CHICAGO, Ill. -- The PGA of America on Feb. 20 announced it will sponsor the 88th PGA Championship Youth Skills Challenge to culminate in a final showdown the week of this year's PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club.
The competition, to be conducted by the Illinois Section of the PGA, will showcase the driving, chipping, and putting skills of up-and-coming young golfers ages 6 to 17 and spotlight some of the local PGA teaching professionals who helped them learn the game. As presenting sponsor, Nike Golf will provide prizes and other forms of event support, officials said.
Officials said everyone who participates in the Youth Skills Challenge will receive two practice round tickets to the 88th PGA Championship at Medinah, which runs from Aug. 14-20.
"The 88th PGA Championship Youth Skills Challenge is a fun way for golfers across the age spectrum to exhibit their golfing abilities in a competitive setting," said Roger Warren, president of the PGA of America. "It also is a way to help the public see the important relationship between the PGA Championship and local golf professionals who are responsible for teaching and growing the game. We truly appreciate the involvement of Nike Golf as presenting sponsor of this worthy program."
Michael Miller, executive director of the Illinois PGA, said male and female champions in each of four age groups will receive prizes and VIP treatment at the 88thPGA Championship, Aug. 14-20, at Medinah. The event will begin with local qualifying competitions, winners of which will advance to sectional qualifying. Winners of sectional qualifiers will meet in the finals Sunday, Aug. 13 at Medinah.
"The Illinois PGA is proud to be the first PGA section to conduct a Youth Skills Challenge tied directly to the PGA Championship," Miller said. "Our Illinois Section PGA golf professionals look forward to promoting this exciting event and generating participation at the local level."
Here is the competition's age-category and event breakdown:
o 6-8, male and female
o 9-11, male and female
o 12-14, male and female
o 15-17 male and female
Events (age 6-17, local, sectional and final)
o Driving (distance and accuracy)
Local qualifiers must take place between May 15 and June 15. Winners of local and sectional qualifiers will receive gifts.
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. Since 1916, golf's best professionals have been competing for the PGA Championship's coveted Wanamaker Trophy. Past champions include Mickelson, Woods, Vijay Singh, Davis Love III, Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan and Walter Hagen.
The 88th PGA Championship will be played August 14-20, 2006 at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. The 39th Ryder Cup is schedule to be played at Medinah in 2012.
The PGA of America, founded in 1916, is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the game of golf while continuing to enhance the standards of the profession. The Association is comprised of more than 28,000 men and women PGA Professionals who are dedicated to growing participation in the game of golf.
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