PGA Championship: Three Utahns in Valhalla field
For the first time in golf history, three Utah high school graduates are in the field of a major tournament. They're nicely aligned at ages 30, 40 and 50 and they all have strong family ties to the PGA of America, the organization of club professionals that stages the event.
That's among the reasons the PGA Championship is so meaningful to Daniel Summerhays, Dustin Volk and Steve Schneiter.
They will tee off Thursday at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Summerhays, 30, is playing in his first major as a PGA Tour member. Volk, 40, is competing for the first time at this level. Schneiter, 50, is playing in his 12th PGA Championship, a remarkable achievement for a golfer who has never had full access to the PGA Tour. Schneiter now holds the record for most appearances in the tournament by a club pro.
Volk, the head professional at Valley View Golf Course in Layton, and Schneiter, a co-owner of his family's Pebblebrook Golf Course in Sandy, qualified for the event via top-20 finishes in the PGA Professional National Championship in South Carolina in June. Schneiter once won that tournament, giving him a lifetime exemption, and has taken advantage of that opportunity by frequently qualifying for the PGA Championship.
Summerhays qualified for the 2010 U.S. Open, his only other major appearance, as a Web.com Tour member. His recent PGA Tour success, with $1.36 million in earnings for the 2013-14 season, gave him a spot in this week's field.
The former Davis High School golfer is a nephew of Bruce Summerhays, a longtime club pro who qualified for Champions Tour and won three tournaments in his career.
Volk, from Clearfield High, is a son of Wayne Volk, who retired after a long tenure as the head pro at Hill Air Force Base's Hubbard Golf Course.
Schneiter's PGA roots go even deeper. His grandfather, George Schneiter Sr., administered the organization that became the PGA Tour. His father, George Schneiter Jr., and uncle, Ernie Schneiter Jr., are PGA members with strong influence in Utah golf.
Schneiter, a Jordan High product, received an award as the low club professional in the 2005 PGA Championship.
Utahns' PGA start times
(No. 10 tee Thursday, times MDT)
10:50 a.m.• Dustin Volk, with Charley Hoffman and Scott Brown
12:20 p.m. • Steve Schneiter, with Will MacKenzie and Chesson Hadley
12:50 p.m. • Daniel Summerhays, with Jim McGovern and Geoff Ogilvy