PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — David Perkins is learning a lot about how to be a professional golfer.

“Everyone’s really good,” Perkins said with a laugh before a practice round at Pekin Country Club last week.

The former Illinois State All-American turned pro last June and a month later he received a sponsor’s exemption to play in his first PGA Tour event, the John Deere Classic. Everything has been on a learning curve for the East Peoria native ever since.

“You get to this level and it doesn’t matter if you’re playing in the John Deere Classic or in a mini one-day tournament.” said Perkins. “Everyone can golf their ball.”

Perkins estimates he’s played in at least 15 professional events this year. He played in a couple one-day events in Florida to start the year and he’s played in a couple of tournaments on the Korn Ferry Tour, the circuit a step below the PGA Tour.

He made the field for the NV5 Invitational, a Korn Ferry Tour tournament in Glenview in May, through a Monday qualifier. Then made the cut and played through the weekend after rounds of 67-67-71-70 and finished tied for 32nd.

It’s been his best week as a professional.

“I’m definitely trying to get on the Korn Ferry Tour,” Perkins said. “If you get there, you’re only a step away from playing against the best players in the world on the best tour.”

In September he heads to Mobile, Alabama for Korn Ferry Tour Q School where he hopes to qualify for 2023 status on that tour. And that’s not the only big thing on his schedule this fall.

In October he’s marrying his fiance Kayla Burks, whom he started dating about ten years ago when they were freshmen at East Peoria High School.

“She knows I’m on the road all the time. Getting home late, waking her up, she’s been awesome. She just understands,” Perkins said.

There could be a lot to celebrate in the Perkins home this fall.