MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Here are thumbnail bios for the 20 players who qualified from the 47th PGA Professional National Championship at the Dunes Golf and Beach Club, and the Resort Club at Grand Dunes, to compete in the 96th PGA Championship, to be played Aug. 7-10 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.
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Players are listed in their order of finish at the PGA Professional National Championship, followed by their age, residence, current occupation and highlighted achievement.
1. Michael Block
38, Aliso Viego, Calif.
- Head professional at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, Calif.
- Won the 1998 St. Louis Amateur and the 2001 California State Open.
- Won a Monday qualifier for the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open in 2013. He eagled his first hole, played the front nine in 2-under-par 33 and had another eagle at the 11th hole.
- He holds five different course records.
- Played in the 2007 U.S. Open.
2. Jamie Broce
37, Ottawa Hills, Ohio
- Head coach of the men’s golf team at the University of Toledo.
- He is a former Indiana high school state champion and has won consecutive Indiana Open titles (2002 and ’03).
- He played collegiately at Ball State University, winning six times, and was named All-Mid-American Conference three times. He graduated with honors and was a recipient of the Ben Hogan Award, given annually to the country’s top golf scholar-athlete.
- He also is a former Web.com Tour player. His best season was in 2005, when he made the cut in half of 22 starts, had one second-place finish and was 64th in earnings with $83,272.
3. Stuart Deane
42, Arlington Texas
- Teaching professional at the Golf Center of Arlington
- Born in Brisbane, Australia.
- Has played in the PGA Professional National Championship six times, making the cut every year except his first start in 2005.
- Was runner-up at the 2011 Northern Texas PGA Championship and won the 2005 Texas State Open.
4. Frank Esposito Jr.
51, Monroe, N.J.
- Head professional at Brooklake C.C. in Florham Park, N.J.
- Has played in the PGA Professional National Championship 13 times, finishing inside the top 20 twice.
- Was the New Jersey PGA player of the year in 2006, ’07 and ’10.
- Won the New Jersey PGA Section Championship four times, the Section’s Match Play twice and the 1999 New Jersey State Open.
- Has finished T-45 and T-39 in two Champions Tour starts in 2014.
T-5. Dustin Volk
40, Layton, Utah
- Head professional at Valley View Golf Course in Layton, Utah
- Winner, 2010 Salt Lake City Open, 2005 Utah PGA Section Assistant Championship and the 2010 Utah PGA Match Play.
- Runner-up at the 2009 Utah PGA and third at the 2004 Utah Open.
- Is a former Utah amateur of the year.
- Had made the cut in one of his first three PGA Professional National Championship starts.
T-5. Bob Sowards
46, Dublin, Ohio
- Teaching professional at New Albany (Ohio) C.C.
- He has played in the PGA Professional National Championship 13 times, winning in 2004 and qualifying for the PGA Championship seven times.
- He was the PGA professional player of the year three years in a row starting in 2003.
- Has been a member of two U.S. PGA Cup teams.
- A three-time Ohio Open winner (2002, ’04 and ’10); won the 2007 Southern Ohio PGA Section Championship.
- Has been the Southern Ohio PGA player of the year 10 times between 1996 and 2011.
- Played on the PGA Tour in 2008 with his best finish T-9 at the Wyndham Championship.
T-5. Rod Perry
40, Port Orange, Fla.
- Head professional at Crane Lakes Golf & C.C. in Port Orange.
- He won the 2013 PGA Professional National Championship, a year after finishing T-2, and has played in the event seven times.
- Was 76th at the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in 2013.
- Was a member of the 2013 U.S. PGA Cup team.
- Has won six North Florida PGA player of the year awards.
- Won the 2010 Florida Open and three North Florida PGAs.
T-8. Johan Kok
34, Brentwood, Tenn.
- General manager at Temple Hills C.C. in Brentwood, Tenn.
- Born in Nelspruit, South Africa.
- He is a former European Tour and South African Tour player.
- Was the leading money winner in the Tennessee PGA Section in 2012 and 2013.
- Attended high school in Peachtree City, Ga.; was medalist at the state championship four times and set school scoring records in both in junior and senior years.
- Shot 62 in the final round and won this year’s Chattanooga Open.
T-8. David Hronek
43, North Port, Fla.
- Director of instruction at Countryside CC in Clearwater, Fla.
- Has won the Southwest Chapter of the North Florida PGA Championship three times (2007, ’09, ’10) and the Southwest Chapter Assistant Championship nine times between 2001 and 2010.
- He is a nine-time recipient of the Southwest Chapter player of the year.
- Won back-to-back Charlotte County Opens in 2003 and ’04.
T-8. David Tentis
52, Woodbury, Minn.
- Head professional at Troy Burne Golf Club in Hudson, Wis.
