The Leo Fraser Trophy will again be on the line as the 2021 Senior PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac begins Thursday, October 21, at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The four-day, 72-hole event is supported by Golf Channel and is being contested at PGA Golf Club for the 14th time since it debuted in Port St. Lucie in 2002.
Defending Champion Omart Uresti of Austin, Texas, is the favorite—and for good reason. The 53-year-old PGA Life Member is on a remarkable run at PGA Golf Club, having won five different PGA of America events there in the last 12 months.
Uresti’s 6-shot win in the 2020 Senior PGA Professional Championship last October sparked an unprecedented run on Florida’s Treasure Coast. He subsequently claimed victories in Events #1 and #2 of the PGA Tournament Series in December, the Quarter Century Championship in early January and the PGA Professional Championship by three shots in late April.
“You have to hit it straight (at PGA Golf Club),” said Uresti, who estimates he’s won at least seven times in his career at PGA Golf Club. “Length helps in a few places, but you don’t have to hit it super long. I’ve come to know these courses (through the years) and they feel pretty good to me. Being from Texas, I like playing in the wind.”
Uresti will attempt to fend off a full field of 264 players, with several key exemptions at stake:
The low 35 scorers earn a berth into the 2022 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor, Michigan, May 26-29.
The Senior PGA Professional Championship’s top five finishers also garner an exemption into the final stage of the 2021 PGA Tour Champions Qualifying School - Final Stage.
Those who finish in the top eight, including ties, will automatically qualify for next year’s Championship at Twin Warriors Golf Club at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa and Santa Ana Golf Club, both in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico, October 13-16, 2022
The field will include players from 42 states, led by 28 Floridians, 19 Californians, and 17 Texans and 14 apiece from New York and Pennsylvania.
Every player will compete on the Ryder and Wanamaker Courses Thursday and Friday, to be followed by a cut to the low 90 scorers and ties. Following Saturday’s round, a second cut will be made to the low 70 scorers and ties.
The third and final rounds will be played exclusively on the Wanamaker Course.
In addition to the Leo Fraser Trophy, named after the 16th president of the PGA of America, players are competing for a $318,000 purse including the winner’s share of $26,000.
Uresti is one of 12 past Champions in the field, including a trio of two-time winners: Frank Esposito Jr. of Florham Park, N.J. (2014, ‘17); Kirk Hanefeld of South Hamilton, Massachusetts (2008, ’11); and Mike San Filippo of Hobe Sound, Florida (2002, ’05).
Sherry Andonian of Centennial, Colorado, is the lone woman competitor in the field.
PGA Golf Clubーthe PGA of America’s premier 54-hole facilityーhosts multiple PGA Member championships annually, such as the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship, Senior PGA Professional Championship (biennially) and the PGA's Tournament Series and Winter Championships.