Vermeer, a 42-year-old PGA Director of Instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, will be playing in his fourth consecutive PGA Championship after claiming the top spot on the PGA of America’s 2019 Professional Player of the Year Standings.
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The 2020 PGA Professional Championship -- which had been scheduled for July 19-22 at the Fazio Foothills and Coore Crenshaw Cliffside courses at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas -- was canceled on June 29 due to COVID-19. That meant the top 20 on the 2019 PGA Player of the Year list were eligible for the 2020 PGA Championship. Among those expecting to play:
Rich Berberian Jr. of Hooksett, New Hampshire, will participate in his fifth straight PGA Championship, the longest active streak among PGA Club Professionals. Vermeer is second with four. Berberian (2016) and Vermeer (2018) are both past winners of the PGA Professional Championship.
PGA Life Member Jeff Hart of Solana Beach, California, is one of four PGA Club Professionals making his PGA Championship debut next month. He is the lone PGA Club Professional in the field from the state of California.
Bob Sowards of Dublin, Ohio, will participate in his 11th career PGA Championship, first since 2018. Sowards’ 11 career PGA Championship starts are tied for second all-time among PGA Club Professionals (Steve Schneiter, 12).
Jeff Roth of Farmington, New Mexico, will be making his sixth career PGA Championship appearance, but his first in 16 years. The 62-year-old Roth’s initial PGA Championship came in 1988 at Oak Tree Golf Club in Edmond, Oklahoma, while his most recent start came in 2004 at Whistling Straits.
The Metropolitan PGA Section leads the way with four players in the field -- Balin, Alex Beach of Rye, New York; Jason Caron of Oyster Bay, New York; and Rob Labritz of Pound Ridge, New York -- who, combined, have played in 15 PGAs. The Michigan, New England and Southern Ohio PGA Sections are represented by two players apiece.
Vermeer, Jertson and Balin also are assured of spots in the 120th U.S. Open Championship, Sept. 17-20 at Winged Foot Golf Club (West Course), in Mamaroneck, New York. They were granted exemptions by the United States Golf Association (USGA) for finishing top-three in the 2019 Professional Player of the Year Standings.