PGA of America slam door shut on Omar Uresti loophole

Fatiha Betscher

PGA Professional, Omar Uresti on his way to a missed cut at Kiawah Island (Photo by Montana Pritchard/PGA of America via Getty Images)

Fatiha Betscher

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Texas-born golfer Omar Uresti is clearly not happy, declaring it ‘stupid’ after the PGA of America brought in a rule to deny him and others competing in the PGA Professional Championship.

Uresti, now aged 53, has won nine times in his professional career with two of those victories being the 2017 and 2021 PGA Professional Championship and therein lies this new rule.

Uresti and others have used a loophole in the PGA of America’s system—one that allows tour players to gain a PGA of America classification—to compete in club pro events.

Not only has Uresti won a pair of PGA Professional Championship titles but three other top-20s in the event has seen him qualify for the PGA Championship on five occasions.

In his normal under-50 age pro career, Uresti not once qualified for the PGA Championship, one of golf’s four majors, but since turning 50 he’s contested the 2015 (MC), 2016 (MC), 2017 (T71st), 2018 (MC) and 2021 (MC).

As reported by Golf Digest US, Uresti is not the only one to find their way through the loophole but no longer with the PGA of America finally making changes after the many complaints it has received.

From 2022, the governing body has ruled only club professionals with an active classification will be able to compete in the PGA of America’s club championships.

“The committee felt strongly that the PGA Professional Championship is for working PGA professionals in an active classification,” the PGA of America said in a release.

“Reverting back to the standards in place prior to 2006 when life members were not eligible for the PGA Professional Championship was determined to be the best way to align with the committee’s perspective.”

Last week Uresti, in a tweet of news he knew was coming, did not hold back on his feelings on the matter.

“I think it’s stupid,” he said. “They are hurting other PGA of America pros who have been in the golf business for over 20 years and have been able to retire early. They are losing their minds because I’m a life member.”

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