Getty Images

Family affair for Love and fellow Hall of Fame inductees

By Doug FergusonSeptember 27, 2017, 3:00 am

NEW YORK – Davis Love III was among four players inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in a ceremony rich in history and praise for the family who helped get them there – and for Lorena Ochoa, a family that allowed her to leave with purpose.

''Golf has improved my life in every way,'' said Love, a PGA champion and two-time Ryder Cup captain. ''This induction is the greatest honor of my life.''

Love, Ochoa, Meg Mallon, Ian Woosnam and late British golf writer Henry Longhurst comprised the class for induction, which now takes place every other year. It was held in New York in conjunction with the Presidents Cup, which starts Thursday across the New York Harbor at Liberty National.

Love ended the two-hour ceremony with two pieces of crystal and his granddaughter in his arms.

The son of a respected teaching pro who perished in a plane crash in 1988 when Love's career was just getting started, he told of how his father won a crystal vase from the 1964 Masters for having the low score of the opening round.


Hall of Fame induction speeches: Love | Ochoa | Mallon | Woosnam | Longhurst


''He didn't win on Sunday – Arnold [Palmer] did – and I was born the day after,'' Love said, his voice cracking at times. ''This piece of crystal unchanged was given to me for the low round in 1995. I was one shot behind the winner.''

He was runner-up to Ben Crenshaw, who had buried teacher Harvey Penick Jr. five days earlier. Penick taught Crenshaw and Tom Kite, who introduced Love on Tuesday night.

''Now I'm in the same club as Harvey and Ben and Tom, the World Golf Hall of Fame,'' Love said. ''This celebration tonight ... is the greatest honor of my life.''

Love won his 21st PGA Tour event two years ago at age 51. Ochoa walked away when she was 28 and No. 1 in the world, wanting to start a family of her own and help impoverished children near her home in Guadalajara.

She said her husband, Andres Conesa, took her to the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida, 10 years ago and told her he wanted to be there with her when her plaque was on display, with their family and children.

''And it came true,'' Ochoa said, thanking him for ''giving me strength to announce my retirement.''

''Now I feel the luckiest woman in the world,'' she said.

Ochoa delivered the laughter, mainly her own, as she told her amazing tale of the little girl whose father promised to take her to California if she made the Mexican national team when she was 8. ''To tell the truth, I just wanted to go to Disneyland,'' she said.

She went places no Mexican golfer had ever gone. Ochoa had a three-year stretch of 21 victories and two majors. And along with her three children, she has a foundation that has enabled 4,000 underprivileged children to get an education.

Mallon's idol was another Hall of Famer – Babe Didrikson Zaharias – but for her golf.

She thought the Olympics was her only avenue in sports until Title IX came along and provided the avenue for the Boston-born, Michigan-raised, Ohio State-groomed woman with freckles that burst from her skin and an infectious smile.

Her LPGA career began slowly until she met her longtime swing coach, Mike McGetrick, who inspired discipline and work. Mallon took it from there, winning two majors in 1991, the du Maurier Classic in 2000, and then a popular, home victory in Massachusetts at the 2004 U.S. Women's Open.

On the 50th anniversary of the LPGA, she was named among the top 50 players and teachers.

''I loved the era I played in,'' she said. ''It seemed like we were constantly being told what we were not rather than what we were. What we are, the best damn female golfers in the world who have persevered and are better for it.''

Gary Player introduced Woosnam as a ''wee giant,'' and he was every bit of that. Woosnam was a Masters champion, a two-time Order of Merit winner in Europe, a member of nine Ryder Cup teams and the winning captain of another. He packed power into a 5-foot-4 game and came up big.

He recalled telling a member at his club in Wales when he was 14 that he wanted to be a professional golfer like Player, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, traveling the world and winning tournaments.

''He laughed,'' Woosnam said. ''He tapped me on the head and said, 'Well, if you want to try to achieve all that, you're going to have to grow a little.' I did grow a little - about 4 inches.''

Getty Images

Sources confirm Charles Schwab to sponsor Colonial event

By Rex HoggardApril 19, 2018, 2:42 pm

Multiple sources have confirmed to GolfChannel.com that officials at Colonial are poised to announce a new sponsorship agreement with Charles Schwab Corporation.

Tournament officials scrambled this year after Dean & DeLuca ended its sponsorship of the event just two years into a six-year agreement, pulling together an assortment of local sponsors and renaming the event the Fort Worth Invitational.

Colonial’s status on the PGA Tour schedule became even more uncertain when the PGA Championship announced it would move from August to May, beginning in 2019 as part of a major overhaul of the circuit’s schedule.

According to the Dallas News, and confirmed by multiple sources at the club, officials plan to announce the new long-term agreement with Charles Schwab on Monday that will begin in 2019.

News of a long-term sponsorship deal would also suggest the event will remain in May in 2019 and beyond. The Tour has indicated it plans to announce the ’19 schedule at next month’s Players Championship.

Getty Images

PNC Extends Title Sponsorship of PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 19, 2018, 1:00 pm

ORLANDO, Fla., April 19, 2018 – IMG and NBC Sports today announced that The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. has extended its contract as title sponsor of the PNC Father/Son Challenge, the tournament that pairs the games’ legends alongside their sons, daughters and grandchildren.

PNC’s multi-year extension as title sponsor keeps the PGA Tour Challenge Event in Orlando reflecting the bank’s commitment to Central Florida. PNC has served as title sponsor of the tournament since 2012. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando, Grande Lakes will continue to play host to the PNC Father/Son Challenge. The 2018 PNC Father/Son Challenge will take place Friday-Sunday, Dec. 14-16, with television coverage on Golf Channel and NBC.

