(From left) PGA of America President Brian Whitcomb, defending National Champion Scott Hebert, Santa Ana Pueblo Governor Ulysses Leon and Sun Country PGA Section President Dan Koesters.(Photo: Bob Denney, PGA of America)
42nd National Championship returning to New Mexico
The 2009 PGA Professional National Championship will be contested June 28-July 1, 2009, at Twin Warriors Golf Club and Santa Ana Golf Club. The dates mark the first time that the showcase event for PGA Professionals will conclude on a weekday.
SANTA ANA PUEBLO, N.M. -- Then PGA of America President Brian Whitcomb had a blueprint that he knew would play well in New Mexico tourism circles.
"I've heard too often that New Mexico is a hidden gem," said Whitcomb, a featured guest Sept. 29 for the 42nd PGA Professional National Championship Media Day at Twin Warriors Golf Club. "Well, one of the reasons our Association will bring this National Championship to New Mexico is to take the word 'hidden' out of the discussion.
"The truth is that golf in New Mexico is a gem."
Whitcomb was joined by defending National Champion Scott Hebert of Traverse City, Mich., in meeting members of the New Mexico media, as plans move to return the PGA Professional National Championship to the state for the first time since 2003.
The 42nd PGA Professional National Championship will be contested Sun., June 28-Wed., July 1, 2009, at Twin Warriors Golf Club and Santa Ana Golf Club. The dates mark the first time that the showcase event for PGA Professionals, televised live by Golf Channel, will conclude on a weekday.
"Part of our mission is to take our golf championships to some of the greatest venues in the country," said Whitcomb, whose two-year term as president of The PGA ended in 2008. "We return to New Mexico because of its outstanding combination of a wonderful golf courses and tremendous local support."
Hebert, a six-time Michigan Open and three-time Michigan PGA Champion, praised the Twin Warriors layout that he played at more than 7,200 yards while paired with members of the media and Santa Ana Pueblo officials.
"This is a great golf course (Twin Warriors), with generous space off the tee, and I expect that there will be some low scores here," said Hebert, who had just finished his first round of golf in New Mexico. "I look forward to coming next June and defending my title here. I may not play well, but I can say that the year I've had -- having shared in the birth of a daughter and then winning this Championship -- has made me feel very blessed. People have told me that your life will change after winning this Championship, and now I can say that it truly has."
Whitcomb and Hebert were joined at a news conference by Santa Ana Pueblo Governor Ulysses Leon and Sun Country PGA President Dan Koesters of Las Cruces, N.M.
"We are ready to welcome The PGA of America back to New Mexico and to have the golf world tune in via Golf Channel to see how great golf is in this state and the great people we have," said Leon.
In 2003, Twin Warriors Golf Club served as the sole venue for the National Championship, and played to 7,641 yards -- the longest layout ever used for a PGA of America championship. In 2009, nearby Santa Ana Golf Club (which can be extended to 7,298 yards) will be utilized over the course of the first two rounds. The final two rounds will be played at Twin Warriors.
Established in 1968, The PGA Professional National Championship roster of Champions includes past and present Tour professionals: Sam Snead, Bob Rosburg, Don Massengale, Ed Dougherty, Larry Gilbert and Bruce Fleisher.
The PGA Professional National Championship is presented by Titleist, FootJoy and Cobra; and Club Car. Golf Channel is an exclusive media partner, and the PGA Tour is the Supporting Sponsor of PGA of America Member Championships. The 41 Section Championships and the National Championship offer a combined purse of $1.5 million.
Since 1916, The PGA of America's mission has been twofold: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf.
By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, the Association enables PGA Professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the $76 billion golf industry. By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable golf promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.