Hardy Built It and the Tour Came

By Golf Channel NewsroomSeptember 17, 2003, 4:00 pm
Build it, and they will come.
 
Thats Joe Hardys motto. Hardy, who founded the 84 Lumber empire, undertook the enormous task of enticing the PGA Tour to stage an event in southern Pennsylvania. He built a course ' the impressive Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa. And ' what do you know? ' the PGA Tour sniffed it out. Sure enough, the boys of swat are here.
 
The tour wanted a stable home for what was the Pennsylvania Classic, the forerunner of the 84 Lumber Classic. The Pennsylvania Classic was born in 2000, when it premiered at Waynesborough Country Club near Philadelphia. It moved to Laurel Valley Golf Club in Ligonier in 2001, then went back to Waynesborough last year.
 
But the event was about to go belly-up after last years event. It didnt have a permanent home, and the economic climate had caused the sponsors to pull out. That was the opening Hardy, who counts John Daly among his close friends, to step in. He offered a ready-made solution ' he would provide the venue (Nemocolin Woodlands) as well as his company as the title sponsor. Pete Dye designed the Mystic Rock course at Nemecolin.
 
'We started with 400 acres here and we have over 2,300 acres now,' Hardy told the nearby Uniontown Herald Standard. 'We just buy ground, then we figure out what to do with it. It makes you proud to have a PGA (Tour) event here, but it's an accomplishment for the whole region. We as a region have a lot to offer and now we can show the country what we have here.
 
'I've traveled all over the world, but I've never seen anything better than this.'
 
The tour is thrilled to have the event stabilized.

'From the standpoint of continuity, it's ideal to have one location,' said Wayne White, manager of business affairs for the PGA Tour. 'Just running a tournament to lining up volunteers to building that into a team to involving a community and keeping that community involved, one location year in and year out is superb.
 
And Hardy, for one, is rightfully amazed at what he and the people of Uniontown and southern Pennsylvania have accomplished in the tournaments first year here. This is when you arrive, he told the Herald Standard.
 
'Hopefully, this can make our whole region better,' he said. 'We have to look at this as a beginning, not an end. We'll get it off the ground this year, then come back and make it even better next year.
 
Dan Forsman was the champion last year at the SEI Pennsylvania Classic, the events forerunner. He fired a final-round 65, which boosted him ahead of Billy Andrade ' the third-round leader ' and Robert Allenby by one shot.
 
Related Links:
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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.