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Neal Shipley Makes Top Ten Finish in Pro Debut on PGA Tour Americas

Neal Shipley Makes Top Ten Finish in Pro Debut on PGA Tour Americas

(Pittsburgh, PA) - Local golfer Neal Shipley had an impressive showing in his professional debut this past weekend, securing a top ten finish at the PGA Tour Americas event in Victoria, British Columbia.


The 23-year-old Shipley, a native of Mt. Lebanon and graduate of Central Catholic High School, turned pro after two stellar performances as an amateur at the Masters and U.S. Open last month. At both majors, Shipley was the low amateur, gaining valuable experience competing against the game's best.


Amateur Neal Shipley of the United States plays his shot from the fifth tee during the first round of the 124th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort on June 13, 2024 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


Making his first start in a paid event, Shipley teed it up at the Beachlands Victoria Open on the PGA Tour Americas. Over challenging rounds, Shipley closed with a final round of 67, courtesy of eight birdies, tying him for ninth place overall.


Shipley really pleased with how he played all week. To finish in the top ten against some very good professionals in his first tournament is quite an accomplishment.


For his ninth place finish, Shipley took home a prize of $6,500. On the developmental PGA Tour Americas circuit, finishes in the top ten or higher often propel players closer to graduation to the main PGA Tour.


This is a great start as he embark on life as a professional. He'll look to do just that next week when he makes his PGA Tour debut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.


Shipley's impressive pro debut shows the potential and skill is there as he continues his golfing journey at the highest level. Local fans will be keeping a close eye on his further progress.


Read more: Bryson DeChambeau Helps LIV Golf Nashville Set US Attendance Record


What inspired Neal Shipley to turn professional after his amateur success


Neal Shipley started to seriously consider going pro after having some great showings as an amateur in big events. He played well at the Masters and US Open, golf's two biggest tournaments. One player really inspired him - Vijay Singh. When Singh won his last major at the 2004 PGA Championship as an older guy, it really motivated Neal to pick up golf.


After having a lot of success as an amateur himself, including winning the Western PA Open and Pennsylvania Amateur, Neal announced at the 2023 US Open that he was ready to take the next step. He revealed he'd be turning pro following the tournament now that he had earned his PGA Tour card through qualifying school. Seeing Singh's late career major win pushed Neal to pursue his golf dreams as a professional after proving himself against other amateurs.


How did Shipley's performance at the U.S. Open compare to his debut on the PGA Tour Americas


Shipley performed even better at the US Open than he did in his debut professional tournament. He made the cut at the Open and finished with the lowest score among all amateurs. He was even paired with Tiger Woods for a round, which is incredible because he has already won the tournament.


It wasn't his first big tournament either. Earlier, he made the cut at the Masters too, which is insanely hard to do as an amateur.


Compare that to his pro debut on the PGA Tour Americas at the Beachlands Victoria Open - he finished top 10 which is solid. But 15 under par and over $6,500 in earnings is a good first week.


Where he really stood out though was at the U.S. Open. For an amateur to play that well against the best players in the world, that's insane. You just don't see it too often.


When you think about it, making the cut and leading the amateurs at a major is insane for a rookie. It really showed how talented this kid Shipley is and how much potential he's got on the pro tour. A really promising start building on his college successes. Excited to see how his career develops!







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Sarah has a strong background in sports journalism, with a degree in journalism from a top university in the US. She has covered men's professional golf for over 10 years, attending major tournaments around the world and building an extensive network within the men's golf community. Her writing is known for its in-depth analysis, insider access, and ability to bring the drama and excitement of professional golf to life for readers.

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