“The PNC Father/Son Challenge long ago became one of my family’s favorite golf tournaments,” said 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus. “I have had the pleasure of playing with my sons, and last year, partnering with my 15-year-old grandson GT was a thrill. I am delighted the event—a uniquely special one to us fathers and grandfathers, and perhaps to the many fans out there watching from home or outside the ropes—will continue for many years to come.”

“After our victory in 2016, I said that this win was as good as anything I have done in my career,” said former World No. 1 and major champion David Duval, who alongside his stepson Nick Karavites captured the 2016 title. “I felt blessed to have Nick inside the ropes with me and to have our family surrounding us all week. That’s what makes the PNC Father/Son Challenge so special, and I’m pleased to hear that PNC has extended its support of the event. This golf tournament means so much to all of us who are lucky enough to have the opportunity to play in this event.”

The tournament also holds three events in qualifier markets per year. This year they will be in Dallas, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

“The PNC Father/Son Challenge allows fans to see golf’s legends playing the game they love alongside those they love most,” said Alastair Johnston, vice chairman, IMG. “We are grateful for PNC’s ongoing support of this unique tournament and we look forward to returning to Orlando to celebrate golf and family for many years to come.”

Community support is a key aspect of the tournament and PNC’s sponsorship. PNC is committed to donating $150,000 annually to local non-profits over the life of its sponsorship. Across six previous years of title sponsorship, PNC has already donated $900,000 to Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation and the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children to support the “Healthy Families Orange” program. Over the years, PNC has also had the opportunity through this tournament to co-host events for local women in business, to put on clinics and provide free access to the tournament for active military, and even provide a service dog for a local veteran.

"PNC's long-standing sponsorship of the Father/Son Challenge reflects the philanthropic values we share with the PGA Tour and the golf community, as well as our focus on strong relationships,” said Bill Demchak, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The PNC Financial Services Group. “As PNC Bank continues to expand its footprint, the PNC Father/Son tournament helps us gain visibility with new audiences and to strengthen the relationships we enjoy today with more than 8 million retail, wealth, and corporate and institutional banking customers across the country.”

“NBC Sports is extremely proud of our heritage as co-founder for the Father/Son Challenge, one of golf’s most special events that closes out the calendar year on the golf schedule,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports. “Our relationship with PNC Bank elevates this event each year as a must-attend and must-see event for players and fans alike, and we look forward to our continued relationship with PNC Bank for years to come.”

Past winners of the PNC Father/Son Challenge include some of the biggest names in golf including Raymond Floyd (1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001), Jack Nicklaus (1999), Bernhard Langer (2005-06, 2014), Davis Love III (2012) and David Duval (2016).  Masters champion Angel Cabrera and his son, Angel Cabrera Jr. captured the 2017 title.

To qualify for the PNC Father/Son Challenge, participants must have won either a major championship or THE PLAYERS Championship in their career. The professional’s partner must not currently hold a Tour card, and while the majority of partners in the history of the event have been the sons of the golf legends, the family-themed tournament has seen daughters, grandsons and one father – Justin Leonard’s dad, Larry – participate over the years.

The PNC Father/Son Challenge is operated in partnership by IMG and NBC Sports.

Getty Images

Fire damages National Golf Links of America clubhouse

By Will GrayApril 19, 2018, 12:55 pm

A fire broke out Wednesday at National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y., causing "extensive damage" to a portion of the historic course's clubhouse.

According to a 27East.com report, an initial call was made to the Southampton police department about a fire on the roof of the clubhouse at 11:34 a.m. With the club's gates too narrow to fit a fire truck through, more than 100 firefighters from various departments helped douse the flames by transporting water up a hill to the east side of the clubhouse.

The fire was reportedly extinguished by 2:30 p.m., with no injuries requiring medical attention. According to a Golf Digest report, the club was undergoing construction on its outdoor eating area known as "the Birdcage" and that most of the club's historical documents reside on the opposite end of the clubhouse from where the fire broke out and was contained.

Opened in 1911, National Golf Links of America was designed by C.B. MacDonald and hosted the inaugural Walker Cup in 1922. The biennial matches returned in 2013 to NGLA, which is often rated among the top courses in the U.S. and sits adjacent to Shinnecock Hills, site of this summer's U.S. Open.

Getty Images

Chappell returns to Valero as defending champ

By Will GrayApril 18, 2018, 9:48 pm

It's impossible for any of the players at this week's Valero Texas Open to forget who captured the trophy last year.

That's because most players stay at the JW Marriott hotel that's a short walk from the first tee at TPC San Antonio, and the defending champion's face is emblazoned on the hotel's room keys. This week, that honor belongs to Kevin Chappell.

"You get some sly comments from players about their room key," Chappell told reporters Wednesday. "'Oh, I'm tired of looking at you.' And I'm saying, 'Believe me, I'm tired of being in everyone's room.'"

The position of defending champ is one Chappell relishes this week as he returns to the site of his maiden PGA Tour victory. A one-shot win over Brooks Koepka led to a euphoric celebration on the 72nd green, and it helped propel Chappell to his first career spot on the Presidents Cup team in October.

Chappell has missed the cut each of the last two weeks, including the Masters, but he also recorded top-10 finishes at the CareerBuilder Challenge, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Arnold Palmer Invitational. It's reason enough for Chappell to feel optimistic heading back to a course where he was a runner-up in 2011 and finished T-4 in 2016.

"This year's been a little bit of a strange year for me. I usually don't find form until about here, usually a slow starter," Chappell said. "But having three top-10s before this event, I've kind of found some form. I'm looking to turn those top-10s into top-5s, and the top-5s into wins. That's the challenge moving forward this year."