Jimmy Flippin from page 26
seventh in the section player of the year standings. to worry about competing against me His best year was 2016, when anymore.” he ran away with player of the year There’s a second trip to Bluffton on honors after winning three of the the spring schedule and it’s for an even MAPGA’s majors. He won the Section bigger prize. The major tournament of Championship, the Head Professional the year for club professionals around Championship and the Players’ Cup. the country is the PGA Professional The first two of those wins came in Championship and Flippen will be in playoffs. the 312-player field for the fourth He’s maintained his competitive time in the last five years. The edge since then and believes tournament, in its 52nd the state of his current game year, will be played at is solid. Belfair, one of the most “I’ve been practicacclaimed destinations ing hard at Greensboro in South Carolina. The National,” Flippen said. goal there a top-20 “And I make regular finish, which earns trips to see my swing an invitation to the coach (Patrick McGuire PGA Championship of Raspberry Golf at Bethpage Black in Academy in Leesburg, Farmingdale, NY, on May Va.). It’s one of those 16-19. things where I feel like my He came close a year ago game is getting better.” at Seaside, Calif. Flippen will be one of three “Last year, after shooting a secondplayers with Triad ties in the tournaround 69, I found myself tied for 11th,” ment formerly known as the PGA Club he said. “Not only was I in a spot to Professional Championship. contend for one of the top 20, but also The others are both residents of to contend for the title. Unfortunately, Winston-Salem: Steve Scott of the I wasn’t able to keep it going the next Outpost Club and Jerry Haas, golf two rounds.” coach at Wake Forest University. He eventually finished tied for 56th They earned their invitations at the at 296 (75-69-76-76) and ended five Carolinas Section PGA Professional shots out of the top 20. Championship last August in Hilton “When I left the championship last Head where they battled for the title. year, I had a strong sense of accomScott claimed first place by one shot plishment because I felt I had proven over Haas, who tied for second with to myself that I could not only compete three others. but could possibly even win the event. The national field is made up of Each year, I’ve gained more confidence qualifiers from the 41 PGA Section of getting closer to the prize.” Championships along with past chamFlippen, 46, has been a great player pions, who were exempt from the for a long time. After a standout career qualifying. at the University of Virginia in the early Belfair features the East and West 1990s, he turned to the professional courses both designed by Tom Fazio. ranks and was a multiple winner on The West Course will be used all four various mini tours. rounds and the East Course for the first A couple of attempts at Q-school two rounds. came up short in the first stage. The “The PGA of America is excitclosest he came to playing in the big ed to take the PGA Professional time was on the Nike Tour (now web. Championship to Belfair, which is an com Tour) where he Monday qualified outstanding location to showcase our for three events and made one cut and finest playing PGA Professionals,” PGA tied for 52nd in the 1998 Dominion President Paul Levy said last year when Open. the venue was announced. “Belfair feaBut his greatest achievements came tures the elements we look for in this in the Middle Atlantic Section. Last national championship - challenging September, he tied for seventh in the courses, inviting facilities and a staff MAPGA Professional Championship to that embraces an exceptional field.” punch his ticket to the nationals. Points The tournament will be televised by earned at that event helped him finish The Golf Channel. www.triadgolf.com
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