It's the bane of watching TV sports in modern times. A hot, humid Sunday afternoon, and there's too many choices. So you flip from channel to channel, and I flipped back to the PGA Championship, and I catch the tail end of the announcers talking about a winner from Yankee Springs, Michigan. That perked up my ears, and then just ahead of "Lefty", Phil Mickelson getting his trophy, I hear the name again.

The man's name is Ben Cook. He's the golf pro at Yankee Springs. Watching video of him in front of reporters, he reminds me of a young Ron Howard. And reading about him, it sounds like we may be seeing a lot more of the Grand Rapids South Christian and Ferris State alum.

(PGA via YouTube)

Cook's full-time job, for now, is director of instruction at Yankee Springs Golf Course near Wayland, but at 27, he has aspirations of playing on the pro tour. But that's the hard part. It's not a simple as signing up and playing. There's things like Q-school (qualifying) and many others hurdles, not to mention being able to maintain your status. What we see on Sundays on TV is the elite, but it's a tough grind to get there.

According to the PGA, "Cook has status on the PGA Tour LatinoAmerica and has aspirations to play his way onto the Korn Ferry Tour. (Professional golfers who have either not yet reached the PGA Tour, or who have done so but then failed to win enough FedEx Cup points to stay at that level.) By making the cut at the PGA, he is eligible to advance to the second stage of Q-School this fall; should he advance through that to the Finals, he would have some status for next season. (“That would be the worst-case scenario,” he said.)

“I mean, it is weird to think that it came down to the last putt on the last hole (on Friday) that I almost three-putted to miss the cut,” said Cook, who finished third at the PGA Professional Championship to earn his way to the Ocean Course. “But I made it, thankfully, and then without that … none of this would have happened. -

“Very, very blessed, and thankful that I made that putt for sure,” said Cook.

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