Golf Channel Am Tour Crowns 12 National Champions

By Golf Channel Public RelationsDecember 15, 2010, 12:49 am

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 7 - Twelve national champions were crowned last week when a record 920 amateur golfers from throughout North America converged on North Florida to compete in the 2010 Golf Channel Am Tour (GCAT) National Championships.

Two competitors successfully defended their 2009 GCAT National Championships, both in the senior division.  Ken Larney (Orland Park, Ill.) became the first three-time national champion in the history of the Golf Channel Am Tour (2009, 2007), when he turned in one of the lowest rounds of the tournament on the final day with a 69 at St. Johns Golf & Country Club.  Larney won the Senior Championship Flight (handicaps 0-3.9) by three shots.  Clifford Conover (Roosevelt, Utah) survived a scare in the Senior Palmer Flight (handicaps 4-7.9) when he turned in his highest round of the tournament (82), yet managed to win by one stroke.

Sixteen-year-old Jacob Hibler (Midland, Texas) became the second-youngest national champion in the history of the Golf Channel Am Tour when he defeated Kevin Downey (St. Augustine, Fla.) and Kevin Stutts (San Diego, Calif.) in a two-hole playoff at World Golf Village’s Slammer & Squire Course to capture the Hogan Flight (handicaps 8-11.9).  Hibler carded three consecutive rounds in the 70s following an opening round of 93 to climb up the leader board and eventually win the Hogan Flight title.

Contested at four Jacksonville-area golf courses and headlined by the famed PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, the Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships featured 920 competitors representing 44 U.S. States. Canada and Puerto Rico.  The participation eclipsed 2009’s tournament field at PGA West (781), making the 2010 National Championships the largest field in the history of the Golf Channel Am Tour.  The Senior National Championships took place Sept. 21-24, with the Open National Championships taking place Sept. 26-29.  Dye’s Valley at TPC Sawgrass, World Golf Village’s Slammer & Squire Course and St. Johns Golf & Country Club also served as host courses for the 2010 National Championships.

 

National Championship Winners

Open Division

Snead Flight (20+ handicap)

Down by one shot going into Sunday’s final round at St. Johns Golf & Country Club, Michael Poole of West Chester, Ohio, improved on his third-round score by 14 strokes with a final round 85, capturing the Snead Flight by two.

Jones Flight (16.0-19.9)

Suneil Aggarwal of Alpharetta, Ga., held on for a two-stroke victory with a third-round 97 at Dye’s Valley Course TPC Sawgrass.  **The final round at TPC Sawgrass was cancelled due to inclement weather.**

Sarazen Flight (12.0-15.9)

Mark Perfetuo of Cary, N.C., erased a two-stroke deficit going into the final round with an 84 at St. Johns Golf & Country Club to win the Sarazen Flight by three strokes.

Hogan Flight (8.0-11.9)

Sixteen-year-old Jacob Hibler (Midland, Texas) became the second-youngest national champion in the history of the Golf Channel Am Tour when he defeated Kevin Downey (St. Augustine, Fla.) and Kevin Stutts (San Diego, Calif.) in a two-hole playoff at World Golf Village’s Slammer & Squire Course to capture the Hogan Flight (handicap 8-11.9).  Hibler carded three consecutive rounds in the 70s following an opening round of 93 to climb up the leader board and eventually win the Hogan Flight title.

Palmer Flight (4.0-7.9)

Gio Swann of Lauderhill, Fla., took the Palmer Flight title by four strokes in a rain-shortened 54-hole tournament after shooting 74-75-81.  **The final round at TPC Sawgrass was cancelled due to inclement weather.**

Championship Flight (<3.9)

Dan O’Connor of Carlsbad, Calif., carded a final round 73 at the PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass to overcome a two-stroke deficit and capture his first Golf Channel Am Tour National Championship by one shot.

Senior Division

Snead Flight (20+ handicap)

Rod Burns of Weston, Fla., saved his best golf for last.  Burns turned in the lowest round in the Snead Flight with an 84 at World Golf Village’s Slammer & Squire Course to run away with the title by 11 strokes.

Jones Flight (16.0-19.9)

Like Rod Burns in the Snead Flight, Randy Adcock turned in the lowest round of the tournament in the Jones Flight on the final day.  The Vidor, Texas, resident came from one stroke behind going into the final round to win by two shots with a final-round 82 at St. Johns Golf & Country Club.

