(CBS DFW) — The 2019 PGA Championship is set to tee off on Thursday at the famed Bethpage State Park Black Course in Farmingdale, New York. The second major of the year, the event’s field is chock full of the PGA Tour’s stars. In addition to those big names, the Pro Golfer’s Association of America (PGA) holds 20 spots for the best PGA certified club professionals from across the U.S.
The club pros earn their invites to the PGA by finishing in the top 20 of the PGA Professional Championship, which took place earlier this month at Belfair Golf Course in Bluffton, South Carolina. Among the 20 golfers who locked up spots are a pair of Texans, Stuart Deane and Casey Russell. As the pair prepares to tee off on Thursday, let’s take a quick look at who these pros are.
Stuart Deane, Head Professional, Texas Star Golf Course
The 45-year-old Australian-born golfer will be making his third appearance in the PGA Championship in the last six years. Deane secured his spot by finishing third at the PGA Pro behind Alex Beach and Danny Balin. He last played in the tournament in 2017 at Quail Hollow, missing the cut in the event. He has played 13 times on the PGA Tour in his career, with his most recent non-PGA Championship event coming in the AT&T Byron Nelson, which just wrapped up this weekend.
The head professional at Texas Star Golf Course in Euless, Texas also has a presidential connection, having won the 2006 Trump Million Dollar Invitational at Trump International Golf Course. Deane told Sporting News in 2017 that he still has the large check signed by the President on his wall.
Casey Russell, Head Professional, Golfcrest Country Club
The 35-year-old Russell earned his spot in this year’s PGA Championship by finishing tied for eighth at the PGA Pro. The head golf professional at Golfcrest Country Club in Pearland, Texas will be playing in his first PGA Championship. He has played in just one other Tour event in his career, the 2017 Valero Texas Open, just missing the cut, finishing two-over par.