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Will the next Michael Block emerge? Carolinas PGA hosts major championship on the Grand Strand

The top 10 in the CPGA Professional Championship completed Thursday in Murrells Inlet qualified for the 2024 national PGA club pro championship.

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Did the next Michael Block play this week at Wachesaw Plantation Club?

Time will tell.

The private club in Murrells Inlet hosted the Carolinas PGA Professional Championship from Tuesday through Thursday, and the top 10 finishers qualified for the PGA Professional Championship – aka the PGA of America club pro championship – in Frisco, Texas, next spring.

The top 20 finishers in that tournament will qualify to join Block at the 2024 PGA Championship, one of pro golf’s four majors, next May at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, where they’ll have the same opportunity that he had this past May.

Block, a 46-year-old teaching pro at a public-access course in California, captured the attention of the golf world when he tied for 15th in the PGA Championship at Oak HIl Country Club to earn nearly $300,000 and a return visit to the major.

The Carolinas PGA Championship was won by Steve Bogdanoff of Raintree Country Club in Charlotte, who earned $10,000 with a 5-under-par 69-68-71–208.

The second-round leader of the 54-hole tournament was able to maintain at least a share of the lead throughout the final round.

Scott Hunter of Wexford Golf Club in Hilton Head Island, who shot a 6-under 65 Thursday, and Jon Mayer of Grandfather Golf and Country Club in Linville, N.C., each tied Bogdanoff for the lead.

But a clutch par-saving putt on the 17th hole and an approach to a few feet for birdie on the 18th gave Bogdanoff a one-shot win over Hunter and two-shot advantage over Mayer

Others finishing in the top 10 were Myrtle Beach native Jimmy Flippen of Greensboro National Golf Club (N.C.), Jack Fields of Charlotte Country Club (N.C.), Ray Franz of Daniel Island Club (S.C.), Tommy Gibson of Old Town Club in Winston-Salem, N.C., Tyler Lucas of Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte, Burke Cromer of Mid Carolina Club in Prosperity, S.C., and Aaron Black of Springfield Golf Club in Fort Mill, S.C.

Twenty-two players earned more than $1,000 from the purse and the 65 players who made the cut earned at least $290. Stuart Clark of the Steve Dresser Golf Academy in Pawleys Island was the top finisher representing the Grand Strand, tying for 36th at 9-over 222.

Carolinas PGA Professional Championship first-round leader Caleb Ridings of Loggerhead Golf Company hits a shot Tuesday at Wachesaw Plantation Club. (CPGA photo)

More CPGA events coming

The CPGA, which is the largest of the PGA of America’s 41 sections, brings its top players back to the area in less than two weeks with the 72nd South Carolina Open at the Grande Dunes Members Club from July 11-13.

Teams are still available for the affiliated S.C. Open PGA Reach Pro-Am on July 10 at the Members Club, in which three amateurs play with a CPGA pro. An entry fee of $400 per amateur includes a giff, food and drinks, gift certificates for the top finishers, closest-to-the-pin prizes and a raffle. The entry deadline is listed as Friday (June 30).

Players and teams can register for the pro-am through the CPGA.

The CPGA will also host the 33rd Charles Tilghman Junior Championship from Dec. 9-10 at its home of the Surf Golf and Beach Club in North Myrtle Beach.

The Carolinas PGA was based on the Grand Strand for 35 years before moving its headquarters to Greensboro, N.C., in 2011.

Wachesaw Plantation Club in Murrells Inlet hosted the 2023 Carolinas PGA Professional Championship. (CPGA photo)

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