Dougherty looks to transform past success into victory this year

sean dougherty
Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America
After two straight top-three finishes, Sean Dougherty of Kansas believes he's primed to win this week.
Randy Stutzman
The PGA of America


Published: Tuesday, November 09, 2010 | 6:56 p.m.

Sean Dougherty knows about pressure coming down the stretch of a Championship. The Overland Park, Kan., native has finished in the top three in each of the last two Callaway Golf PGA Assistant Championships.

Dougherty hopes that knowledge and experience will translate into hoisting the Champion’s trophy the second weekend in November.

“I have been really fortunate to play well the last two years and finish near the top of the leader board,” said Dougherty, a PGA assistant professional at Milburn Country Club. “This year I really just want to free-wheel it and go for first.”

Dougherty and 126 PGA assistant professionals and apprentices will descend upon PGA Golf Club Nov. 11-14 for the 34th edition of the Championship.

The format was changed in 2010 to include the top four finishers from last year’s Championship as well as 122 players who advanced through their Section Championship.

The 32-year-old earned a spot in this year’s Championship by finishing in the top four in 2009.

“It’s nice to not have to worry about qualifying for this Championship,” said Dougherty, who will be competing in his third Callaway Golf PGA Assistant Championship. “I was still able to go out and win my Section Qualifier, which was a real bonus, too.”

Dougherty also enjoys the Bermuda greens and is very familiar with the South Florida weather.

“I have no problems with Bermuda greens, which some players really seem to struggle with,” said Dougherty, who finished alone in second place last year. “I have always enjoyed coming down to Florida and the course just fits my eye.”

Defending Champion Tim Thelen will not be defending his title this year. Thelen is also a two-time PGA Professional National Champion and has competed in nine PGA Championships, including the 2010 PGA Championship, where he finished just two strokes off the cut line.

Also at stake, provided the Champion meets eligibility requirements, is a coveted spot in the 44th PGA Professional National Championship, June 26-29, 2011 at Hershey (Pa.) Country Club.

Following the first 36 holes of play, the field for the final two rounds will be reduced to the low 70 scorers and ties.

Callaway Golf returns as the title sponsor for the second consecutive year.

For more than 30 years, this Championship has produced many outstanding PGA Professionals who have gone onto successful careers in teaching and administering the game, as well as competing at the highest level on the PGA and Champions Tour. Past Champions include Fred Funk, Loren Roberts as well as 2010 Senior PGA Professional National Champion Robert Thompson of Huntsville, Texas.

The winner of the Callaway Golf PGA Assistant Championship will collect $9,000 of the $100,000 purse.

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