Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships 2015

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 18, 2015, 11:51 pm

LA QUINTA, Calif. -- The Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships were held at PGA West for 2015. Over 1,200 competitors, between the ages of 14 and 82, competed in the four-round event spanning four PGA West golf courses. 

Thirty former national champions, including five defending champions in the senior division and four in the open division, entered this year. Twelve competitors in six flights - six from the senior division and six from the open division - were crowned national champions in official awards ceremonies immediately following the conclusion of their respective tournaments. 

The course lineup in 2015 featured a collection of the top courses in the Palm Springs area: 

- The Stadium Course at PGA West, designed by Pete Dye.

- The Arnold Palmer Private Course at PGA West

- The Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West

- The Greg Norman Resort Course at PGA West 

The action has ended, and you can view the full list of winners, as well as other feature stories and photos, in the links below: 

Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championhip

Results - DePinto wins a Golf Channel Am Tour senior national championship in his backyardVincent DePinto captured the Senior Sarazen flight (for handicaps 12-15.9) with steady play at the Golf Channel Am Tour senior national championships. Also, Al Smith shot back-to-back 71s to win the Senior Palmer flight (for handicaps between 4.0-7.9).

Results - Ferber goes low to secure a Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championship: Warren Ferber used a career-best 80 in the final round to run away with the Senior Jones flight (for handicaps of 16.0-19.9) at the Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championship at PGA West. Tim Kozlowski captures the Senior Hogan flight (for handicaps 8.0-11.9) in a playoff.

Results - Champions crowned in Championship, Snead flightsAlabama's Joey Crook won the Senior Snead flight by a single shot Monday at the Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championships at PGA West, while David Ortego of Texas cruised to a six-shot win in the Senior Championship flight. 

Round 3 - In photos: Check out photos from the action at PGA West during the Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championship

Round 3 - Married to golfBarbara McCormick and Bill Lewicki planned their June wedding in New Orleans around weekend tournaments on the Golf Channel Am Tour. They're both competing at the Golf Channel Am Tour senior national championship together for the first time this weekend at PGA West in California.

Round 2 - Swapping courtrooms for courses: Eddie Stephens, a former prosecutor and judge in Cook County in Illinois, has traveled the country with the Golf Channel Am Tour, and even represented the United States at the 17th annual World Golfers Championship in South Africa in 2011. 

Round 2 - Singh'led out: Vijay Singh is used to getting grief about his famous name from fellow golfers. Singh, an amateur from New York state, is competing at the Golf Channel Am Tour senior national championships at PGA West this week.

Round 1 - Christmas in La Quinta: Bryan Austin of Colorado is busy playing golf at the Golf Channel Am Tour senior national championships this week at PGA West, but come November and December, he'll be too busy being Santa Claus to chase a little white ball around.

Round 1 - Life-saving game: Readus Smith III missed last year's Golf Channel Am Tour senior national championships after a health scare. He credits his friends on the Am Tour for helping him recover from major complications with Crohn's disease. 

Opening night - Let the games begin: Several hundred golfers, ranging in age from 50 to 82, are ready to compete in the senior division of the Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships at the Club at PGA West.

Golf Channel Am Tour National Championship

Results: 66 steals Championship Flight: It was an epic week in the Championship flight with multiple scoring records set. So perhaps it was little surprise that an improbable final round would shock PGA West. Also, it was a long-awaited victory for the Palmer flight champion. 

Results: Moving up flights, and into the winner's circle: Moving up a flight usually means a learning curve and some growing pains. But the winner of the Hogan flight this year shocked the field - and maybe himself - to win the title. Also, it was a two-horse race in the Sarazen flight. 

Results: Playoff finish in the Jones flight: It came down to the wire in the Jones flight, as Michael Baker went to extra holes with Jayr Tonido. Also, it was a runaway - albeit bitterwsweet - victory in the Snead flight. 

Round 3 - Erdman shoots tournament record 66It was a wild day at PGA West for Round 3. Former champion Paul Erdman carded a tournament record to climb back into contention. There was an ace, Bighorn sheep galore and a bold prediction from one of Am Tour's most decorated golfers. 

Round 3 - Photos from PGA West: Check out this gallery from the courses at PGA West, which includes some familiar faces, hole-in-one celebrations and even bighorn sheep. 

Round 2 - Muniz in the middle of Nationals action: Actor Frankie Muniz (the star of the sitcom Malcom in the middle), is enjoying his first year of competitive golf on Am Tour and finds himself in the top half of his flight's leaderboard. 

Round 2 - 14-year-old in the hunt: Vijay Jain, the youngest competitor at Nationals by six full years, is tied for third in the Sarazen flight halfway thru the event (which also saw it's first hole-in-one of the week). 

Round 1 - Military golfer leads Championship flightFormer pro golfer and Army Specialist Jordan Massey rediscovered his love for golf through military golf competition.

Round 1 - A busy year on tour: A handful of golfers competing in Nationals this week at PGA West had particularly busy campaigns, and hope their regular play under pressure pays off this week.

Feherty opens National Championships: On opening night, David Feherty took the opportunity to thank Am Tour members for their $116,000 contribution to Feherty's Troops First Foundation, and also tell some tales from his broadcasting days.

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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.