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Robert Thompson, a PGA Teaching Professional at Whispering Pines in Trinity, Texas, leaves with fond memories of his time at Oak Hill Country Club. (The PGA of America)

At Oak Hill, a week of experience, a lifetime of memories

By John Kim, PGA.com Coordinating Producer

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Twelve 12 PGA Professionals made the cut at the 69th Senior PGA Championship -- the largest number since 2002 -- each with a different and compelling story to qualify for the event, and each with an even more memorable experience to take away.

PGA CLUB PROFESSIONALS
Who Played All Four Rounds
Player Score Result
Bill Britton 70-74-72-78 T16
Kirk Hanefield 71-74-77-76 T34
Jim Woodward 72-74-75-79 T46
Perry Arthur 77-73-76-75 T49
Robert Thompson 73-76-77-77 T59
Gary Robison 75-73-79-77 T62
David Lundstrom 78-74-77-76 T67
Darrell Kestner 76-70-79-81 T77
Freddy Gibson 77-75-82-75 T77
Mike Barge 72-80-80-77 T77
Bill Loeffler 76-76-85-76 83
Scott Spence 74-78-82-82 84

Darrell Kestner, the PGA Head Professional at Deepdale Golf Club in Manhassett, N.Y., cherished his time at Oak Hill Country Club and the 69th Senior PGA Championship.

"Oh yeah, it's always fun to play in the majors -- play with the guys you kind of watch all your life," Kestner explained. "And this is such a beautiful course that it's a memory I'll always have."

"The whole experience was just tremendous," said Mike Barge, the PGA Director of Instruction at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. "To play four rounds under these types of conditions is something that I don't normally get a chance to do. And I don't know if I would want to do it on a weekly basis, but it was a treat."

Despite the trying weather at the beginning of the week and the thick rough, the sentiment seemed to suggest that such conditions were the norm for this prestigious championship.

Perry Arthur, a PGA Teaching Professional at Sherrill Park Golf Course in Richardson, Texas, summed up his experience as a very positive one.

"I loved it," Arthur stated. "This is a major championship, that's the way it ought to be.

"As we get older, you don't know how many more of these you're going to be able to get in, especially as a club pro, "Arthur pointed out. "So I just savor the experience every time and hopefully this isn't the last one."

Robert Thompson, a PGA Teaching Professional from Whispering Pines in Trinity, Texas, says the challenge presented by The PGA of America was in line for the event.

"No question," he stated, "this is very much a championship golf course."

Kirk Hanefeld, a PGA Life Member, had nothing but praise for the set up and the atmosphere.

"Well, it was a lot of fun," Hanefeld said. "The golf course is terrific. The tournament was run very well. The PGA of America should be proud of the job that they did here."

Hanefeld shot a final-round 76 and at 18 over, came in second for low PGA Club Professional honors.

"I've played in 12 Majors over the last three years and this is the hardest golf course I think I've played in any of the Majors over the last three years -- but very fair," he said. "It was very hard, but it was very fair."

Fred Gibson, a PGA Life Member from Orlando, Fla., called his time at Oak Hill a learning experience. "I learned the course is too hard for me," Gibson said. "I'm too old, buddy. I'm 62 years old."

Gary Robison, the PGA Director of Golf at Brookside C.C. in Canton, Ohio, agreed that Oak Hill was a fair-but-tough test.

"It was fun, it was fun," Robison stated before adding, "I'm glad it's over."

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