GLENVIEW, Ill. – June 16, 2017 – The Illinois PGA Section will be well represented at the PGA Professional Championship (Sunday, June 18 to Wednesday, June 21) at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Oregon as 12 Section members will be competing in the 50th anniversary event. The tournament field includes 312 PGA Professionals (14 past champions) from around the country competing for a $50,000 first place check as well as a Top 20 finish to earn an automatic berth in the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C. Golf Channel will feature 19 hours of live and replay coverage and the tournament will be contested on the Crosswater Club and Meadows golf courses.
The Illinois PGA Section contingent is highlighted by three-time PGA Professional champion (2005, 2009, 2010), Mike Small (University of Illinois GC), who won the 2016 Illinois PGA Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club, his 12th Section championship, and earned an exemption as a past national champion. Typically, the Top 10 Illinois PGA Championship finishers automatically qualify for the National Championship; however, with Small earning an exemption, the next 10 finishers earned berths. Chris Green, the first alternate, was notified this week that he had qualified due to a player withdrawal, bringing the Illinois PGA Section representation to 12 players.
In 2016, the PGA Professional Championship was held at Turning Stone Resort in Verona, New York and the Illinois PGA Section top finishers were Dakun Chang (Twin Orchard CC) at T42 (290) and Travis Johns (Medinah CC) and Jim Billiter (KemperLakes GC) at T50 (292).