‘Firsts’ on the Horizon

Former CU golfer Yannik Paul will make his PGA Championship debut next week and his British Open debut in July; Colorado natives Wyndham Clark and Mark Hubbard also in the PGA field

By Gary Baines – 5/11/2023

Over the next two-plus months, outstanding play in the last year or so by Yannik Paul will start paying dividends in a “major” way for the former University of Colorado golfer.

On Wednesday, the field for next week’s PGA Championship at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y., was released, and for the first time, Paul will be competing in the event. Then, when the British Open is held at Royal Liverpool in England July 20-23, it will mark Paul’s Open Championship debut. 

All in all, not a bad stretch of big-time golf for a guy who as of a year ago had never played in a major championship. (An appearance in the 2022 U.S. Open last June changed that. Whether Paul earns a spot in next month’s U.S. Open remains to be seen.)

Actually, Paul will be one of three golfers with strong Colorado connections competing in next week’s PGA Championship, which begins a week from today. Also in the field are Colorado native Wyndham Clark, who won on the PGA Tour for the first time last Sunday, at the Wells Fargo Championship; and fellow Colorado-born player Mark Hubbard.

Three locals in the field may not seem like much, but it is when you consider that zero players with strong Colorado ties competed in the 2022 PGA Championship. For the record, next week will be the third PGA for Clark and the second for Hubbard.

For Paul’s part, his results over the last season and a half on the DP World Tour have put him very much in the mix of the top players in the world. Indeed, the 29-year-old German sits at No. 104 on the World Golf Rankings.

Last October, Paul picked up his first victory on the DP World Tour — at the Mallorca Golf Club. That’s one of his nine top-10 finishes on the former European Tour since November 2021. Besides the win, he has three runner-up showings, a sixth place, three eighths and a 10th.

In addition, he made his first four career starts on the PGA Tour last season, recording three top-40 finishes to go along with his missed cut at the U.S. Open.

Next week’s PGA Championship will mark the first time Paul has played in a tour event in the U.S. since finishing 17th in the Korn Ferry Tour Championship in Indiana last September.

Paul played for the CU golf team on and off from 2013-18.

For the players currently in the field for next week’s PGA Championship, CLICK HERE.

About the Author: Gary Baines owns and operates