I feel for Brian Cairns.
Qualifying for the 2012 PGA Championship is pretty awesome, but having to play the Ocean course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in tournament conditions will be pretty brutal.
Cairns, a teaching pro at Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center in Plymouth, Mich., is playing in his second straight PGA Championship. Pretty heading stuff for any club pro.
The New York Times wrote a great piece at last year's PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club that featured Cairns. It reads:
Then there was the scene on the practice putting green when Brian Cairns, a teaching pro from the Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center in Plymouth, Mich., badly misjudged the ultra-speedy green at the Atlanta Athletic Club and knocked his first putt way past the hole. The ball rolled and rolled until it was close to where Phil Mickelson was practicing.As Cairns sheepishly retrieved his wayward ball, Mickelson turned and said, “Club pro, right?”But Mickelson also offered his hand to shake.“He congratulated me for getting into the tournament and talked with me for a while,” said Cairns, who is 47. “That was really flattering. I think the tour pros welcome us. They know we are part of the event.”
That story kind of sums up what the event means to Cairns and the other 19 club pros teeing it up. They'll enjoy the experience, but they're not really expected to make the cut, let alone contend. Cairns will have Jordan Young, a fellow teacher at Fox Hills, on the bag. They'll cherish the journey together, even if the fierce winds whip up off the South Carolina coast.