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Golf: Minnewaska GC to host Minnesota PGA Professional Championship Aug. 29-30

The top eight players from the two-day event at Minnewaska advance to a national qualifier where 20 players will earn a spot at the 2023 PGA Championship.

Minnewaska golf club.jpg
A photo of the No. 3 green at the Minnewaska Golf Club. Minnewaska will be the host of the Minnesota PGA Professional Championship that will be played Aug. 29 and 30. The top eight finishers from this event will advance to a national qualifier in New Mexico where 20 players from that national event will earn a spot in the 2023 PGA Championship.
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GLENWOOD — The Minnewaska Golf Club near Glenwood will host a Minnesota PGA championship event at the end of August where the top eight players from this field will advance to a national tournament for an opportunity to play for a spot in the 2023 PGA Championship.

The Minnesota PGA Professional Championship will be played Aug. 29 and 30 at the Minnewaska GC. Those top eight players will move on to play in the PGA Professional Championship (PPC) at Twin Warriors at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa and Santa Ana Golf Club in New Mexico. The top 20 players from that national event will qualify for the PGA Championship that will be played at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.

“It’s an awesome opportunity,” Casey Vangsness, the head golf professional at Minnewaska, said. “They pick a venue that they think is a championship style golf course.”

Read more golf coverage from the Echo Press

Vangsness is an Alexandria native who is in his third season as the head pro at Minnewaska. The course is host to two pro-ams each season in June and September that has helped showcase the course to golf professionals from around the state.

Vangsness gave a lot of credit to course superintendent Brady Scott and the work the grounds crew does at Minnewaska to make the course appealing for an event like this.

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“I just think this will be another great opportunity to showcase our golf course. It’s exciting for our staff, our members, our community,” Vangsness said. “Once they announced we’d be hosting, a lot of people reached out and said, ‘What can we do to help? Are we going to be able to spectate?’ It’s exciting. I think it’s just kind of a testament to the leadership of the club over the last decade. Scott (McDonald) did a great job of helping get Minnewaska on the map by hosting these pro-ams. Then we get people from all over the state coming to play.”

McDonald is the former head golf professional at Minnewaska and the current secretary of the Minnesota PGA, along with being the CEO and Director of Speed of Ryp Golf. Ryp Golf is a company that produces training tools and programs dedicated to helping golfers get more distance out of their swing.

McDonald (Minnewaska GC), Grant Hanson (Geneva Golf Club) and Ron Rebrovich (Geneva Golf Club) are three local golf professionals who are signed up to play in the Minnesota PGA Professional Championship.

Vangsness expects there to be around 100-110 total players competing for those top-eight spots.

Derek Holmes (PXG Minneapolis) is a part of the field at Minnewaska this month. Holmes advanced out of Minnesota and then the national qualifier to play in the 2021 PGA Championship at The Ocean Course in South Carolina.

“As a PGA professional, it’s your opportunity to potentially play your way into a major and tee it up against guys you watch every week,” Vangsness said. “This is the one that guys get their games ready for. It’s a cool opportunity for us because we’re seen as a championship venue and can put together a good product. Hopefully when it’s said and done, it’s a feather in our cap to say we hosted the 2022 Minnesota PGA Professional Championship. Maybe we’ll have somebody move on to play in the major next year.”

The two-day tournament at Minnewaska is free and open to the public to come watch. Starting times for players are not posted as of Aug. 15, but there will be morning and afternoon tee-time waves both days from 8-10 and 12:30-2:30.

Visit the tournament event page at https://mnpga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/mnpga22/event/mnpga2222/index.htm .

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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