Golf Pros Compete for Spots in PGA Championship

The 2024 PGA Professional Championship begins at Fields Ranch Golf Course at the PGA of America headquarters in Frisco on Sunday. | Image by Travis Tyler/The Dallas Express

FRISCO — The 2024 PGA Professional Championship begins at Fields Ranch Golf Course at the PGA of America headquarters in Frisco on Sunday as golf professionals from clubs across the country compete for the chance to play with members of the PGA Tour at the 106th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, next month.

There will be 312 golfers competing for 20 spots in the PGA Championship, including 10 members of the Northern Texas PGA.

“Just playing in a huge, competitive environment, that’s always big,” Brandon Bingaman, a golf professional from Plano’s Gleneagles Country Club, told The Dallas Express at a kickoff event for the tournament at the PGA of America Coaching Center in Frisco. “I think people get better at the higher-level tournaments, and obviously, we’re all here to compete to win.”

Bingaman was one of the 20 to qualify for the PGA Championship through the Professional Championship in 2022 when the PGA event was held at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. Joining him in the tournament next week are Robert Bruns (Trinity Forest Golf Club), Spencer Dillard (Preston Trail Golf Club),  Kent Graham (Gleneagles Country Club), Nic Ishee (Preston Trail Golf Club), JJ Killeen (Red Feather Golf & Social Club), Brian Norman (Lakewood Country Club), Gabe Reynolds (Topgolf Dallas), Matt Ryba (Preston Trail Golf Club), and Rob Shields (The Winsford Group).

Norman, Ishee, Killeen, and Reynolds have also previously qualified for the PGA Championship.

The most notable player in the field is Michael Block, a golf pro from Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California, who famously made a hole-in-one during last year’s PGA Championship.

“That was a godsend; I’ll tell you that,” Block told The Dallas Express. “For that ball to just go flying through the air, 152 yards, and directly into the hole, and then stay in the hole with Rory McIlroy standing there and the hospitality tents all there on that hole. There had to have been 20,000 people around that area — all screaming and hollering on worldwide television. There was some higher beings happening at that point for that to have happened.”

While the moment was a highlight in Block’s career, he is no stranger to appearing in the PGA Championship. The 47-year-old has qualified for the tournament four times and now has comfort in his game regardless of the pressure of playing against the best golfers in the world.

“They’ve taken me under the wing in the past,” he explained. “They’re the coolest guys in the world and treat me as one of them. I don’t have that awe-factor anymore where I’m like, ‘Oh jeez.’ I’m going to go out there and just play my game, and hopefully, my game shines that week.”

Block will hope to qualify for his fifth PGA Championship when the tournament results are announced upon its conclusion on Wednesday.

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