SIKESTON -- Sikeston native Tom Dawson will soon vie for one of eight spots on the PGA Champions Tour. Dawson has qualified for the Champions Tour National Qualifying Tournament to be held at the TPC Eagle Trace in Coral Springs,Fla.
"We are real excited for him," Dawson's parents Gene and Betty recently said. "He has played this course before. It is a tough course where they have played a few tour events."
The Champions Tour is comprised of the world's most elite golfers over the age of 50.
Dawson qualified for the National Qualifying Tournament, also known as Q-School, by finishing tied for seventh in the regional qualifier at MetroWest Golf Club in Orlando, Fla.
Dawson recorded rounds of 73-70-68-69 for a total of 280 (8-under).
The 2008 Q-School field includes former PGA tour notables Jay Don Blake, Fulton Allem, and Paducah, Ky., native Russ Cochran.
Dawson, who now makes his home in Homosassa Springs, Fla., has spent most of his life as PGA of America club professional. Dawson spent nine years as the head professional at the prestigious Hidden Valley Country Club in Reno, N.V.
Dawson's last club professional post was at the Cleghorn Plantation in Rutherfordton, N.C. During his tenure at Cleghorn, Dawson qualified for and played in the 2007 U.S. Senior Open held at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis., where he missed the second round cut by only four strokes.
Earlier this year, Cleghorn Plantation's management decided to sell the course and property, prompting Dawson to relocate to Florida.
This summer, while waiting to hear from golf courses where he has applied, Dawson has rededicated himself to the improvement of his game.
"When he had this summer off, he decided to really work on his game," Gene Dawson, former longtime Sikeston Country Club pro, said. "When you are a club pro and work at the course from daylight to dark, your game really suffers. So he really worked hard this summer and has been working with Rich (Adele)."
Dawson has retained the help of Rich Adele this summer, a teaching pro out of Tampa, Fla., to help take his game to the next level. Adele is currently working with five PGA Tour professionals as well.
The Qualifying Tournament will begin Nov. 18.