Thomas Longbella, a McDonell Central Graduate, is a Sunshine Tour Qualifying School Graduate
Thomas Longbella found himself in a precarious position during Monday qualifiers for PGA Tour events in Florida on Monday, having hooked his drive into some trees on the fourth hole and facing an uncertain recovery shot on hole four if he missed the cut at Corales Puntacana Championship – missing which would end his professional career forever.
Early Life and Education
Thomas Longbella hails from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin where he played various sports including hockey and golf. His competitive nature helped propel his success as an amateur golfer at St John’s University where his older brother also plays golf.
He boasts a powerful drive and has made great progress in hitting greens in regulation with ease. Additionally, his short game has improved thanks to working with Coach Carlson at practice sessions.
He possesses immense potential and has worked diligently to hone his game. With an excellent attitude and dedication to his craft, he is an exceptional leader both on and off the course – having already secured two top 20 finishes this year for Minnesota Gophers Golf Team.
Thomas Longbella has made the most of his first professional season. The McDonell graduate led by two strokes at Sunshine Tour Qualifying School’s initial stage in South Africa.
At Maccauvlei Golf Club in Vereeniging on Monday, Longbella made the most of his surroundings to post an opening round score of five-under 67 – tied for first with South African amateur Sean Cronje.
Longbella had high hopes going into this tournament after witnessing Harrison Ott’s success in winning the Wisconsin Amateur. And he did not disappoint! Longbella cruised to an impressive 10-shot win – his biggest as a professional. This win marked yet another step forward on Longbella’s path of steady progression.
Achievement and Honors
McDonell Central graduate Thomas Longbella made history this weekend by qualifying for his inaugural PGA Tour event, the Corales Puntacana Championship in Dominican Republic, as well as being honored as a Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-American Scholar.
Longbella won medalist honors at the first stage of Sunshine Tour qualifying school in April and went into the final round tied with two South African players, but managed to beat out professional Dean O’Riley and amateur Christopher Long in a three-way playoff for one spot in the field.
University of Minnesota teammates Angus Flanagan and Thomas Longbella earned spots in sectional qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship held May 23-27 at Philadelphia Cricket Club despite competing against a large field and heavy rainstorms.
Thomas Longbella quickly established himself in Minnesota’s Gophers’ lineup during his first semester, finishing among their top three scorers at both tournaments this spring. He sat down with GopherSports to discuss his time playing alongside upperclassmen as they have helped him learn about being a college golfer.
Thomas Longbella of Chippewa Falls made his PGA Tour debut this weekend at the Corales Puntacana Championship in Dominican Republic after qualifying via Florida last week. Longbella won an invitational tournament, which earned him his place on this event.
Thomas Longbella of Chippewa Falls has found the Maccauvlei Golf Club in Vereeniging, South Africa to be quite reminiscent of courses closer to home. After two rounds at Sunshine Tour Qualifying School he is 10-under par and holds a two stroke advantage through stage 1.