Tour Tri-Cities Open (1997) and the Inland Empire Open (1996).

15. Robert McClellan

  • Age: 30
  • Occupation: Head professional at Butler (Pa.) Country Club.
  • Hometown: Butler, Pa.
  • College: Liberty
  • Career accomplishments: Third place at the 2006 and 2009 Pennsylvania Opens, fourth in 2005; as an amateur, was a 2000 Big South Conference Academic All-America.

15. Jason Schmuhl

  • Age: 38
  • Occupation: Head professional at Windsor (Calif.) Golf Club
  • Hometown: Windsor, Calif.
  • College: Sonoma State
  • Career accomplishments: Won 2008 Northern California PGA; runner-up at the 2007 Northern California PGA Match Play.

15. Rob Labritz

  • Age: 39
  • Occupation: Director of golf at GlenArbor Golf Club, Bedford Hills, N.Y.
  • Hometown: Pound Ridge, N.Y.
  • College: Central Connecticut State
  • Major championships: 2002 and ’03 PGA Championships (MC).
  • Career accomplishments: Won 2006 New York State PGA and 2008 New York State Open; runner-up, 2002 and ’04 PGA Stroke Play Championship; won Metropolitan Section Head Professional Championship.

photo

Kyle Flinton

15. Kyle Flinton

  • Age: 44
  • Occupation: Head professional at Quail Creek Golf and Country Club, Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Hometown: Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • College: Central State University
  • Major championships: 2008 PGA Championship (MC).
  • Career accomplishments: Has won three PGA Assistant Professional Championships; has won both the Oklahoma Open (2006) and Oklahoma Amateur (1986); two-time winner of the South Central PGA Championship.

15. Rich Steinmetz

  • Age: 38
  • Occupation: Head professional at Spring Ford Country Club, Royersford, Pa.
  • Hometown: Gilbertsville, Pa.
  • College: Temple
  • Major championships: 2005 PGA Championship (MC).
  • Career accomplishments: T-9 at the 2005 Professional National Championship; won the 2007 Philadelphia PGA and the 2009 Philadelphia Open; was a member of the 2005 U.S. PGA Cup team; 2006 Philadelphia PGA player of the year and the 2004 Philadelphia PGA assistant professional of the year.

15. Bruce Smith

  • Age: 43
  • Occupation: Director of instruction at Brookhaven Country Club, Dallas.
  • Hometown: Frisco, Texas
  • College: North Texas
  • Major championships: 2004 PGA Championship (MC).
  • Career accomplishments: Two top-25 finishes at the Professional National Championship (T-19 in 2008, 24th in 2004); won two Northern Texas PGA Assistant Championships (1994, ’95); 1995 Northern Texas PGA assistant player of the year.
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