The 63rd Southwest PGA Championship/PPC Heads to Vegas
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – June 26, 2020 – For the fourth time in the history of the event, the Southwest PGA Championship will be contested within Nevada state lines. The 63rd edition is slated for June 29-July 1 at SouthShore Country Club in Henderson, Nev. In addition to the prestige of winning the title, the champion earns an exemption into the 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open Championship and the event also serves as a qualifier for the National PGA Professional Championship (PPC).
Defending champion Marty Jertson returns having earned his first Southwest PGA Championship title last year after defeating Jesse Mueller on the fourth hole of a sudden death playoff at Mesa (Ariz.) Country Club. With a victory, Jertson would become the ninth Professional to win back-to-back titles, a feat last accomplished by Dean Vomacka in 2008 and 2009.
Jertson, 39, PGA Professional and Vice President of Fitting & Performance at PING Golf, won last year’s Southwest PGA Championship/PPC with a 54-hole total of 209 (-7), that included a 7-under-par 65 in the opening round. Tied with Mueller, 37, PGA Director of Golf at Grand Canyon University Golf Course, at the end of regulation, Jertson made birdie on the par-5 18th, the fourth playoff hole, to win the title.
One of the hottest players entering the Championship is past champion Dennis Downs. After winning the first two Southwest PGA Player Series events within a span of four days, Downs, 37, PGA Director of Instruction at Eagle's Nest at Pebble Creek in Goodyear, Ariz., enters the Championship as the leader in the Southwest PGA Player of the Year race.
The starting field is comprised of 92 participants including eight past champions: Downs (2015). Glen Griffith (2012), Mark Gurnow (1994), Craig Hocknull (2016), Michael Hopper (2018, 2014), Jertson (2019), Mueller (2017) and Jeff Yurkiewicz (2002).
The Southwest PGA Championship was last contested in the Las Vegas area in 2015 at Reflection Bay Golf Club in Henderson. Other venues in Nevada to host were Coyote Springs Golf Club in Moapa, in 2010 and Las Vegas Country Club in 2005.
The first and second rounds will be held Monday and Tuesday, June 29-30, respectively, at 7:30 a.m. off Nos. 1 and 10. Following 36 holes of play, the field will be cut to the low 40 scorers plus ties for the final round on Wednesday, July 1.
The winner of the 63rd Southwest PGA Championship will receive an exemption into the Waste Management Phoenix Open, scheduled to take place February 4-7, 2021 at TPC Scottsdale (Ariz.). In addition, the top five (5) finishers, plus the Southwest PGA Player of the Year, advance to the 54th PGA Professional National Championship, in April 22-25, 2021 at PGA Golf Club (Wanamaker & Ryder Courses) in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Nine Southwest PGA Professionals who are competing in the Championship qualified last year for the 53rd PGA Professional National Championship, originally scheduled for April 27-30, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the event will now take place July 19-22 at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas. Representing the Southwest PGA will be Matt Brooks, Downs, Jim Carter, Hocknull, Hopper, Jertson, Mark Leibfried, Mueller and Matt VanCleave. The 20 low scorers in the National PPC earn berths in the 102nd PGA Championship, August 6-9, at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif. The PGA Championship was also rescheduled from its original dates in May due to the pandemic.
Begun in 1968, the PGA Professional Championship is presented by Cadillac, Club Car and OMEGA; with supporting partners Nike, TaylorMade Golf, Titleist/FootJoy; Golf Channel and the PGA TOUR.
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