Hattiesburg, MS – July 26, 2016 – Phil Schmitt of Baton Rouge, LA, was victorious at the 2016 Gulf States PGA Professional Championship held on July 25-26 at Hattiesburg Country Club. He will lead the four Section PGA Professionals that will compete in the 50th PGA Professional Championship, June 25-28, 2017, at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Oregon.

Schmitt turned in a winning total of 6-under-par 138 to capture the Gulf States PGA Professional Championship Title. Daniel Soehren of Starkville, MS, and Tim Yelverton of West Point, MS, tied for second finishing at 4-under-par 140. They are joined by Derek Sanders of Destrehan, LA, who shot 2-under-par 142 as qualifiers for the 50th PGA Professional Championship.

The PGA Professional Championship will mark its fourth visit to Sunriver Resort and first since 2013. The Championship brings together a field of 312 contestants representing the PGA of America’s 41 nationwide Sections.

In 2017, the Championship field will compete at Sunriver Resort, home to two of the country’s premier public/resort courses. The Championship will be contested on the Crosswater Club and Meadows Golf Course.

Sunriver’s 605-acre resort is positioned between the Big Deschutes and Little Deschutes Rivers. Inspired by the Scottish highlands, Crosswater Club opened for play in 1995 as a heathland-style course offers a perfect blend of strategy and aesthetics. The course features a wide range of fairway lengths and the constant interplay of wetlands, ponds, and rivers.

Designed by Bob Cupp, the par-72 Crosswater Golf Club played to 7,530 yards in the 2013 Championship, which made it the second longest layout in event history. The Meadows Golf Course, a collaborative effort between Fred Federspiel and John Fought, also is a par-71 layout that was played at 6,969 yards in the Championship. The Meadows winds its way along the great meadow and through groves of Ponderosa Pines.

The PGA Professional Championship, carrying a $550,000 total purse this year, is broadcast (all four rounds) by Golf Channel. Following 36 holes of play, the field will be trimmed to the low 90 scorers and ties, and following 54 holes of play, the field will be trimmed to the low 70 scorers and ties.

The low 20 scorers in 2017 will earn berths into the 99th PGA Championship, Aug. 10-13, 2017, at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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, Nike Golf, TaylorMade Golf Companies, and the PGA TOUR. Golf Channel is the official media partner. The 41 Section Championships and the National Championship offer a combined purse of $1.5 million.

The Gulf States PGA would like to thank PGA Head Golf Professional David Allen, PGA Assistant Golf Professional John Mullin, Head Superintendent Frank Ogletree, and the entire staff and membership of Hattiesburg Country Club for all of their help this week. The Gulf States PGA would also like to thank our title sponsors Club Car, Mercedes Benz and OMEGA, as well as our supporting sponsors the PGA Tour, Titleist/FootJoy, TaylorMade, Adidas, Ashworth, and Nike. Special thanks to Jim Caldwell, Paul Reid, Buck Matheny, and Matt Brunetz of Ladd’s; Buster Toms and John Milford of Golf Cars of Louisiana; Eddie Welch and Curt Michels of Titleist/FootJoy; Phil Oliver and Chris Perez of TaylorMade, Adidas, and Ashworth; and Jeff Morici of Nike.

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