By John Kim, PGA.com Coordinating Producer
SUNRIVER, Ore. -- The 46th PGA Professional National Championship might not be at the top of many golf minds when it comes to great championships, but those close to the game understand its history, its significance and its cherished view among the golf industry. A very respected media veteran once remarked there were only two golf championships that really meant something: Q-School and this PGA PNC event, because they were about people playing for their lives.
There's no way I could put it any better.
As you watch and follow the action this week, understand that people are playing for the chance to change their lives. This is not millionaires playing for more millions or simply to add another trophy on the mantle.
This is a chance for history, to significantly add to your finances, to play in a major championship alongside the biggest names in golf. So with that in mind, here are five items that will help you understand and follow the drama that will unfold here at Sunriver Resort.
• The tournament runs Sunday through Wednesday so that the majority of play will be televised by the Golf Channel and covered by all other golf media unopposed by any other professional golf event.
• The most wins by any player on the PGA Tour is 82, held by Sam Snead. Snead also won this event in 1971 and came in second (losing in a playoff) in 1974.
• The Crosswater Course will play at 7,530 yards - making it longer than any major championship on any tour this year. In fact, from 2007-2010, this same Crosswater Club course hosted a major championship (the Tradition) on the Champions Tour. And to give it an even more of a major championship vibe, four players (Jeff Coston, Sonny Skinner, Bob Gaus and Don Berry) who made the cut at the 2013 Senior PGA Championship held at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, are also competing here this week.
• The Golf Channel will air live coverage from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, and from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. ET on Monday. Coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday will air from 4:00-7:00 p.m. ET. You can, of course, follow all the action - from scores to photos to highlights - right here on PGA.com.
There also will be several social media accounts covering the action including, from PGA.com (PGA.com on Facebook, @PGA_com on Twitter, PGA.com on Instagram and @ThePGAofAmerica on Twitter. And with 312 PGA Professionals representing courses, PGA Sections and states from all over the country, you can probably follow every shot in some way, shape or form. Search for #2013PNC for all the best posts and tweets on social media.
• As many know but some do not - and all golf fans should - there is more at stake than national bragging rights, a $550,000 purse (winner gets $75,000) and the coveted Walter Hagen Cup. The top 20 players (ties will go to a tiebreaker so that 20 is a set number) will earn an exemption into the PGA Championship this August at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y. Players also will use this championship (along with last year's PGA PNC and this year's PGA Championship) to earn points toward earning a spot on the U.S. PGA Cup team - the PGA Professional version of the Ryder Cup.
Many viewers and readers will follow this event with a strong vested interest in a particular golfer - one from their home club or someone they know. But all golf fans should understand and appreciate that lives will be changed this week, and so will golf history. Many people in the golf world consider this their favorite event to attend, cover or read about. With some of these notes in mind, we hope your enjoyment and appreciation of the week increases as well.
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- PGA Championship