BOISE, Idaho The people who follow college golf know Kevin Burton. He is regarded by many of the golf pundits as one of the best playing coaches in the country.
Although he has dedicated the last two years of his professional career to elevating the Boise State University men’s golf program, the Boise native and one of the Treasure Valley’s most accomplished golfers has continued his playing ways.
With a 13th place finish at the PGA Professional National Championship, June 21-24, the Bronco head coach earned the right to test his mettle against the best the world has to offer at the PGA Championship this Thursday through Sunday.
Burton is no stranger to playing in golf’s prestigious major championships, as this year’s PGA Championship will mark his fifth major tournament. Thus, just making it this far isn’t good enough.
“I have pretty high expectations. I don’t just want to make the cut, I want to finish in the top 30,” Burton said. “I am driving the ball well, so I’m planning on hitting a lot of fairways, which is critical in a major. I expect to play very solid.”
Donning blue and orange Bronco gear, Burton will tee off Thursday at 1:30 p.m., and Friday at 8:25 a.m. (Mountain Time). Playing with him will be Kenny Perry, who has nine wins in 532 career PGA events, and Anders Hansen, the world’s 43rd-ranked golfer according to the latest World Golf Rankings.
“I really enjoy playing with guys of this caliber,” Burton said. “It’s always great to test my game against them again and see what I can do.”
Since qualifying for the PGA Championship, Burton has been a busy man. Besides honing his game for the tournament, he has followed his players’ successful summer tournament schedules, kept up with his own kids’ tournament schedules and filmed a feature piece for CBS and The Golf Channel entitled “Road to the PGA Championship.”
Thus far Burton’s most memorable moment at a major came when he met Tom Watson at the 85th PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
“We were in the players’ lounge getting food and we started talking in line,” Burton said. “I went and sat down and ate my lunch, and when I was walking out, Tom Watson said, Hey.’ I had to turn around and look over my shoulder to see if he was talking to me. He told me to sit down and we ended up playing nine holes together. You don’t turn opportunities like that down.”
With his wife as his caddy, and with the eyes of Boise watching his every shot, Burton is hoping to leave this week’s PGA Championship with a new favorite memory.
TBS will broadcast the 89th PGA Championship Thursday and Friday from noon-6 p.m. The final two rounds will be broadcast by TBS in the morning from 9 a.m.-noon, and by CBS in the afternoon from noon-5 p.m.