Missouri Golf Post
Scott Langley PGA



The stage is set for the 50th PGA Professional National Championship at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Oregon.  Three Gateway PGA Professionals will be joining the 312 person field in what will be a nationally televised event.  Each of these three accomplished players punched their ticket by qualifying amoungst 50 of their PGA Professional peers at Persimmon Woods Golf Club in July of 2016.  (A fourth Gateway PGA Member, Jeff Schmid, also qualified but has since relocated to the Iowa PGA Section.)  The low 20 scores, in the National Championship, will earn a berth in the 2017 PGA Championship, Aug. 10-13, at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Please read more about each of our Gateway PGA Professionals below:

Jimmy Bals, PGA Head Golf Professional – Westborough Country Club

Jimmy has been the PGA Head Golf Professional at Westborough Country Club for 17 of his nearly 24 years as a PGA Member.  Jimmy had a remarkable feat in 2016 when he qualified for both the PGA Professional National Championship and the Senior PGA Professional National Championship.  In an extremely strong playing section like the Gateway PGA, qualifying for one event is an incredible accomplishment – let alone two.  Bals is extremely respected by his peers for the qualities he brings as a PGA Professional at Westborough Country Club.  He is in rare company because of his abilities to play, teach and run a successful operation all at the highest levels.

Shane Blankenship, Assistant PGA Professional – Franklin County Country Club

Shane has been a PGA Member for just over a decade and has spent the majority of that time as an Assistant PGA Professional at Franklin County Country Club.  Since 2009, Shane has been a perennial top-10 player in the Gateway PGA.  He has hosted the Assistants Championship, Assistants Player of the Year as well as other tournament trophies and majors contested within the Gateway PGA.

In 2008, Shane took advantage of relationships that he created at Scottsdale National Golf Club to bring his game to the next level. Blankenship would spend several winters in Scottsdale working as a PGA Professional while also dedicating himself to being a great player.  Before heading out to Oregon to compete in the this year’s Professional National Championship, Shane married his best friend and love of his life, Devon.

Loel Fischer, Assistant PGA Professional – Norwood Hills County Country Club

This will be the first appearance for Loel at the PGA Professional National Championship.  Fischer has been a member of the PGA and the Norwood Hills Country Club staff for eight years.  Before joining the PGA Professional staff at Norwood he spent over four years as an Assistant at Millwood Golf & Racquet Club in Ozark, MO.  Loel finished 3rd in qualifying at the Gateway PGA Professional National Championship at Persimmon Woods, in 2016, with scores of 69 and 71.  Fischer qualified for the PGA Assistants Championship in 2011.


Television Schedule: Golf Channel (All Times EDT)

First Round:       Sunday, June 18 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Second Round:   Monday, June 19 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. Replay: 2:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m.

Third Round:      Tuesday, June 20 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. Replay: 2:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m.

Final Round:      Wednesday, June 21 7:00- 10:00 p.m. Replay: 1:30 a.m. – 4:30 a.m.

Begun in 1968, The PGA Professional National Championship provides additional playing opportunities for PGA Professionals. The showcase event for PGA Professionals features a 312-player field representing 41 PGA Sections competing at the peak of their games, and with its 20 top finishers earning a berth in the PGA Championship.

For More Information and Scoring, PLEASE CLICK HERE.


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The Missouri Golf Post is a monthly digital magazine that “celebrates the people who play the game.” Each monthly issue contains several “feature” stories on golfers, golf courses, and/or major tournaments of interest statewide. Each issue contains a number of regular departments on topics such as Tournament Summaries, Fitness, “The Superintendent’s Corner,” Instruction, and Rules.


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