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THE GOG BLOG by RORY SPEARS-Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy or connect on LinkedIn or Facebook

Welcome to PGA Village and the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie Florida.

THIS YEAR nine Illinois PGA Professionals have qualified for the 33rd Senior PGA Professional Championship.

The championship tee’s off with Round 1, this Thursday, at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie Florida.

But 264 PGA Senior Professionals will compete for the Leo Fraser Trophy. So competition will be tough.

But the 35 top finishers this week, will earn their way into the 2022 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. The 2022 Senior PGA returns to Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Harbor Shores returns as host, after having it’s last Sr. PGA championship scheduled for 2020 cancelled. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Roy Biancalana is the 2021 Illinois PGA Senior Professional of the Year, winner of the Errie Ball award.

“We are very proud of the Senior PGA Professionals that have qualified for this event,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of the Illinois PGA Section.

“We have a strong group of professionals representing the Illinois PGA section this year at the National Senior PGA Professional Championship, we wish them all the best this week.”

The nine Illinois PGA Section professionals playing this week, are headed up by 2021 Errie Ball award winner Roy Biancalana, 61 (Blackberry Oaks Golf Course). Because Biancalana was the winner of the Illinois PGA Senior Match Play Championship at Shore Acres Golf Club. But he wrapped up the Errie Ball award before the final senior major of the year.

THE OTHER EIGHT members competing are, John Cleary, 54, PGA Director of Instruction at Exmoor Country Club. Kevin Merion, 63, Head PGA Professional at Old Elm. Don Morris, 54, PGA Teaching Professional at Diversey Golf Range. Kurt Rogers, 59, Assistant PGA Professional at Champaign Country Club.

Mike Small, 55, Head Men’s Golf Coach at the University of Illinois. Small took first place in the 2021 Senior PGA Professional Championship, at Bryn Mawr Country Club. John Varner, 52, PGA Director of Golf at Beverly Country Club. David Thompson, 50, Head Golf Professional at Crystal Lake Country Club. Michael Troy, 53, Assistant PGA Professional at the Zigfield Troy Country Club.

The Senior PGA Professional Championship will have a cut after 36 holes. But the championship held on the PGA Golf Club’s Ryder and Wanamaker golf courses. But the final 36 holes will all be played on the Wanamaker course. Omar Uresti, 53, is the defending champion, and is the favorite to repeat as champion.

But more details can be found at PGA.com.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WCPT AM820 Chicago, he writes for both the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine, and formerly Chicagoland Golf. Rory has played over 525 courses in 39 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, within the golf industry.