WAYLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — For the third straight year, PGA teaching professional Ben Cook will be in the field with the world’s best golfers at the championship.

“I’m just happy. I’ve got another chance to play with the big guys,” Cook said with a smile. 

After finishing third at the PGA Profession Championship in late April, the South Christian graduate once again qualified to play — this time on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina on Thursday.

“It’s a little surreal kind of walking down the range,” Cook said. “I mean in years past, you’re walking past Tiger (Woods), you’ve got Phil (Mickelson), you’ve got all the big names.”

“You’ve got Rory (Mcllroy), DJ (Dustin Johnson) — I mean, it’s nuts. And you can get so close to them and you can have conversations with them and just kind of figuring out they’re just normal guys too who just happen to be really good at what they’re doing,” he continued.

This year, Cook’s sites are set on the weekend.

“That’s kind of my goal,” Cook said. “I don’t see why I can’t make the cut. I’ve been playing some of the best golf I’ve played in my life the past couple of months.”

“I definitely think the game is there. I’ll just have to show up and I think I’ll have a good chance. It would just mean the world, especially to my family and friends because I have a lot of family and friends that are going to be there,” Cook continued.

Cook is looking forward to enjoying one of those student moments that keeps him teaching others.

“Their faces when they start to flush it and their like, ‘This is cool’ and you can tell they’re excited,” Cook said. “It’s great. That’s what I love the most about it: seeing people improve and enjoying it more.”

Cook is hoping to see that in himself this week at a major tournament.