Anthony Cordes learned to play golf when he was 13, played for Valley View High School and Miami University and has forged a career as an assistant pro teaching the game to others at a private club in Atlanta.
This week he’s doing something golfers like himself rarely do — play in the PGA Championship.
Cordes, 37, qualified for the PGA as a top-20 finisher in the PGA Professional Championship at the beginning of May in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He finished the four rounds tied for 17th at 2-under par. Cordes made it through a field of 312 players.
“I was kind of in shock a little bit,” he said. “You know 20 of them are going to play great. All 312 of those players are fantastic golfers. It was just kind of relief once it sunk in.”
Cordes tees off at 9:12 a.m. in Thursday’s first round and at 2:37 p.m. Friday at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y. His playing partners are Mark Hubbard of the U.S. and Dean Burmester of South Africa.
“The golf course is perfect,” Cordes said. “It’s really hard, it’s really long. And it’s going to wreak havoc if the weather doesn’t cooperate. But in also saying that, it’s very fair. There’s nothing goofy about the golf course.”
Cordes said hitting fairways is one of his strengths and could serve him well this week at Oak Hill where the rough is thick. And he also feels good about his short game and putting. His other PGA event was the RSM Classic in Georgia in 2020. He didn’t make the cut and says he will approach the PGA differently this week.
“That week was probably a little bit more eye-opening for me as far as learning,” he said. “I wasn’t focusing and grinding as hard as I needed to. I just tried to take everything in as much as I could and enjoy the moment, which I’m still doing this week, but I’m trying to stay a bit more focused on the game.”
Credit: Ron Alvey
Credit: Ron Alvey
Cordes advanced to the Division II state tournament as a junior in 2002 when he shot 77 to win the district tournament at Weatherwax Golf Course. He shot rounds of 81 and 79 on the Ohio State Scarlet course to finish 21st at state. As a senior he shot 74 at districts, but that was one stroke short of going back to state. Cordes began his college career with one year at Florida Southern before coming to Miami in the fall of 2006. He lettered as a senior in 2009.
“I want to be sure that I thank everybody that’s ever helped me get to where I am,” he said. “I think back to the days and how I got my start in golf and being around Yankee Trace and Jamaica Run and Heatherwoode and all the all the PGA pros that helped me along the way. At the time I didn’t get it and I didn’t understand just what they were doing. But now that I live it every single day, that’s what we’re supposed to do — grow the game. That’s been a huge influence on me.”
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