Bob Sowards was the early show, but Gus Ulrich was one of the top performers among the 40 Club Professionals who teed it up this week at Southern Hills. After a tough start on Thursday (bogeys at three of his first five holes), Ulrich, PGA Director of Instruction at Pinewild Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C., settled down and battled his way to an opening 71. He made three birdies in a four-hole stretch starting at the seventh, and didn’t start his second round until later in the day on Friday. He said a good pairing helped him with his nerves. He played alongside Wes Short Jr. and Brett Quigley, the latter of whom he knew well from their days on the mini-tours.

“Obviously a little nervous – don't do this every day,” said Ulrich, who walked onto the team at North Carolina State in the 1980s. “I just relaxed quite a bit and those guys are great, and so I righted the ship and the birdies coming in felt really good.”

Ulrich made the field after finishing T-16 in the 2020 Senior PGA Professional Championship. This is his fourth start in the event; he never has made the cut. 

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