It's a wrap: Golf Channel Am Tour 2013 National Championships

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 28, 2013, 7:34 pm

LA QUINTA, Calif. -- The 2013 Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships have come to an end, staged this year at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. This year's event was the largest ever on Am Tour with nearly 1,200 players competing in the Nationals and Seniors divisions.

New to the 2013 rotation of golf courses was PGA West's Arnold Palmer Private Course, a host venue for the PGA TOUR's Humana Challenge. Also in the four-course rotation was the infamous Stadium Course at PGA West, the Nicklaus Course and Norman Course.

The National Championships were held Sept. 22-25th, while the Senior Championships were held Sept. 28-Oct. 1. Over 6,500 members nationally competed all season long for the right to qualify for nationals, and each division crowned winners in six different flights. 

Here's a look at the winners and some of the action during the events: 


Senior National Championships


Senior winners: Championship and Snead flights: Bob Brooks and Jim Allard captured 2013 Senior National Championship trophies in their respective flights at PGA West.

Senior winners: Sarazen and Jones flights: Richard Stein and John Scott won their respective flights in the 2013 Am Tour Senior National Championships at PGA West.

Seniors winners: Hogan and Palmer flights: Randy Hodges and Ray Henry capped great seasons with victories in their flights in the Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championships at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.


In Photos: Senior National Championships


Seniors Day 4: Elder Statesman: Joe Strong, 81, doesn’t mind being called “the old guy” of the 2013 Golf Channel Am Tour Senior National Championship at PGA West.

Seniors Day 3: Family moment: Mike Knox enjoyed watching his son, Russell, qualify for the PGA TOUR following his round at PGA West. Also, the week's first ace was recorded. 

Seniors Day 2: Quality family time: For these Am Tour competitors, competing this week gives them a chance to spend quality time competing with family. 

Seniors Day 1: It's go time: Terry Gannon and Roger Maltbie offered some words of wisdom, while trying to take a little of the edge off Am Tour competitors getting ready for Day 1. 


National Championships


Day 5: Playoff pressure: The Championship and Sarazen flight's were decided in sudden death playoffs at PGA West. 

Day 5: Runaway winners: In morning action at PGA West, the Snead and Jones flights wrapped up with two runaway winners. 

Day 5: All Capps: Kevin Capps won the Hogan flight by five shots, while the Palmer flight proved to be the most competitive of the six flights at Nationals in 2013. 


In Photos: View the action from PGA West


Day 4: A round with the king: Scores are low on the Palmer Private course, the newest addition to the National Championships at La Quinta. Also, a 68 puts one player back in the mix in the championship flight. 

Day 3: Stadium Survival: Pete Dye's Stadium Course takes no prisoners. Survive without a big number and you may find yourself atop the leaderboard. 

Day 3: Backing up the talk: PGA Tour Radio host Brian Katrek finds himself in the hunt of the Championship Flight. 

Day 2: A Small feat: How busy was your golf season this year? Snead flight Nationals competitor David Small played in 54 Am Tour events. 

Day 2: The Puerto Rico seven: The Puerto Rico tour is a tight-knit bunch, and seven players made the long trip to PGA West to compete in Nationals this week.

Day 1: New courses, some familiar faces at La Quinta in 2013: Kelly Tilghman and David Feherty welcomed Am Tour competitors with some tales from inside the PGA Tour. 

Getty Images

Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

Getty Images

Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

Getty Images

Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.

Enrique Berardi/LAAC

Ortiz leads LAAC through 54; Niemann, Gana one back

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 8:15 pm

Mexico's Alvaro Ortiz shot a 1-under 70 Monday to take the 54-hole lead at the Latin America Amateur Championship in Chile.

At 4 under for the week, he leads by one over over Argentina's Jaime Lopez Rivarola, Chile's Toto Gana and Joaquin Niemann, and Guatemala's Dnaiel Gurtner.

Ortiz is the younger brother of three-time Web.com winner Carlos. Alvaro, a senior at Arkansas, finished tied for third at the LAAC in 2016 and lost in a three-way playoff last year that included Niemann and Gana, the champion.

Ortiz shared the 54-hole lead with Gana last year and they will once again play in the final group on Tuesday, along with Gurtner, a redshirt junior at TCU.

“Literally, I've been thinking about [winning] all year long," Ortiz said Monday. "Yes, I am a very emotional player, but tomorrow I want to go out calm and with a lot of patience. I don't want the emotions to get the better of me. What I've learned this past year, especially in the tournaments I’ve played for my university, is that I have become more mature and that I have learned how to control myself on the inside on the golf course.”

In the group behind, Niemann is the top-ranked amateur in the world who is poised to turn professional, unless of course he walks away with the title.

“I feel a lot of motivation at the moment, especially because I am the only player in the field that shot seven under (during the second round), and I am actually just one shot off the lead," he said. "So I believe that tomorrow I can shoot another very low round."

Tuesday's winner will earn an invitation to this year's Masters and exemptions into the The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur, sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open, and final qualifying for The Open.