Champions Tour moving major to Shoal Creek

By Associated PressAugust 23, 2010, 7:11 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Champions Tour is moving one of its majors to Birmingham’s Shoal Creek, the club that sparked controversy at the 1990 PGA Championship for what was then an all-white membership.

The Regions Tradition will replace the Champions Tour’s Jeld-Wen Tradition and the city’s Regions Charity Classic. It will be held May 2-8 at Shoal Creek Country Club, the first of five majors.

The venue hosted the PGA Championship in 1984 and 1990, but the media spotlight on the club’s all-white membership and remarks by founder Hall Thompson that his club wouldn’t be pressured into accepting black members sparked a controversy.

That prompted major golf organizations to adopt membership policies for tournament sites. Hall Thompson, now 87, later apologized.

“It was 20 years ago,” Champions Tour president Mike Stevens said in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday. “Shoal Creek’s membership policy complies with all the applicable laws and regulations relative to the PGA Tour. So it’s not an issue. It was 20 years ago, but I’ve said repeatedly that despite the situation that happened back in 1990 – and trust me, it was not a good statement – but what it caused golf to do is kind of look inside itself.

“The positives for golf that have come out of that are tremendous for the number of private golf courses that have opened up their membership for various minorities across the country, including Shoal Creek.”

Mike Thompson, Hall’s son and the tournament’s chairman, said the club has extended membership offers to 16 blacks in the community and five have joined. He said two others have said they hoped to eventually join the Country Club, which has some 600 members.

Landing the Champions Tour event, he said, is “a big deal.”

“We have waited 20 years for professional golf,” Mike Thompson said.

Shoal Creek eased back into the national golf scene by hosting the USGA’s 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. The Southern Amateur was held on the course in July.

The USGA’s decision to hold the 2008 event “was kind of a signal to the major golf bodies that they wanted to come back,” Mike Thompson said.

Before that, Shoal Creek had “very serious” talks in the late 1990s about hosting the 2002 PGA Tour Championship, he said.

He said Stevens met with club officials in May with the offer to host the Tradition.

“He says, ‘How about you guys doing an event one year from now?’ And we just about fell out of our chair,” Thompson said.

The event was held the past four years at Sunriver Resort’s Crosswater Golf Club in central Oregon. Jeld-Wen is ending its relationship as title sponsor.

“I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am for today,” Stevens said. “This took a lot of time, a lot of work. But quite honestly this is probably one of the best things that has ever happened to the Champions Tour.

“Bringing a major championship to a major championship golf course is big for the Tour,” he added.

Lee Trevino said he “screamed” when his wife told him the Tradition was moving to Shoal Creek, where he won the 1984 PGA Championship.

“I looked at her and said, ‘We are back. We are finally on the Senior Tour, we are finally going to a golf course that is worthy of a Champions Tour event and a Champions Tour major,”’ said Trevino, who attended the announcement. “Players are so excited about being here.

“This is just going to be unbelievable.”

Stevens said he expects about half the players who won prize money at the PGA Championship in 1984 to participate, and seven who made the cut in the ’90 event have won on the Champions Tour this year.

“The idea was to create an event that would be considered the best on the Champions Tour, indicative of the Masters,” he said. “This announcement today will allow this dream to absolutely continue.”

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 5:50 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams have advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals will be contested on Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Scoring:

TV Times (all times ET):

Tuesday
11AM-conclusion: Match-play quarterfinals (Click here to watch live)
4-8PM: Match-play semifinals

Wednesday
4-8PM: Match-play finals

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Davis: USGA learned from setup errors at Shinnecock

By Will GrayMay 22, 2018, 4:51 pm

With the U.S. Open set to return to Shinnecock Hills for the first time in 14 years, USGA executive director Mike Davis insists that his organization has learned from the setup mistakes that marred the event the last time it was played on the Southampton, N.Y., layout.

Retief Goosen held off Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open back in 2004, but the lasting image from the tournament may have been tournament officials spraying down the seventh green by hand during the final round after the putting surface had become nearly unplayable. With the course pushed to the brink over the first three days, stiff winds sucked out any remaining moisture and players struggled to stay on the greens with 30-foot putts, let alone approach shots.

Speaking to repoters at U.S. Open media day, Davis offered candid reflections about the missteps that led to the course overshadowing the play during that infamous final round.

"I would just say that it was 14 years ago. It was a different time, it was different people, and we as an organzation, we learned from it," Davis said. "When you set up a U.S. Open, it is golf's ultimate test. It's probably set up closer to the edge than any other event in golf, and I think that the difference then versus now is we have a lot more technology, a lot more data in our hands.

"And frankly, ladies and gentlemen, what really happened then was just a lack of water."

Davis pointed to enhancements like firmness and moisture readings for the greens that weren't available in 2004, and he noted that meterological data has evolved in the years since. With another chance to get his hands on one of the USGA's favorite venues, he remains confident that tournament officials will be able to better navigate the thin line between demanding and impossible this time around.

"There are parts that I think we learned from, and so I think we're happy that we have a mulligan this time," Davis said. "It was certainly a bogey last time. In fact maybe even a double bogey, and equitable stroke control perhaps kicked in."

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UCLA junior Vu named WGCA Player of the Year

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 3:23 pm

UCLA junior Lilia Vu was named Player of the Year on Tuesday by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA).

Vu recorded the lowest full-season scoring average (70.37) in UCLA history. Her four tournament wins tied the school record for most victories in a single season.

Vu was also named to the WGCA All-America first team. Here's a look at the other players who joined her on the prestigious list:

WGCA First Team All-Americans

  • Maria Fassi, Junior, University of Arkansas
  • Kristen Gillman, Sophomore, University of Alabama
  • Jillian Hollis, Junior, University of Georgia
  • Cheyenne Knight, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Jennifer Kupcho, Junior, Wake Forest University
  • Andrea Lee, Sophomore, Stanford University
  • Leona Maguire, Senior, Duke University
  • Sophia Schubert, Senior, University of Texas
  • Lauren Stephenson, Junior, University of Alabama
  • Maddie Szeryk, Senior, Texas A&M University
  • Patty Tavatanakit, Freshman, UCLA
  • Lilia Vu, Junior, UCLA
Chris Stroud and caddie Casey Clendenon Getty Images

Stroud's caddie wins annual PGA Tour caddie tournament

By Rex HoggardMay 22, 2018, 3:15 pm

Casey Clendenon, who caddies for Chris Stroud, won the gross division of the annual PGA Tour caddie tournament on Monday, shooting a 5-under 66 at Trinity Forest Golf Club, site of last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

Scott Tway (65), who caddies for Brian Harman, won the net division by two strokes over Wayne Birch, Troy Merritt’s caddie.

Kyle Bradley, Jonathan Byrd’s caddie, took second place with a 71 in the gross division.

The tournament was organized by the Association of Professional Tour Caddies, and proceeds from the event went to two charities. The APTC donated $20,000 to Greg Chalmers’ charity, MAXimumChances.org, which aids families living with autism. The association also donated $10,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.