CHESTERFIELD, Missouri (July 30, 2019) – Jimmy Bals (Westborough Country Club), winner of the Gateway Senior PGA Professional Championship on July 29-30 at Glen Echo Country Club will lead four Section PGA Professionals to compete Oct. 3-6, in the 31st Senior PGA Professional Championship.
The national Championship, presented by Cadillac and supported by Golf Channel and John Deere, will be held at Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas.
Bals turned in a winning 2-day total of 2-under-par 140 (72-68) to capture the Gateway Senior PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac. He is joined by Rob Sedorcek (Family Golf & Learning Center), Jeff Whitfield (Quarry at Crystal Springs) and David Levine (Berry Hill).
The Senior PGA Professional Championship brings together a field of 264 contestants representing the PGA of America’s 41 nationwide Sections and features a total purse of $300,000. The first two rounds will be conducted on the Foothills and Coore Crenshaw Courses. The first cut will be made after 36 holes of play to the low 90 scorers and ties. The second cut will be made after 54 holes of play to the low 70 scorers and ties. The final two rounds will be played on the Foothills Course.
Designed by Tom Fazio, the Foothills Course was recently ranked as one of the top courses in Texas by Golf Magazine. The course is protected by cliffs, waterfalls and creeks, making for a beautiful, scenic round, but also emphasizes the importance of accuracy. Drives from the elevated tee boxes must be precise to hit the fairways, and even more so when approaching the small greens. Previously, the Foothills Course was home to the PGA Tour Champions Legends of Golf tournament from 1990-1994.
A collaboration between course architect Bill Coore and two-time Masters Champion, Ben Crenshaw, the Coore Crenshaw Course is designed with the ideology that nature is the best architect. Although the holes feature lush, wide fairways, the dense trees to their sides will swallow any ball that misses its mark. However, the real challenge is found on the large, undulated greens that are sure to stump and frustrate players. The course’s beauty is really seen on the signature 18th hole. Running slightly uphill, approach shots must carry a creek to the low-lying green which is designed to appear as though it was carved into the hillside.
Begun in 1989, the Senior PGA Professional Championship is modeled after the PGA Professional Championship, with a field of 50-and-older senior PGA Professionals who advanced through 41 Section Championships conducted from June through August this year.
The top 35 finishers in the national Championship earn a berth in the 81st KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, which will be conducted in May 21-24, 2020, at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
The top five finishers earn an exemption into the final stage of the 2020 PGA Tour Champions National Finals in November 2019. Since its debut, many participants in the Senior PGA Professional Championship have used their success in the event as a springboard to a PGA Tour Champions career.
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About The Gateway PGA Section
The Gateway PGA is one of 41 sections of the PGA of America that in total services over 28,000 professionals in the United States. The mission of the Gateway PGA, which is comprised of over 335 professionals at over 200 facilities in eastern and central Missouri and southern Illinois, is to provide its members with meaningful playing, educational and financial opportunities while promoting golf at all levels in the geographical confines of the organization.