Sarazen Flight (12.0-15.9)

Mickey Rogers of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., picked an opportune time to shoot one of the lowest rounds in his career.  In the third round, Rogers carded a 79 at World Golf Village’s Slammer & Squire to overtake the top spot and held on to win the title by three strokes with a final-round 87 at the PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

Hogan Flight (8.0-11.9)

Don Miller (North Bay, Ontario) one of two Canadians competing in the Hogan Flight, grabbed the lead in the third round with a 79 at the PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, and held on for a four-stroke victory.

Palmer Flight (4-7.9)

Clifford Conover of Roosevelt, Utah, became a two-time national champion in the Palmer Flight (2009), even after turning in his highest round of the tournament in the final round with an 82 at World Golf Village’s Slammer & Squire.  Conover managed to successfully defend his 2009 national championship with a one-stroke victory.

Championship Flight (<3.9)

Ken Larney (Orland Park, Ill.) became the first three-time national champion in the history of the Golf Channel Am Tour (2009, 2007) when he turned in the low round of the tournament on the final day with a 69 at St. Johns Golf & Country Club to win the Senior Championship Flight (handicap 0-3.9) by three shots.

As the largest amateur golf tour in North America, the Golf Channel Am Tour is open to the public and provides the most professional tournament experience for players of all ages and abilities, as well as offering unparalleled access to some of the most renowned and challenging golf courses across the country.  For more information about the Golf Channel Am Tour and the national championships, visit www.GolfChannel.com/amtour.

About Golf Channel:

Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla.  The Golf Channel cable network, co-founded by Arnold Palmer and a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:  CMCSA, CMCSK), is available in more than 120 million homes worldwide through cable, satellite and wireless companies.  Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, added to a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s best news, instruction and original programming.  Golf Channel’s digital platform of businesses is led by www.GolfChannel.com, a leading golf destination on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that help the recreational player with how to play, what to play and where to play golf.

About TPC Sawgrass

TPC Sawgrass -- “Home of THE PLAYERS” -- encompasses more than 30 years of magic and memories from famous pros' road to the Championship and everyday golfers who challenge THE PLAYERS Stadium Course and Dye's Valley Course. Open to the public and also offering exclusive memberships, TPC Sawgrass boasts a 77,000 square-foot Mediterranean Revival-style Clubhouse that protects and shares the TPC Sawgrass history and heritage through THE PLAYERS memorabilia. On the course, golfers build new memories with storyteller forecaddies who help closely replicate the experiences of the pros while challenging the famous 17th Island Green. Additional amenities include world-class golf instruction and state-of-the-art equipment at the TOUR Academy and restaurants Nineteen and Traditions overlooking the famed fairways. For more information on TPC Sawgrass please visit  www.tpc.com/tpcsawgrass_60.aspx or call PGA TOUR Experiences at 888-421-8555 and visit www.pgatourexperiences.com

About Slammer & Squire
One of 'The Official Golf Courses of the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum,' the Slammer & Squire is an 18-hole championship course designed by Bobby Weed with design consultants Sam 'The Slammer' Snead and Gene 'The Squire' Sarazen, both members of the Hall of Fame. The Slammer & Squire features two distinct nines with generous fairways, contoured greens, and plenty of water hazards along with impressive views of the Hall of Fame. Along with the King & Bear golf course, Slammer & Squire offers five sets of tees and beautiful, tournament-ready course conditions year-round.

Slammer & Squire was the host site of the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, a Champions Tour event, and currently hosts an array of other golf events. To learn more about Slammer & Squire at World Golf Village, visit www.golfwgv.com or call 904-940-6088.

About St. Johns G&CC

An award-winning Clyde Johnston-designed course, Billy Casper Golf-managed St. Johns Golf & Country Club attracts golfers from throughout the southeast United States.  Carved out of a pine forest and featuring occasionally arduous wind patterns, the 18-hole layout tests golfers of all abilities, including those playing its championship tees at par-72 and 7,236 yards.

In 2009, under Billy Casper Golf agronomic direction, St. Johns was designated a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” by Audubon International for its high standards protecting the environment and preserving the natural heritage of golf.  According to Audubon International, St. Johns is one of a handful of courses in the Jacksonville area to achieve certification, joining the elite TPC Sawgrass, Amelia Island Plantation, The Palencia Club and Bent Creek Golf Course.  For more information about St. Johns:  www.stjohnsgolf.com, 904.940.3200.

 

-30-

Getty Images

Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

Getty Images

13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

Getty Images

McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014. 

Getty Images

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."