Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships Select Scottsdale as First-Time Host City in 2014

By Golf Channel Public RelationsDecember 19, 2013, 9:40 pm

Golf Channel has selected Scottsdale, Ariz., as the backdrop for the 2014 Golf Channel Amateur Tour National Championships, Sept. 8-18, 2014. 

The 2014 season’s culminating event for the world’s largest amateur golf tour, the Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships are scheduled to attract more than 1,200 amateur golfers of all ages and skill levels.  Participants will qualify via season-long points rankings from their respective local tours.

Hosting the national championships for the first time and often touted as one of the world’s finest golf destinations, Scottsdale boasts more than 200 courses and is home to several professionals on the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour. Host courses for the 2014 national championships will be Grayhawk Golf Club’s Talon and Raptor Courses and Talking Stick Golf Club’s North and South Courses.  Talking Stick Resort – Scottsdale’s premiere resort and casino – will be the host resort and tournament headquarters for the national championships.

“Given the level of enthusiasm that our members exhibit each time they tee it up, we are looking forward to having an exceptional golf destination like Scottsdale as the stage for the 2014 Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships,” said Kenny Booth, senior director of events for Golf Channel.  “Grayhawk and Talking Stick Golf Clubs will offer challenging tests for each handicap flight and should present some compelling drama.”

“As a longtime resident of Scottsdale, I am thrilled the Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships will be contested here in 2014,” said Brandel Chamblee, Golf Channel analyst and Scottsdale resident.  “Scottsdale is one of the top golf destinations in the world.  I’m excited that the participants and their families will have the opportunity to experience the beauty of this city and some of its top golf courses.”

“We look forward to hosting the tournament,” said Joe Shershenovich, director of golf at Grayhawk Golf Club.  “The Golf Channel Am Tour is a great way for amateur golfers to test their mettle against hundreds of their peers – something they don’t get to do very often.  This is analogous to a major event for them, so we’ll pull out all the stops and treat them to a tournament that is every bit as rewarding as the experience enjoyed by the many professionals who have competed at Grayhawk over the years.”

“We are ecstatic about the opportunity to host the Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships and to have finalists tee it up on our award-winning Coore/Crenshaw designs that were both recently ranked in the top 20 best courses you can play in Arizona by Golfweek,” said Scott Heideman, general manager of Talking Stick Golf Club.  “Not only that, but also the national finalists will get to experience all of the luxury and casino excitement of our stunning Talking Stick Resort as well as taking in the sights, attractions and great weather Scottsdale has to offer.”

Host to a long-list of professional events over the years, Grayhawk’s Raptor course (a Tom Fazio design) most notably was home to the Fry’s Electronics Open, a PGA TOUR Fall Series event contested in 2007, which returned to Grayhawk for two more years (2008 and 2009) under its current title, Frys.com Open.  Talon and Raptor also have hosted Pro-Am events for the Waste Management Phoenix Open in the past, and both courses made Golf Magazine’s 2012 list of the Best Public Courses in Arizona.  Talking Stick Golf Club (a Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw design) was the site of the PGA TOUR’s Q-School in 1998 and 1999 and has since held a number of state and national qualifying events.  Talking Stick’s North Course was rated as one of the best public courses in in Arizona by Golf Magazine in 2012.

Following play each day, competitors will retreat to the four-diamond luxury of Talking Stick Resort – Scottsdale’s premiere resort and casino. Throughout competition week the resort will host a number of activities for participants and their families, including welcome dinners, nightly scoring functions and activities for families and spouses during tournament competition.

The 2014 Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships will be divided into two tournaments: the traditional National Championship (below 50 in age), Sept. 8-12, and the Senior National Championship (age 50 and above), Sept. 14-18. The 72-hole event, broken into flights by handicap, will include rounds at Grayhawk’s Talon and Raptor courses and Talking Stick’s North and South courses to ultimately crown individual national champions.  The 2013 national championships at PGA West featured the largest field in tournament history, with more than 1,200 participants.

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Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.