Jim Empey of Boise, Idaho, winner of the Rocky Mountain PGA Professional Championship held August 29-30, 2017, at Teton Pines Country Club in Jackson, Wyo., will lead four Section PGA Professionals to compete in the 51st PGA Professional Championship to be contested June 17-20, 2018, at Bayonet Black Horse in Seaside, California.  Empey turned in rounds of 68 and 73 for a winning total of 3-under-par 141 to capture the Rocky Mountain PGA Professional Champion title. Zach Abels of Twin Falls, Idaho was runner-up, finishing at 143. They are joined by Travis Hofland, also of Twin Falls, and Brad Martin from Elko, Nev.  CLICK HERE for complete results.


The Section would like to specially thank PGA Head Professional Ron Dunham and the Teton Pines staff for their extraordinary hospitality and fine facility.  This was the second consecutive year they have hosted our premiere championship and we are grateful for the privilege. 


The PGA Professional Championship will mark its second visit to Bayonet Black Horse and first since 2012. Bayonet Black Horse was also the site of the 2016 Senior PGA Professional Championship. The Championship brings together a field of 312 contestants representing the PGA of America’s 41 nationwide Sections.  Overlooking Monterey Bay, Bayonet and Black Horse were named in honor of two U.S. Army divisions. The courses occupy property that was once part of the former Fort Ord military base. Bayonet was designed by Gen. Robert B. McClure in 1954, and after a redesign by Gene Bates, the course reopened in 2007.  Black Horse Golf Course, a 1964 joint original design by Gen. McClure and Gen. Edwin Carnes, was named in honor of the 11th Cavalry Regiment (Black Horse), which was stationed at the Presidio of Monterey (1919-1940).


The PGA Professional Championship and 41 PGA Section Championships feature a total purse of more than $1.5 million. The PGA Professional Championship purse is $550,000, distributed among those who make the cut in the 312-player field. Golf Channel will televise all four rounds of the national Championship.  If eligibility is maintained, the low 20 scorers in 2018 will earn berths into the 100th PGA Championship in August 2018, at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri.  In addition to the Walter Hagen Cup, the PGA Professional Championship winner also receives an exemption into the next 10 PGA Professional Championships and exemptions into six PGA TOUR events over a 12-month period.


Established in 1968, the PGA Professional Championship roster of Champions includes the following premier TOUR professionals: Sam Snead, Bob Rosburg, Don Massengale, Ed Dougherty, Larry Gilbert, and Bruce Fleisher.


The PGA Professional Championship is presented by Club Car, Mercedes-Benz USA and OMEGA. Supporting sponsors are Titleist/FootJoy, TaylorMade Golf Company, the PGA TOUR and Golf Channel. The 41 Section Championships and the National Championship offer a combined purse of $1.5 million.


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