Two Illinois PGA Professionals Qualify for the 2024 PGA Championship

May 1, 2024

2024 PGA Professional Championship Leaderboard

FRISCO, Texas – May 1, 2024 – Andy Svoboda (Butler National Golf Club), and Jeff Kellen (North Shore Country Club), qualified for the 2024 PGA Championship on May 1 after T2 and T8 finishes respectively at the 2024 PGA Professional Championship in Frisco, Texas. Svoboda and Kellen will be joined by 18 PGA Professionals as part of the Corebridge Financial PGA Team at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky on May 13-19. This marks the first time Svoboda and Kellen have qualified for the PGA Championship in their careers. This also marks the first time since 2004 that multiple Illinois PGA Members have qualified for the PGA Championship through the PGA Professional Championship (Roy Biancalana & Mike Small).

Svoboda, who joined the Illinois PGA Section in March following Kellen’s move from Butler National Golf Club to North Shore Country Club, began the final round tied for fourth place, and five strokes off the lead. He recorded a 1-over-par 73 on Fields Ranch East in round one, and a 3-under-par 69 on Fields Ranch West in round two to make the 36-hole cut by five strokes. Svoboda then climbed nine spots on the leaderboard with a 1-over-par 73 to jump into a tie for fourth place with 18 holes to play.

The final two rounds of the PGA Professional Championship played much harder than the first two rounds with only four players recording scores under-par, including just one player in the final round. Svoboda weathered the tough conditions and got out to a 2-under-par start through four holes in the final round, tying the lead. However, he would not record another birdie for the rest of the round and finished his day at 2-over-par 74 for a tournament total of 1-over-par 289, just three strokes off of the 2024 Champion, Ben Polland (Rocky Mountain Section).

“This is a dream come true,” said Svoboda. “It was a great week on an amazing golf course with amazing competition. It was fun to play at the new home of the PGA of America.”

Kellen began his final round tied for 29th and was one shot off the number to qualify for the PGA Championship. Kellen’s Championship began on Fields Ranch West where he recorded a 1-over-par 73. He then tied the low score for round two with a 5-under-par 67.

After 36 holes, Kellen was T5 and four shots off the lead. Playing through the tough conditions in rounds three and four, Kellen recorded an 8-over-par 80 dropping 24 spots on the leaderboard and sitting outside the PGA Championship qualifier line. Kellen would bounce back nicely in round four, carding an even-par 72 to climb 21 spots on the leaderboard, finishing inside the top 10 at T8, with a tournament total of 4-over-par 292.

“To get to compete in our Championship (The PGA Professional Championship) and have an opportunity to qualify for the PGA Championship, one of golf’s four majors with some of the best players in the world, is just a feather in my cap,” said Kellen. “It affirms all the things I love about the PGA of America, and it’s a fulfillment of a lifelong dream to play in a Tour event and Major Championship. It’s all just so incredible.”

Svoboda qualified for the 2024 PGA Professional Championship as a Member of the Connecticut Section. He won the Connecticut PGA Professional Championship by three strokes. He then transferred to the Illinois PGA Section in March, taking the Head PGA Professional Job at Butler National Golf Club. Svoboda was one of 69 PGA Professionals making his PGA Professional Championship debut.

Kellen qualified for the 2024 PGA Professional Championship after his T2 finish at the Nadler Golf Cars Illinois PGA Professional Championship last August. 2024 was just Kellen’s second career appearance at the PGA Professional Championship.

“I’m so proud to be a PGA Member,” said Kellen. “This was a wild week with all the weather delays, but I was able to buckle down and play some good golf. I was fortunate to sneak my way in there at the end, but what made this even more special was having my dad on the bag. He has caddied for me in some big events in the past and to have him on the bag for this one was special.”

The PGA Championship takes place May 13-19 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, and serves as the second Major Championship on the PGA TOUR schedule.


About the Illinois PGA/Illinois PGA Foundation
The Illinois Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in northern and central Illinois who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Illinois PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With over 840 members and apprentices, the Illinois PGA is one of the 41 regional Sections that comprise the PGA of America. The Illinois PGA Foundation focuses its community efforts on promoting the goodwill and growth of the game with an emphasis on activities that benefit youth. Foundation initiatives include: GolfWorks Illinois, Youth-based Scholarship Funds and the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. For more information about the Illinois PGA and the Illinois PGA Foundation, please visit and join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

About the PGA of America
The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of more than 30,000 PGA of America Golf Professionals who love the game, are expert coaches, operators and business leaders, and work daily to drive interest, inclusion and participation in the sport. The PGA of America owns and operates numerous championships and events, including major championships for men, women, seniors and the Ryder Cup, one of the world’s foremost sporting events. For more information, visit and follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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Kevin Quinn
Illinois PGA Communications
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