'Older and wiser' Josh Speight qualifies for PGA Championship

Josh Speight
Posted at 5:48 PM, May 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-11 18:34:53-04

NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. – 156 of the best golfers in the world are headed to Rochester, New York, for this year’s PGA Championship.

Most of them will not have to mow their own lawns before they go, but that’s just one of the tasks on Josh Speight’s “to-do” list before he heads north next weekend.

Speight is the Director of Instruction at Viniterra in New Kent, and has qualified for this year’s PGA Championship field. The PGA of America holds 20 spots each year in golf’s 2nd major for local club pros to tee it up with the best in the game. Speight won a qualifying tournament in New Mexico last weekend and believes his game is in great shape for the challenge.

“I changed my golf swing over the winter to eliminate a certain miss,” Speight explained from the Viniterra driving range. “I had a couple of smaller tournaments in which I shot 67 in each and felt really good about my game.”

Josh Speight
Josh Speight

This is Speight’s second trip to the PGA Championship. He also qualified in 2016 to play at Baltusrol in New Jersey. He did not make the cut that year, but gained immeasurable knowledge and confidence from the opportunity.

“I’m seven years older and wiser,” Speight said. “I think I’ll be more prepared mentally this time. I got a little overwhelmed with the difficulty the first day, but I went out and played my game the second day, shot 1 over par and beat the two pros I was playing with.”

“I think this time it will be easier to deal with all that pressure.”

Josh Speight
Josh Speight

Only one local pro has made the cut at this tournament in recent memory. Rick Schuller, a former State Open of Virginia champion played the weekend back in 2001 and finished at even par. Speight will be challenged to duplicate that at a course which he has never played.

“I watched a video where it did a flyby and narration of all 18 holes,” Speight explained. “It’s going to be pretty tough but I’m excited. I’m driving the ball really, really well.”

“All I can do is go play my game. If I do that, I think I have a good chance to make the cut.”

Josh Speight
Josh Speight

Speight plays competitively around 8 or 9 times a year around his job as a teaching pro and being a husband and father to two small children. But the management, staff and golfers at Viniterra are behind him, as is Corebridge Financial which is the corporate sponsor for all 20 PGA professionals that qualified this year.

“Our owner here has been very, very supportive to me,” Speight said. “All the membership has been great. I hope it draws attention to this place. It’s a great golf course”.

You can watch the third and final round of this year’s PGA Championship on CBS 6 from 1-7 p.m. on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21.

CBS 6 provides Central Virginia with the only local TV sports coverage in town. Depend on Lane Casadonte and Sean Robertson for the most complete local sports coverage.

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