US team takes shape


0507PGACup Mike Small

PGA Cup veteran Mike Small, pictured left, is among the eight Americans to have secured their place in the team to face Great Britain & Ireland at De Vere Slaley Hall in September.

The hugely experienced Small, a coach at Illinois University and three time winner of the American PGA Professional Championship, qualified with this year's champion Rod Perry at Sunriver Resort in Oregon.

It will be his fifth appearance in the biennial contest having made his debut in 2005.

Also in action in Northumberland will be Chip Sullivan and Mark Sheftic who have also played in past PGA Cups. The others to qualify to date are Ryan Polzin, Matt Dobyns, Jeff Sorenson and Kelly Mitchum.

Sullivan, the PGA Director of Golf at Hanging Rock Golf Club, Virginia birdied the first playoff hole of the PGA Cup team playoff to gain a spot on the team. 

"To be honest, making the PGA Cup team means more to me than even playing in the PGA Championship," said Sullivan.

"I've been fortunate to play in one before, but not in one overseas. I can't put into words what this means to me."

Also gaining a spot on the team in the playoff was Sheftic, a teaching professional at Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania where Justin Rose recently won the US Open.

Sorenson, a PGA Teaching Professional at Columbia Golf Club in Minnesota who qualified for the team for the first time in his career, said: "Going overseas to represent my country – I've never been to the UK and to go there under this scenario, it's a dream come true."

Qualifying to join the US team is based on points awarded during the two years of the PGA Professional National Championship that take place between PGA Cups – and additional points can be awarded to PGA Professionals who make the cut at the PGA Championship.

Spots nine and ten will be finalized at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in August.  

US team captain, Allen Wronowski, commented: “I'm really excited about how this team is coming together.

"We really have the right mix of veterans and young, talented rookies. All of them have proven their talent and will tremendous representatives of the team, of the PGA of America and of the United States."

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