By: Kevin Casey | August 17, 2017 12:42 pm
Editor’s Note: This adventure originally appeared in the August 2017 book affair of Golfweek.
CHARLOTTE – Omar Uresti is a lightning rod for controversy, admitting not breaking any rules.
The 49-year-old from Austin, Texas, competed in his third beeline PGA Championship this anniversary as a “club pro,” application a back-nine 32 on Friday to accomplish the cut on his way to a T-73 finish.
He becoming his atom into the acreage by acceptable the PGA Able Championship, authoritative him one of 20 club pros at Quail Hollow. But that’s the rub.
“They accumulate adage ‘club pro,’ and he’s the extreme affair from a club pro,” said Darrell Fuston, the administrator of golf at the Woodlands (Texas) Country Club and a affiliate of the lath of admiral at the Southern Texas Area of the PGA of America.
Uresti is a above PGA Tour amateur who, afterwards his Tour career fizzled out, begin his way into bounded Southern Texas Area tournaments and eventually civic qualifiers for the PGA Championship.
Uresti became an A-3 activity affiliate with the PGA of America afterwards 20-plus years on the PGA Tour and advantageous anniversary PGA of America ante forth the way. As an alive activity member, Uresti is acceptable for the PGA Able Championship. Keeping that alive characterization involves advantageous ante and accomplishing credits by activity to teaching seminars and area meetings, which Uresti has done.
It’s a adjustment a continued time coming.
“I didn’t absolutely get any allowances from (paying dues) until I started arena in these events,” Uresti said.
Regardless, Uresti’s access into the club pro class has acquired a activity in the community. Uresti has accomplished inferior golfers and helped out with First Tee fundraisers, but he is not a club able anywhere.
He’s heard critics about from the beginning. Uresti started aggressive in Southern Texas Area contest in 2014, and afterwards an aboriginal win got chastised by a area affiliate for demography a atom from a alive club pro.
In 2015, Uresti becoming both of the section’s Tour exemptions (Valero Texas Open, Shell Houston Open). Later that year the Southern Texas Area disallowed activity associates from aggressive in its contest (aside from the area championship, a PGA Able Championship qualifier for which the area doesn’t ascendancy eligibility) unless they admired to do so in the 50-plus chief category.
Criticism from club pros about Uresti has developed added arresting in the deathwatch of June’s PGA Able Championship win, which on top of a PGA Championship anchorage becoming Uresti six starts in PGA Tour contest in the afterward 12 months.
“They’re added mad at the rule, and they’re demography it out on me,” Uresti said.
Some, however, feel the attendance of players such as Uresti burnishes the club pro brand.
J.J. Wood, a club pro who additionally competed in the 2017 PGA Championship, thinks Uresti has done annihilation but account the golf community.
“In my opinion, the arena standards should be college than they currently are,” said Wood, an adviser at the Golf Performance Group in Houston. “If you appetite to use the characterization golf professional, you should be captivated to a assertive standard. If not, maybe we should change the characterization to golf business professional.”
Uresti afresh started assignment as a money administrator with The Solomon Group and will be a adviser for an accessible golf venture. He additionally has his eyes on the PGA Tour Champions, as he turns 50 aing August.
How to accord with this alienated affair in the meantime? Understand it for what it is. “Everybody’s a acquaintance until they’re not,” Uresti said.
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