Top juniors to compete at Sage Valley led by Akshay Bhatia

Mickey Welsh, Advertiser

Top juniors to compete at Sage Valley led by Akshay Bhatia

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Top juniors to compete at Sage Valley led by Akshay Bhatia

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The PGA of America calendar ramps up with two big events beginning April 25.

Junior Invitational at Sage Valley

April 25-27

Defending champion Akshay Bhatia is in the 54-player field featuring some of the top juniors in the world. Bhatia, 17, of Wake Forest, N.C.,  made the cut at last week’s Web.com Tour RTJ Golf Trail Championship after Monday qualifying. He is No. 1 in Golfweek’s boys junior rankings.

Notable: The winner and runner-up earn exemptions to the Boys Junior PGA Championship beginning July 30 at Keney Park in Hartford, Conn.

Format: 54 holes of stroke play

Also in the field: Ricky Castillo, 2018 Ping Heather Farr Classic champion and No. 2 in Golfweek’s rankings; Michael Thorbjornsen, won the 2018 Ping Invitational and U.S. Junior Amateur Invitational; Travis Vick, winner of the 2018 AJGA Junior Players Championship.

PGA Professional Championship

April 28-May 1

Belfair, East and West courses, Bluffton, S.C.

Purse: $550,000

More than 300 players will compete for a chance to advance to the 2019 PGA Championship, May 16-19 at Bethpage Black in New York. The top 20 will advance to Bethpage Black.

Last year Ryan Vermeer of Omaha, Neb., won the PGA Professional Championship with a 5-under 283 at Bayonet Black Horse in Seaside, Calif. Vermeer, who played more than 30 events on the Web.com Tour during his career,  closed with a 73 to win by two.

Who: 312 players who advanced out of 41 PGA Section Championships, plus eligible past champions.

Format: Stroke play, four rounds with a cut to the top 90 and ties after 36 holes. After 54 holes, the field will be cut to top 70 and ties for the final round.

TV schedule
(Coverage on Golf Channel. All times ET)

Sunday, April 28 – 10 p.m.-midnight
Monday, April 29 – 3-6 p.m.
Tuesday, April 30 – 3-6 p.m.
Wednesday, May 1 – 2:30-5:30 p.m.

Notable: Four women are in the field including Joanna Coe, the reigning PGA Women’s Stroke Play champion, who will also play this summer in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine.

 

 

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