News

Arizona Golf Association Executive Director Ed Gowan Announces Retirement

 

For Immediate Release
November 4, 2021

 

Contact:

David Bataller | Director of Communications
[email protected] | (602) 944-3035

 

ARIZONA GOLF ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ED GOWAN ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

 

SCOTTSDALE – The Arizona Golf Association (AGA) today announced the retirement of longtime Executive Director, Ed Gowan, effective February 2022. After 36 years at the helm of the AGA, he has decided the time is right to pass along the reins to one of the premier amateur golf associations in the country.

“I’ve spent exactly one half of my life in this position,” said Gowan. “I’m very proud of what Arizona Golf has become thanks to many, many outstanding employees and board members. Someone in this position is only as good as those supporting him, and I thank the members of Arizona Golf for the privilege.”

Gowan has served in his current role since June 1985, when the AGA had a staff of two people serving 120 clubs and 23,000 members throughout the Grand Canyon State. Fast forward to the present, and Gowan is set to leave his post having increased staffing to 23 employees serving more than 600 clubs and more than 90,000 members.

In addition to adding dozens of events to the AGA’s annual calendar, Gowan brought the USGA’s GHIN Handicap and Course Rating Systems to Arizona’s golfers. A noted Rules of Golf expert, he has officiated at 35 US Opens, 119 USGA Championships, the Masters and dozens of other international events, both professional and amateur. He is also a Founder of the Arizona Golf Foundation, the charitable arm of the AGA, and is the Co-Founder of the Patriot All-America Invitational collegiate golf showcase.

“The Arizona Golf Association would not be what it is today without the leadership, expertise, and guidance by Ed Gowan over the past 36 years, more than one-third of its existence,” said Bob McNichols, AGA Executive Committee President. “Ed’s accomplishments, and dedication to the game of golf in ‘The State of Golf’ is unparalleled elsewhere.”

Prior to his arrival in Arizona, Gowan spent eight years with the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), where he oversaw operations of more than 30 tournaments worldwide for his final four years, including championships in Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Ireland and England.

Gowan’s golf life includes two terms as president of the International Association of Golf Administrators (IAGA), golf course renovation consulting and project management around the world, and group golf-travel management. He is a member of Desert Forest Golf Club, a member of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), a member of numerous USGA Committees and as a published golf writer, a member of the Golf Writers Association of America since 1973. An accomplished player, Gowan has also won numerous regional golf tournaments.

“Speaking on behalf of the many thousand members who have served with Ed on standing committees, the Executive Committee, as officers and promoters of ‘golf for all’ over the past 36 years, we owe our success as a state association to the CEO who made it all happen: Ed Gowan,” added McNichols. “It has been a privilege and pleasure to work with this ultimate professional who will be missed by all in the AGA and always revered in the annals of its’ history.”

A national search is underway for Gowan’s replacement, with an announcement forthcoming when a selection is made. Inquiries may be directed to AGA Executive Committee Vice President Michelle Cross via email at [email protected], with the subject line reading “AGA Executive Director – Candidate.”

 

JOB DESCRIPTION: ARIZONA GOLF ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 

About Arizona Golf Association
The Arizona Golf Association has been serving amateur golfers in Arizona since 1923 when it held the first State Amateur Championship. Today, it is licensed by the United States Golf Association to provide handicapping and course rating services to member clubs, to provide tournament and rules expertise and to oversee the application of amateur status. For more information please visit azgolf.org.

News

USGA and The R&A Release Modernized Rules of Amateur Status

The USGA and The R&A today released the modernized Rules of Amateur Status, effective January 1, 2022. The main bullet points to know are:

As part of the modernization effort, the new Rules identify only the following acts that will result in a golfer losing their amateur status:

  • Accepting a prize with a value exceeding the prize limit ($1000/£700) or accepting prize money in a handicap competition.
  • Playing as a professional.
  • Accepting payment for giving instruction (although all current exceptions still apply, such as coaching at educational institutions and assisting with approved programs).
  • Accepting employment as a golf club professional or membership of an association of professional golfers.

To achieve this simplified approach, the following key changes have been introduced:

  • Distinguishing between scratch and handicap competitions in terms of the prizes that may be accepted.
  • The prize rule applies only to tee-to-hole competitions played on a golf course or a simulator, but no longer apply to long-drive, putting and skills competitions that are not played as part of a tee-to-hole competition.
  • Eliminating all advertising, expense-related and sponsorship restrictions.

