Born in 1961, Sonny Skinner is the oldest player at the major event that just opened on May 20 on Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
Skinner has been pursuing professional golf for 39 years. He got a ticket to the PGA Championship 2021 – the fourth time in his career – thanks to the top 20 qualifying finals opened by the Organizing Committee – the Professional Golf Association of America (PGAA) exclusively for affiliated coaches.
Yesterday, Skinner began his journey to find the 103rd PGA Championship with a wide-brimmed hat. He hit 85 strokes on the Ocean, par72, reached 270 yards in two holes selected by the Organizing Committee to record the average distance in the first hole.
He only played with a wooden club on the par4 hole, once on the par5 hole, aiming for the safest place.
In the whole match, this old general hit eight of the 14 fairways, reaching the green according to the standard of only four holes. With that professional performance, Skinner scored three double bogeys and four bogeys on the 85-stroke scorecard. And at the end of the first stage, he stood at T152 with a score of +13, near the end of the title team of 155 players.
But Skinner was not sad, because getting to the main round of the main event of the PGAA was a memorable feat. And also because, as he himself remarked, Ocean was the hardest course he faced in nearly four decades of golf.
“This battlefield belongs to some formidable young men. And I try to hit every shot well. The 85-stroke round here is the best of my ability,” Skinner shared at the end of the match.
Skinner entered professional golf in 1982, 15 years before Collin Morikawa – the reigning PGA Championship champion – was born. For the next eight years, he worked hard to build achievements in the minor league systems in Florida. In 1990, Skinner received his first PGA Tour membership card. But for the next 10 years, Skinner struggled in the most exciting and harshest golf arena in the world. At this stage, he lasted only three seasons. The prize money from the tournament was not enough to cover the cost, Skinner focused more on the remuneration for teaching golf.
From 2008 to 2013, he won tickets to the PGA Championship three times, all qualifying for the PGAA golf masters, of which the third time was eight years ago, at the age of 53. After that occasion, Skinner thought the entry was over. major.
In April of this year, the PGA Championship opportunity came to him again in the internal qualifiers. If he holds par on both holes at the end of this event, Skinner holds a ticket to the main round in May. However, he bogey a hole so he had to play-off. The other hole, the situation is more difficult after the phase on the green, but the ball hits the upper left hillside with the target nearby and on the back edge of the hole.
“I stood there, took a few deep breaths and thought to myself, ‘this isn’t the most important thing in the world, I can do it’. After the chip, the ball went near the hole, from which Skinner tapped to get his ticket to this week’s Ocean field.
Quoc Huy synthetic
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