Shawn Warren chips to the 10th green during the second round of the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis. Warren is heading back to the PGA Championship for a third time. Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Maine’s top competitive golfer is ready to take his third crack at the PGA Championship, and this time he has one clear goal for Thursday’s opening round.

“There’s going to be such a premium out here on hitting greens in regulation,” Shawn Warren said in a phone interview from Tulsa, Oklahoma, site of the 104th PGA Championship at lengthy Southern Hills Country Club. “Par is a good score out here. I need to make sure that (greens in regulation) number is higher than in the past. If I can get 12 greens in regulation that would kind of be the goal.”

In Warren’s two prior PGA appearances, “I was scrambling a lot,” in the opening rounds as his scores reflected.

In 2018 at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis he shot 7-over 77 and was 8-over 78 in 2020 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

Both times he played significantly better in the second round, shooting 1-over 71 in 2018 to miss the cut by eight shots, and a 3-over 73 in 2020, missing the cut by 10 strokes.

Warren, 37, a Windham native and a teaching pro at Falmouth Country Club, qualified for the 2022 PGA Championship by placing in the top 20 at the PGA Professionals Championship, April 17-20, in Austin, Texas. Starting his final round in 53rd place and five strokes out of the top 20, Warren shot a 5-under 66 in tough, windy conditions to tie for sixth place.


Warren got his first in-person look at Southern Hills’ sprawling 7,556-yard par-70 layout late last week.

“It’s a very, very big property. Distance is going to be extremely important,” Warren said. “One thing, you can hit driver on every hole. It’s really just a big, long golf course. I imagine there will be a premium to hit it in the fairway but you’re going to have to hit it out there.”

Especially in 2020, Warren – as well as the regular touring pros – were hurt by punitive deep rough that came in play with slight mishits off the tee.

“It’s definitely not as penalizing just into the first cut of the rough as I’ve seen in the last couple,” Warren said.

Warren tees off at 9:50 a.m. on Thursday and at 3:15 p.m. on Friday. Thursday and Friday’s rounds will be on ESPN+ (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and ESPN (2 to 8 p.m.).

With most of the 156-player field consisting of the top players in the world, it is uncommon for a club professional like Warren to make be in the top 70 (plus ties) and make the cut for the weekend rounds. In 2021, Brad Marek was the only player from that group, known as the Team of 20, to make the cut. None did in 2020.


Making the cut is another goal for Warren, obviously, but “that’s nothing you can consciously be thinking of when you’re playing. It’s just putting your best foot forward and trying to take it one shot at a time. I know it’s cliché but that’s really all you can do.

“If the game is in good order, then that will naturally occur,” Warren said.

If Warren can get to Saturday as a player instead of a spectator it will further burnish his resume as one of the best golfers to ever come out of Maine. Warren lives in Falmouth in the summer and in Orlando, Florida, in the winter.

He is believed to be just the second Mainer to qualify for three majors, joining Portland High graduate Jeff Martin, currently a club pro at Wollaston Golf Club in Milton, Massachusetts. Martin also qualified for three PGA Championships (2005, 2008, 2013).

As an amateur, Warren won the 2004 Maine Open and the 2006 Maine Amateur. At Marshall University, he was team captain and had the team’s best scoring average all four years.

Since turning pro, he has won the PGA New England Section Player of the Year award four times (2013-15, 2018), and the New England PGA Championship three times (2013, 2019-20).

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