Click Here for the full release from the USGA.

News

Kristoffer Marshall Captures 97th Arizona Amateur Championship


For Immediate Release
August 14, 2021

 

Contact:

David Bataller
[email protected]
(602) 944-3035

 

KRISTOFFER MARSHALL CAPTURES 97TH ARIZONA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP

Marshall wins 16th, 17th holes to break tie and 2019 Champion Evan White, 2 & 1

 

SCOTTSDALE – Kristoffer Marshall won the 97th Arizona Amateur Championship Presented by PXG, 2 & 1 over Evan White in a thrilling match at Grayhawk Golf Club’s Talon Course. Marshall erased a one-hole deficit at the turn, winning the 16th and 17th holes to capture the match, 2 & 1.

“I’m here, and I’m thrilled to be here,” said Marshall with a smile after the trophy presentation, holding his Kachina with Pinnacle Peak in the distance. “There were a couple times in matches when I wasn’t sure we’d get here. And then there were some really good glimmers of hope that showed I have just as much game sometimes. So we’re here, and I’m happy.”

“I gave it my all out there – it stinks to come up short like that but I know it will help me going forward,” said White, the 2019 Arizona Amateur Champion. “Overall I’m really happy with the way I played.”

After matching pars on the first two holes, White’s four-foot par putt lipped out on the 3rd hole. Marshall had already made a six-footer for par, giving him a 1 up lead. Marshall would maintain that lead until the 6th hole, when he missed a six-foot comebacker of his own to halve the hole.

“I saw him throw it to five feet on six, and I went right at it as well, and mine ripped back into the bunker,” said Marshall. “I knew I had to put the gas pedal down and put some light pressure on.”

One hole later, Marshall suffered through a streak of bad luck, as his approach landed on the green, but spun off the left side and into the bunker. His bunker shot landed just short of the green, and he couldn’t chip in for par. White’s birdie putt would be conceded, giving him a 1 up lead, and igniting a fire inside Marshall.

“I trailed by one coming into 10 – that was the first time I was down all week.,” said Marshall. “I think that’s what I was most proud of because I hung in there all week. Evan you could tell – he just looked a little more stoic. You knew he was here to do something today, and that was to push me. And I had to definitely give him a little push back.”

White held on to the one-hole lead until the par-4 12th hole, when Marshall stuffed his approach to a foot. White’s approach to 12 feet ended up hole-high, but he couldn’t convert the putt, and conceded Marshall’s birdie to tie the match.

Marshall and White would trade clutch putts over the next three holes to keep the match tied. But on the 16th hole, with a severe right to left slope on a 30-foot putt, White left himself seven feet past the hole for par. He missed the putt, and Marshall’s par earned him a 1 up lead.

“That’s the beauty of Match Play – anybody has a chance,” said White. “I hit every fairway and put myself in good spots around the greens and on the greens. But it comes down to one or two putts, and that’s what makes it so fun.”

With a chance to close out the match on the par-3 island 17th green, Marshall hit his tee shot to eight feet. White followed with an even more stellar shot to six feet. But like it had been all week long, the flat stick came through for Marshall, burying the birdie putt. White could not convert to extend the match, providing for Marshall’s winning margin.

“Hats off to Kris – he played great,” said White. “It was a lot of fun.”

Full Bracket and scores from the week of the 97th Annual Arizona Amateur Championship Presented by PXG can be found by clicking here. Full recaps can be found on the Arizona Golf Association website. And a wide selection of content from each day of the tournament can be found on the AGA’s social media channels: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

News

White, Marshall Advance to Championship Match at AZ Am


For Immediate Release
August 13, 2021

Contact:

David Bataller
[email protected]
(602) 944-3035

WHITE, MARSHALL ADVANCE TO CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH AT THE 97TH ARIZONA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP

2019 Champion White, AGA Tournament stalwart Marshall to battle for Kachina trophy

SCOTTSDALE – 2019 Champion Evan White and Kristoffer Marshall survived a tough day of match play to advance to the Championship Match of the 97th Arizona Amateur Championship Presented by PXG. White and Marshall each won matches in the Round of 8 and Round of 4, setting up their duel Saturday morning at Grayhawk Golf Club’s Talon Course.

“I’m super excited – I feel super blessed to have another opportunity to win this tournament means a ton to me,” said White, a 2 & 1 winner over Austin Quick in the semifinals. “It’s just so much fun, with so many good players. It’s a blast.”

