MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Johan Kok shot a 5-under 67 on Sunday to match The Dunes Golf & Beach Club competitive record and share the first-round lead in the PGA Professional National Championship.
Kok, the 34-year-old former University of South Carolina player from South Africa, is the PGA general manager at Temple Hills Country Club in Brentwood, Tennessee.
The top 20 will get spots in the PGA Championship at Valhalla in August in Louisville, Kentucky.
“This is a chance to play in a major,” Kok said. “It may not happen for me this week after all is said and done, but I’m happy to be here and get that chance.”
Dave McNabb, the 48-year-old PGA head professional at Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, Pennsylvania, opened with a 67 at Grande Dunes Resort Club.
“I feel today that I took advantage of a fantastic golf course that was set up to score,” McNabb said. “Conditions were ideal. I’m looking forward to heading to The Dunes tomorrow and trying to do the same. You have to be in the right spot on the greens.”
Kok one-putted 11 greens at The Dunes, the site of the final two rounds in the 72-hole tournament.
He matched the course record set by Billy Joe Patton in the 1960 Southern Amateur and Ben Crenshaw in the 1973 PGA Tour Qualifying School. The Senior Tour Championship, conducted at The Dunes from 1994-1999, used a shorter yardage when Jay Sigel shot a 63 in 1994.
Jamie Broce of Ottawa Hills, Ohio, and Ryan Helminen of Menasha, Wisconsin, shot 68. Broce, the men’s golf coach at the University of Toledo, and Helminen, a PGA teaching professional at Ridgeway Country Club in Neenan, Wisconsin, played at The Dunes.