Three-time PGA Professional National Champion Mike Small of Champaign, Ill., will be one of five PGA Professionals featured in the CBS Sports special “The Road to the PGA Championship,” which debuts Sunday, July 25, on CBS, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT. The program, featuring behind-the-scenes stories of some of the competitors in the Season’s Final Major, will be seen in four separate rebroadcasts, beginning Aug. 4, on Golf Channel.
Marking its fifth consecutive year and hosted by CBS Sports announcer Bill Macatee, “The Road to the PGA Championship” also features the 43rd PGA Professional National Championship conducted in June, which was the springboard to a 20-player delegation that earned berths in the 92nd PGA Championship, Aug. 9-15, at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis.
Small, the 44-year-old head men’s golf coach at the University of Illinois, captured a record-tying third National Championship, June 30, at French Lick (Ind.) Resort, and preceded his victory by guiding the Fighting Illini to a second consecutive Big Ten Conference Championship.
Joining Small in the PGA Championship will be four featured PGA Professionals, who each share a compelling story reflecting their career and their quest for competing at Whistling Straits.
The other featured PGA Professionals include:
Danny Balin of Greenwich, Conn., a 28-year-old PGA assistant professional at Burning Tree Country Club in Greenwich, who is a graduate of the PGA Golf Management University Program at Penn State University and is making his major debut.
Kyle Flinton, 44, of Oklahoma City, Okla., is the PGA head professional at Quail Creek Golf & Country Club, and a three-time PGA Assistant Professional Champion. He returns to the PGA Championship for the second time in three years.
Bruce Smith, 43, of Frisco, Texas, the PGA director of instruction at Brookhaven Country Club in Dallas, makes an emotional return to Whistling Straits, where in 2004 he was coordinating a fundraising project for medical expenses to aid his daughter, Kennedy, who has undergone 10 lifetime surgeries for a rare birth defect – lymphatic malformation of the face. The campaign blossomed into the Kisses Fore Kennedy Foundation, benefiting families of children born with similar birth defects.
Chip Sullivan, 45, the 2007 PGA Professional National Champion, is the PGA director of golf at Hanging Rock Golf Club in Salem, Va. Sullivan made one of his four PGA Championship appearances in 2004 at Whistling Straits. In late 2006, Sullivan contracted hemochromatosis (an overload of iron in his blood) and diabetes, before stabilizing himself through careful medical care and going on and winning a National Championship. Last month, Sullivan recorded a hole-in-one at the National Championship in French Lick, Ind., a stroke that helped propel him to a return to Whistling Straits.
"The Road to the PGA Championship" - Golf Channel broadcast schedule (all times Eastern)
Wednesday, Aug. 4, GOLF, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 5, GOLF 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 8, GOLF 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 10, GOLF 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
CBS and Golf Channel are broadcasting partners of The PGA of America, which is one of the most extensively broadcast golf events. In 2009, the PGA Championship was broadcast worldwide to 185 countries/territories with a potential household reach of more than 560 million receiving live or delayed coverage.
Golf Channel features an international reach of 123 million households, 82 million of which are in the United States.
The PGA Championship is one of four premier golf events conducted by The PGA of America. Others include the Ryder Cup, the Senior PGA Championship and the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, which brings together the winners of golf's four major championships.
Golf's best professionals began competing for the PGA Championship’s Wanamaker Trophy in 1916. Past Champions span both the legendary and recent stars of the game: Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson.