Category - Member Events

Three Things to Know After Day 1 at the PGA Professional Championship

By Ryan Adams, PGA
Published on

The PGA Professional Championship has finally arrived at the Home of the PGA of America in Frisco, Texas, as 312 PGA of America Golf Professionals started their quest for the Walter Hagen Cup on April 28.
Also arriving on Day 1 of tournament play, however, was a spat of storms that set back the opening round of the 2024 Championship. Weather delays set Round 1 back, but balls were in the air by 11 a.m. local time at Fields Ranch, host of this year's Championship.
Weather was a big story, but so were some impressive scores from a few of the competitors and a leaderboard shaping up for a Texas-sized finish. Here's three things to know after Day 1 at the PGA Professional Championship.
Sunday storms alter cut, tee times
No. 13 at Fields Ranch East after early storms on April 28.
No. 13 at Fields Ranch East after early storms on April 28.
Forecasted for days, the opening round of the PGA Professional Championship was always destined to be the most questionable weather-wise. That prediction came true as heavy rain and storms rolled through Frisco, Texas, in the early morning hours of April 28, setting tee times back four hours.
Thanks to a fantastic effort by the Fields Ranch grounds crew and PGA of America staff, competitors were able to get warmed up a little before 10 a.m. local time, and the original 7 a.m. tee times went off at 11.
The biggest impact, however, of the weather delay may be the second round cut. Normally after 36 holes the Championship has a cut to Top-90 players and ties, followed by a 54-hole cut to Top-70 players and ties. Now, given that Round 1 won't be finished until Monday, the 36-hole cut has been changed to Top-70 players and ties.
Leaderboard littered with familiar names
Michael Block during the first round.
Michael Block during the first round.
While weather may have started the day at the PGA Professional Championship, it certainly didn't stymy it.
A number of players were able to take advantage of soft conditions on Fields Ranch East and West and fire some solid scores, most notable Wyatt Worthington II with a 7-under 65 (more on him in a second). Oakmont's Devin Gee sits three back after a 4-under 68 with Hayes Farley - who's making his debut - while two-time Champion Matt Dobyns is five back at 2-under. Dobyns is looking for a third Championship title, which would tie him for most all-time with Mike Small and Larry Gilbert.
Michael Block, the 2014 Champion and story of last year's PGA Championship, sits tied for 12th. But plenty of names and former Corebridge Financial Team members - those who've played in a PGA Championship via top 20 finish - lurk in red numbers. Kyle Mendoza, who competed at Southern Hills in 2022, and John Somers, who tied for fourth last year, sit at 3-under. Danny Balin, who's played in the PGA Championship eight times, and Josh Speight, a two-time PGA Championship participant, are at 2-under.
There's a long way to go, but as usual at the PGA Professional Championship, the cream rises to the top.
Worthington rides nine birdies to solo lead
Worthington on Fields Ranch West during the first round.
Worthington on Fields Ranch West during the first round.
No one took advantage of the weather more than Wyatt Worthington II on Sunday, who fired a 65 for a three-shot lead entering Day 2.
It likely could've approached PGA Professional Championship record territory, too.
Worthington had two bogies on No. 4 and 12 of Fields Ranch West, otherwise it was all birdies, including four straight on No. 15-18. He hit 84 percent of his fairways, 67 percent of his greens, and was 5 for 6 on scramble opportunities, which made it just a little easier to shoot 65 . . . two off the Championship record for first-round score (63) held by Eddie Famula and Rod Perry.
First round leader is a familiar place for Worthington; he was in the same spot last year after his opening round at Santa Ana Golf Club in New Mexico. His lead was gone by the end of the second round, but Worthington still managed a top 20 finish for a spot at Oak Hill.
This time around, following the wise words of the late Kobe Bryant, which Worthington mentioned last year, are applicable yet again.
"Job's not finished."