Pre-Tournament Notebook: PGA Golf Club to set new record as host venue

The PGA of America

Series: PGA

Published: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 | 1:02 a.m.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – PGA Club will host the 25th Southworth Senior PGA Professional National Championship presented by Mercedes-Benz USA, a showcase for PGA Professionals who are at least 50 years of age. The Championship begins Tuesday and concludes Friday.

The 72-hole Championship features 264 players representing 43 states, who qualified to compete through one of the 41 PGA Sections. The low 70 scorers and ties after Wednesday’s second round, April 16, advance to the final 36 holes Thursday and Friday at the Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club.


To return to our complete coverage of the 2013 Southworth Senior PNC, click here.

The Championship, originally slated for last October, was postponed due to a week of inclement weather in Northern Virginia. 

The low 35 finishers earn a berth in the 75th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, May 22-25, at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich.

The top eight finishers, including ties, receive exemptions into the 2014 Senior PGA Professional National Championship this November.

MAKE IT NINE: PGA Golf Club will host a record ninth Senior PGA Professional National Championship. When play begins, the site will pass Ibis Golf and Country Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., which hosted the Championship from 1993-2000.

The first Championship hosted at PGA Golf Club was in 2001, when Ed Sabo of Tequesta, Fla., captured the title by four strokes over John Traub and Jay Overton.

OAKLEY A MAJOR PLAYER: Pete Oakley owns a special distinction in this year’s field – he is the only player to have won a senior major championship.

Oakley, who hails from Palm City, Fla., won the 2004 Senior British Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland by a stroke over Tom Kite and Eduardo Romero.

Oakley, a PGA Life Member, also owns a Senior PGA Professional National Championship title. He won the 1999 Championship by three strokes over Bob Hauer and Ed Sabo.

A LONG WAIT FOR WOODWARD: Jim Woodward of Edmond, Okla., has spent 18 months waiting to defend his title in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship.

The 56-year-old PGA Life Member, who won the 2012 Championship, is making his fifth appearance in the Championship. 

He also has five appearances in the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, with his best finish a tie for 46th in 2008 at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y.

THE BUSY WORLD OF BERMEL: John Bermel of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is making his second appearance in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship and is easily one of the premier multi-taskers among the 264 entrants this week.

Bermel is in his 19th season as men’s golf coach at the University of Northern Iowa, and is in his 13th season as UNI’s women’s coach. This also is Bermel’s 19th year as PGA director of golf at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course in Cedar Falls. 

On May 16, in Marshalltown, Iowa, the 51-year-old Bermel will be one of four inductees into the Iowa Golf Association Hall of Fame. Among his previous honors were the 2011 Labron Harris Sr. Coaches’ Award; the 2012 Iowa PGA Golf Professional of the Year. He has competed in 16 PGA Professional National Championships and finished in the top 25 four times.