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Don Berry Gears Up for Fourth Straight Senior PGA Championship

May 17, 2016

To nobody’s surprise, Don Berry will compete in his fourth straight Senior PGA Championship on May 26-29 at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Unlike most years, his path to qualifying did not come as easy. After three rounds at the 2015 Senior PGA Professional National Championship, Berry sat at 5-over and T-62 with the top 35 finishers advancing to the Senior PGA Championship. “I played poorly the first three rounds, especially the third round,” said Berry who shot a 4-over 76 in the third round. “Qualifying never crossed my mind that final round because I thought I was out of it.”

Seemingly relieved of expectation, Berry played as freely and confident as ever posting a 4-under 68—one off the low round of the day. “Even though I played bad the first few days, I felt that I was bound to play a great round since my first three were disappointing,” Berry emphasized. “I got off to a great start.”

MN Golf Champs (51 of 90)

That great start created a spark and eventually led to him being in a 5-way tie for the final four spots in the Senior PGA Championship field. Building off the momentum of his final round performance, he would not be denied one of those final spots. “I was confident I would get a spot and on the first playoff hole someone made bogey,” he said. “I made par to claim one of the spots which was a great feeling given my position heading into the day.”

Berry’s best finish came at his first Senior PGA Championship appearance in 2013 at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri where he finished T-35 at 1-over, just one back of golf icon, Tom Watson. Berry hopes to regain his form from 2013, “that first year I set myself up very well. I just need to play well this year and avoid the bogeys, the bogeys are when you find yourself getting passed.”

Although he has missed the cut the past couple years, the experience of having made multiple past appearances will definitely benefit him, “I think experience helps a lot. Regardless, it is just golf but you cannot duplicate the crowds and atmosphere of a major championship,” said Berry. “It can be intimidating if you let it be.”

You can bet on Berry not being intimidated come next Thursday after trips in the three previous years, “It will be a good time regardless of performance, but the ultimate goal is to be in it until the very end.”

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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