Mike Vidal knows that opportunities to host both a National Championship and an elite group of PGA Professionals doesn’t come around often. And to have that happen two years in a row makes it even more special.
“Our team here at Creighton Farms can’t wait to host the Senior PGA Professional [National] Championship,” said Vidal. “And to have hosted it for back-to-back years is truly an honor and I really am proud.”
The 24th edition of the Championship will return to Creighton Farms in Aldie, Va., and River Creek Club in Leesburg, Va., Oct. 11-14, for a second consecutive year. The 264-player field features PGA Professionals at least 50 years of age, as of the Championship, who have qualified through one of the 41 PGA Sections.
Vidal also hopes that the Championship will feature a similar finish to 2011, when Kirk Hanefeld of Acton, Mass., executed the shot he needed for a 72nd-hole birdie, holding off Ken Martin of Wellington, Fla., to win the 2011 Championship.
“To watch the battle between Kirk Hanefeld and Ken Martin was special,” said Vidal. “Down the stretch it was really tight and Kirk just had an unbelievable shot on 18. It would be great to have a finish like that again.”
Creighton Farms also served as a tough test for the competitors in 2011, with only Hanefeld and Martin finishing under par.
"Last year Creighton Farms proved it was a very worthy host," said Vidal. "We think it will be again this year and we can't wait to watch what happens."
The National Champion will have their name inscribed on the Leo F. Fraser Trophy, while the low 35 finishers will qualify for the 2013 Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, May 23-26, at Bellerive Country Club in St Louis, Mo.
Defending Champion Kirk Hanefeld of Acton, Mass., will be joined in 2012 by 10 past champions in the national championship field: Bill Britton (2009) of Rumson, N.J.; Jeff Coston (2006) of Blaine, Wash.; Tom Joyce (1990, ’91) of Huntington, N.Y.; Bill Loeffler of Castle Rock, Colo.; Ed Sabo (2000, ’01) of Tequesta, Fla.; Pete Oakley (1999) of Palm City, Fla.; Mike San Filippo (2002, ’05) of Hobe Sound, Fla.; Robert Thompson (2010) of Huntsville, Texas; Jeff Thomsen (2003) of Boise, Idaho; and Jim White (2004) of Lincoln, Neb.