Krueger fulfills lifelong dream

Aaron Krueger
PGA of America
Aaron Krueger was 0-for-4 in making the cut in the PGA Professional National Championship. But in his fifth try, Krueger earned a berth in the PGA Championship.
By T.J. Auclair, Senior Interactive Producer
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Aaron Krueger, the 34-year-old PGA head professional from the Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa, was 0-for-4 in making the cut at the PGA Professional National Championship.

Until this week.

With a four-round, 4-over 292 total, Krueger tied for 12th in the National Championship on Wednesday and is headed to his first PGA Championship.

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"This is my fifth National Championship, but the first time I made the cut," he said. "To get into the PGA Championship means everything to me. I was able to win my Section Championship last year and, as a result, I'm in the John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour in a couple of weeks. For me, that's a hometown event, because it's real close to where I grew up. That's a major to me. But the PGA is the ultimate. I'm so proud to be a PGA member and to now have the opportunity to play in the PGA Championship, I've fulfilled a lifelong dream." 

It wasn't a pretty start for Krueger. Playing his first round on Sunday at Grande Dunes, he began with two bogeys. And when he reached the fourth tee, he noticed the head of his driver was rattling. He tried to tighten the screws, but that didn't work and he was forced to take the club out of play.

With a 3-wood as his longest club in the bag, Krueger double-bogeyed the fifth hole. Four-over par through the first five holes of the National Championship wasn't exactly what he had envisioned.

But, he hung in there and played his remaining 67 holes in even par.

Krueger's even-par 72 wasn't his best score in relation to par this week -- he had a 71 on Monday -- but given the circumstances, he felt it was the best.

"It was awesome to get my best round of the week on the final day," he said. "It feels so good. This week I got off to such a terrible start. I was 4 over through five holes this week. I just did the best I could and played the rest of the tournament in even par, which makes me proud. To play my best today, coming down the stretch and hitting quality shots was pretty special." 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.