PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- PGA Professional National Champion Rod Perry of Port Orange, Fla., who etched his name in history in June at the showcase event for PGA Professionals, will be one of several PGA Professionals featured in the CBS Sports special "The Road to the PGA Championship," which debuts Sunday, July 28, 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 aired in four separate rebroadcasts, beginning July 31, on Golf Channel.
Marking its eighth consecutive year and narrated by Golf Channel announcer Scott Walker, "The Road to the PGA Championship" also features the 46th PGA Professional National Championship conducted in June at Sunriver (Ore.) Resort. The Championship was the springboard to a 20-player delegation earning berths in the 95th PGA Championship, Aug. 8-11, at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y.
Perry, the 39-year-old PGA head professional at Crane Lakes Golf and Country Club in Port Orange, backed up his receiving the 2012 PGA Professional Player of the Year award five days earlier by capturing the National Championship. He became the first left-handed player and the first graduate of a PGA Golf Management University program (Mississippi State) to win the Walter Hagen Cup. Perry is the fourth North Florida PGA Section member to capture the National Championship and will make his second consecutive major championship appearance.
Joining Perry in the PGA Championship will be PGA Professionals who each share a compelling story reflecting their career and the quest to compete at Oak Hill Country Club. They include:
Chip Sullivan, 48, of Troutville, Va., PGA director of golf at Hanging Rock Golf Club in Salem, Va., who will make his sixth PGA Championship appearance. Sullivan and his family overcame the tragic death of his father-in-law, who caddied for Sullivan when he won the 2007 PGA Professional National Championship at Sunriver Resort.
Ryan Polzin, 33, of Houston, Texas, PGA head professional at Royal Oaks Country Club in Houston. He finished runner-up in the National Championship to earn his first PGA Championship trip.
Mark Sheftic, 39, of Blue Bell, Pa., PGA teaching professional at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., and son of a PGA Professional. Making his third PGA Championship appearance, Sheftic and his family have dealt with life-threatening health issues to his infant daughter, Taylor.
Rob Labritz, 42, of Pound Ridge, N.Y., PGA director of golf at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, N.Y., who will make his fourth PGA Championship appearance. Labritz earned his major trip with one of the most spectacular shots of the season, which received national attention.
The program also features Oregon’s Olympic decathlon gold medalist Ashton Eaton, an avid golfer who learned the game through the Get Golf Ready program; the quest for 10 PGA Professionals to earn a berth on the 2013 U.S. PGA Cup Team; and a review of the popular PGA Junior League Golf program.
The CBS special also focuses on PGA Championship "special moments" in the lives of six PGA Professionals: Wayne DeFrancesco, 55, of Columbia, Md., PGA director of instruction at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md.; Danny Balin, 31, PGA assistant professional at Burning Tree Country Club in Greenwich, Conn.; Chip Sullivan; PGA Life Member Sonny Skinner of Sylvester, Ga.; Brian Gaffney of Monmouth Beach, N.J., PGA head professional at Rumson (N.J.) Country Club; and Jeff Coston of Blaine, Wash., 57, PGA teaching professional at Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine.
"The Road to the PGA Championship" - Golf Channel broadcast schedule (all times Eastern):
Wednesday, July 31 - Golf Channel - 9:00–10:00 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 1 - Golf Channel - 12:00–1:00 a.m.
Monday, Aug. 5 - Golf Channel - 9:00–10:00 a.m. and 8:00–9:00 p.m.
CBS and Golf Channel are broadcasting partners of The PGA of America. The PGA Championship is one of the most extensively broadcast golf events and will air live on CBS and TNT. The 95th PGA Championship will be broadcast worldwide to more than 453 million households reaching 203 countries and territories.
Golf Channel features an international reach of 120 million households, 83 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 presented by KitchenAid, 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, Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington, Keegan Bradley and Rory McIlroy.
Limited tickets to the 95th PGA Championship remain for both practice and competition days. For more information, visit PGA2013.com.
About The PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: 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 PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, 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. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.