United States Finalizes Roster for 30th PGA Cup
Frank Bensel Jr. (photo by Montana Pritchard/PGA of America)
Local PGA Professional Frank Bensel Jr. of Century Country Club in Purchase was competing on the international stage after earning a spot on the Team USA roster for the 30th PGA Cup at Fox Hills Club and Resort in England September 12-18. The event is seen as the pinnacle for any PGA Professional as Team USA and Team Great Britain and Ireland compete head-to-head in a Ryder Cup format for bragging rights and the Llandudno International Trophy. The 10-member U.S. Team in the biennial international showcase for PGA Club Professionals was determined through a two-year points system that included the past two PGA Professional Championships and two PGA Championships.
The points race ended with the 2022 PGA Championship held at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Americans secured the Llandudno International Trophy in the most recent playing of the PGA Cup, in September 2018, with a historic 14-12 comeback victory over Great Britain and Ireland that featured wins in eight of 10 Sunday singles matches.
The 10-player U.S. contingent was led by Jesse Mueller, the 2022 PGA Professional Champion. Mueller won the PGA Professional Championship by five strokes at Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas, in April, and he earned a spot in the field for the 2022 U.S. Open, which will be played at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Mueller will be joined by Alex Beach of Stamford, Connecticut; Frank Bensel Jr. of Jupiter, Florida; Michael Block of Aliso Viejo, California; Larkin Gross of Center Cross, Virginia; Jared Jones of Houston; Ben Polland of Jackson, Wyoming; Omar Uresti of Austin, Texas; Ryan Vermeer of Omaha, Nebraska; and Wyatt Worthington II of Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
Uresti, the 2021 PGA Professional Champion, is the most experienced American, having represented the U.S. during the 2015 and 2017 PGA Cups.
The PGA Cup began in 1973, and although the U.S. Team dominated the series early, GB&I has enjoyed a resurgence. The U.S. is 18-7-4 overall but has not won outright in the United Kingdom since 2009.
The first woman elected to serve as an Officer of the PGA of America, PGA Honorary President and PGA Master Professional Suzy Whaley is the President of Golf Nation and the PGA Director of Instruction for the Country Club at Mirasol in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
The Captain of the Great Britain and Ireland Team was DJ Russell, with his son, Chris, serving as a vice captain.
The PGA Cup was first played at Pinehurst (North Carolina) Country Club and is an outgrowth of the PGA Professional Championship. Following the format of the Ryder Cup, with match-play competition between the U.S. and Europe, the PGA Cup features the top PGA Club Professionals from both sides of the Atlantic.
For more information about the PGA of America, visit PGA.com