- He has played in all but one PGA Professional National Championship since 2002 with top-15 finishes in 2002 (T-12) and 2004 (T-11).
- Has played in three PGA Championships, making the cut and finishing 68th in 2002.
- Is a former Minnesota State Open champion; won on the Canadian Tour in 1987.
- Owns the course record of 60 at Minnesota Valley, a par-73 layout.
- Finished seventh at PGA Tour Qualifying School in 1988.
11. Steve Schneiter
50, Sandy, Utah
- Co-owner of Schneiter’s Pebble Brook in Sandy, Utah
- He has played in the PGA Professional National Championship 18 times, winning in 1995 and posting other top-10 finishes in 1997 (T-2), 2003 (second), 2004 (eighth), 2005 (T-9) and 2009 (T-2).
- He was the low club professional at the 2005 PGA Championship; this is the 12th time he’s qualified for the PGA Championship.
- Winner, 1997 and 2001 Western PGA Championship, the 2004 Arizona Open, 2003 and ’04 Wyoming Open, the 1993 and 2012 Idaho Open and the Utah PGA Championship four times between 1993 and 2008.
- Was the 1997 Utah PGA player of the year.
- Finished eighth at the NCAA Championship while a student at Brigham Young.
T-12. Rob Corcoran
38, Melbourne, Fla.
- Assistant professional at Paxabogue Golf Center in Sagaponack, N.Y.
- Has nine holes-in-one, with two in competition.
T-12. Jerry Smith
50, Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Has competed on the PGA, Nationwide, Gateway, Asian and South American tours. Played in 152 PGA Tour events, making 72 cuts and finishing in the top 10 six times.
- Was the 1986 Iowa amateur of the year.
- Was the 1992 and ’93 PGA profession of the year.
- Has played in four U.S. Opens.
- Has played on the Champions Tour and the European Senior Tour in 2014.
T-12. Aaron Krueger
34, Norwalk, Iowa
- Head professional at Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa
- This was his fifth start at the PGA Professional National Championship and the first time making the cut.
- Won the 2008 Iowa PGA Section Championship, was runner-up at the 2006 Iowa PGA Assistant Championship.
- Was the 2007 Iowa PGA assistant professional of the year and the 2010 Iowa PGA private merchandiser of the year.
T-12. David McNabb
48, Newark, Del.
- Head professional at Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, Pa.
- Has played in the PGA Professional National Championship six times with his best results coming in his two most recent starts (T-9 last year, T-12).
- Won the 2005 Delaware State Open and is a three-time champion of the Philadelphia PGA Section Championship (1997, 2004, ’05).
- Was the 2013 Philadelphia PGA golf professional of the year.
T-16. Eric Williamson
37, Birmingham, Ala.
- Director of golf at Shoal Creek
- Winner, 2004 Carolinas Assistant Championship.
- Has played in the PGA Professional National Championship three times.
- Was a 1998 Division II All-American at Presbyterian College. Won once as a collegian and was the 1998 South Atlantic Conference Championship winner.
T-16. Ryan Helminen
39, Menasha, Wis.
- Teaching professional at Ridgeway C.C. in Neenan, Wis.
- He has qualified to compete in the PGA Professional National Championship every year since 2008.
- Won the 2008 Wisconsin State Open.
- Was the Wisconsin PGA player of the year three years in a row (2007-09).
- Finished T-5 at the 2006 PGA Assistant Professional Championship.
T-16. Brian Norman
32, The Colony, Texas
- Assistant professional at The Lakes at Castle Hills in The Colony, Texas
- Was the 2010 Gateway PGA Section Match Play winner and twice (2008, ’10) the Gateway PGA Assistant Championship winner.
- Was seventh at the 2003 NJCAA Championship.
- Was All-Missouri Valley Conference in 2004 and ’05.
- While in college, he won the 2004 St. Louis University Invitational and the 2004 DePaul University Invitational.
T-16. Matt Pesta
36, Wixom, Mich.
- Teaching professional at Lincoln Hills Golf Course in Birmingham, Mich.
- Competed on the Canadian Tour in 2011.
- T-10 at the 2012 Michigan PGA Section Championship.
T-16. Jim McGovern
49, Oradell, N.J.
- Head professional at White Beeches Golf & Country Club in Haworth, N..J.
- He is a former winner on the PGA Tour, taking the 1993 Shell Houston Open in a playoff against John Huston.
- He has 15 career top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour and won three times in 1990 on what was the Ben Hogan Tour.
- Tied for fifth at the 1994 Masters, T-13 at the 1994 U.S. Open and T-22 at the 1993 PGA Championship.
- Finished 27th in earnings on the PGA Tour in 1993.
- He won the 1987 Metropolitan Open as an amateur, and won the 1988 Metropolitan Amateur.