And awaiting the 156 man field of club professionals is a $450,000 purse and a chance for entry into the 2004 PGA Championship later this August. In addition, the winner will earn a spot on the 10-member U.S. team for the 2005 PGA Cup Matches against Great Britain & Ireland.
'Longaberger Golf Club is extremely proud to be hosting the PGA Club Professional Championship for the first time in Ohio,' said the club's Director of Golf Danny Ackerman. 'We look forward to welcoming hundreds of spectators who will get to see some great competition on the course.'
The Championship, which began in 1968 and is limited to PGA members employed as golf professionals, lists notable winners such as Sam Snead, Bob Rosburg and Bruce Fleisher. The top 25 finishers earn a berth in the 86th PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis.
Tim Thelen, an assistant professional at Bushwood Golf Center in Houston, Tex., is the defending champion, winning last year's title at Twin Warriors Golf Club in Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M. The 43-year-old also captured the title in 2000 in a five-hole playoff at Oak Tree Golf Club in Edmond, Okla.
'I'm looking forward to the CPC, as I always do,' said Thelen. 'The CPC is a chance to see my friends. I don't look upon having any pressure to perform. Pressure is what one puts on oneself. Having won it twice, it does make me feel more relaxed.'
The Golf Channel will carry exclusive coverage of the 72-hole event with live action Thursday through Sunday from 3:00 ' 5:00 p.m. (ET).