LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Steve Flesch, who is working as a Golf Channel analyst at this week’s PGA Championship, was asked Tuesday morning if he had been close to earning a spot in the field at the year’s final major.
“No way,” he smiled.
Turns out the left-hander was closer than he thought.
A combination of last-minute injuries and curious decisions have vaulted the four-time PGA Tour winner into the first alternate spot at Valhalla Golf Club.
Early on Thursday Matt Kuchar withdrew from the event with an ailing back and was replaced by John Huh. As officials worked their way down the alternate list the only available player after Huh who was on property was Flesch. (Above photo shows PGA officials notifiying Flesch that he is first alternate.)
Officials attempted to contact Jeff Overton, who was 13th on the alternate list and lives in nearby Indiana, but were unsuccessful.
Flesch, who has played just four times this season with past champion’s status but did tie for 21st at last week’s Barracuda Championship, lives in nearby Union, Ky., and played golf for the University of Kentucky.
Flesch, who also played the 2000 PGA at Valhalla, had to scramble to find clothes to wear as he awaited his fate.
Thursday’s final tee time heads out at 2:45 p.m. ET.