Southern Hills pro Cary Cozby to play in Senior PGA Championship with 13-year-old son caddying

What a week it’ll be for Cary Cozby. He’s not a Senior Tour player. He’s the director of golf at Southern Hills Country Club, and this week -- for the first time -- he’ll be a competitor in a major with his son on the bag.

Cozby is used to hitting golf balls at Southern Hills, just not alongside the best senior golfers in the world in the Senior PGA Championship.

“Hopefully I can get my nerves under control, heartrate somewhere south of 150 a minute,” Cozby said.

His 13-year-old son Banks will be there to help -- freshly done with sixth grade the day before caddying for his dad in the first major at Southern Hills since 2007.

“Hopefully I can calm him a little bit, you know,” Banks said.

Cozby didn’t qualify to play this week. He was invited -- the host PGA pro for the Senior PGA Championship. He got the news in an email back in March.

“Figure just another work email,” Cary said. “This one was a little different.”

“I’m about to go to bed,” Banks said. “He just comes rushing in there and he just shows me the email, and I get bright-eyed and all that.”

Cary says he’s had hundreds of Southern Hills members tell him they’re cheering him on and will be out there in his gallery. That might be a surprise to the big names he’ll be teeing off with.

“I hope Tom Lehman and Jay Haas aren’t nervous with the number of people I’m gonna have,” Cary said with a laugh.

The cheers will help. So will Cary’s knowledge of the golf course, but he doesn’t want to say a specific goal for how he hopes to do in the Senior PGA Championship.

“I want to prove to myself that I can hit the shots that are required to play with these guys,” Cary said. “I’ll be happy if I do that, and we’ll see what that means from a score standpoint.”

More important than doing well on the scoreboard though is just the experience playing in the Senior PGA Championship on his own course with his son on the bag. Family matters to the Cozbys and this will be special.

“I lost my dad last August,” Cary said. “My brothers and I, we learned the game from him. So to think forward and have Banks caddy for me and to share that with him, to have a memory like that forever is gonna be really cool.”

Cary is scheduled to tee off with Tom Lehman and Jay Haas at 8:38 am Thursday in round one of the Senior PGA Championship at Southern Hills.