“I kept it in the short grass and played to my strength – I just tried to keep things in a reasonable and manageable aspect all week,” said Marshall, a 2 & 1 victor over Reece Nilsen. “I hit it good and I was never down in any of my matches ever. That’s probably what feels the best.”

White built a 3 up lead on the 15th tee box, but Quick made birdie to White’s par to make it a two-hole advantage with three to play. But the two players matched scores on 16 and 17, ending the match in White’s favor.

“I think getting [to the Round of 4] we both played incredible matches and were making a ton of birdies,” said Scottsdale’s Quick, a Chaparral High School and Arizona State University grad. “And then we kind of stalled out a little bit and we were grinding out pars and tying. It was a grueling match, it was a great match.”

Marshall needed all 18 holes to get past Nilsen, a redshirt senior at Northern Illinois University. Leading by one on the par-5 18th tee, Marshall hit his second shot to seven feet, forcing Nilsen to press for a shot at eagle to extend the match. But his second shot fell short of the green, and the ensuing eagle chip slid past the whole, leading to the concession on the final hole.

“This week I played great in the stroke play, and I played great yesterday,” said Nilsen. “Just today I wasn’t giving myself the really good birdie opportunities I was giving myself the rest of the week.”

For White, an Arizona Amateur Championship Match is familiar territory, something he hopes will give him an advantage Saturday morning.

“Mentally I think I’m better at controlling my emotions and not giving my opponent anything by my demeanor,” said White, a redshirt sophomore at Texas State University who won in 2019 at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club. “In 2019 I didn’t have much match play experience. I feel like winning that and going through so many match play rounds really helped me to be prepared for this situation.”

In the Friday morning matches, White defeated upstart Anawin Pikulthong 5 & 3, making quick work of the youngest player in the field. At just 16-years-old, the Arizona State University commit and incoming junior at Hamilton High School had turned heads with his play on the Talon Course.

Quick defeated Grand Canyon University junior Mathew Braley, 2 & 1, ending Braley’s Arizona Amateur Championship run in the quarterfinals for the second straight year. Quick found himself down two after two as Braley opened birdie-par, but fought back to tie the match at the turn, and never looked back after taking the lead on 10.

Down one through nine holes, Nilsen stepped up on the back nine to defeat David Scott, 3 & 1. A Nilsen birdie on the 126-yard par-3 17th ended the match, beating Scott’s par.

Marshall needed 19 holes to take down Carl Miltun in a fantastic match that featured a combined 10 birdies. Miltun was down one on the 17th tee before a birdie evened the match, with Marshall only able to manage a par. Marshall was able to par the 19th (1st hole), eliminating Miltun’s bogey.

The Championship Match tee’s off at 6:30 a.m. at Grayhawk Golf Club’s Talon Course. Follow along on all of the Arizona Golf Association’s social media channels: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Full Bracket can be found by clicking here.

News

Final Eight Advance to Set Up Thrilling Finish to AZ Am


For Immediate Release
August 12, 2021

Contact:

David Bataller
[email protected]
(602) 944-3035

FINAL EIGHT ADVANCE TO SET UP THRILLING FINISH TO THE 97TH ARIZONA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP

Stroke Play Medalist Lloyd out in Round of 16; Defending champ Chanen out in Round of 32

SCOTTSDALE – Eight players are left in contention at the 97th Arizona Amateur Championship Presented by PXG, after Thursday morning’s Round of 32 play and then the afternoon’s Round of 16 matches at Grayhawk Golf Club’s Talon Course. Notable names to advance to Friday’s Round of 8 include Anawin Pikulthong, the youngest player in the field at 16-years-old, and Evan White, the 2019 Arizona Amateur Champion.

“I got down fairly early, but just stayed in the present and kept my mind focused on each hole,” said White, a 4 & 3 winner over Cameron Barzekoff in the Round of 16 and a redshirt sophomore at Texas State University. “The first few holes on the back I just made sure to hit in the middle of the green whenever I could, and put the pressure on him. That was kind of my strategy and it worked today.”

Pikulthong started his day with a 2 & 1 win over Joey Pirmann, and then dispatched of Shankar Natarajan, 3 & 2, in the afternoon.

Stroke Play Qualifying Medalist Joseph Lloyd advanced to the Round of 16 by beating Tyler Randol, 1 up. But fellow Scottsdale-native Austin Quick had Lloyd’s number in their afternoon match, winning a tough match 2 & 1.

“I just played really good today – in my first match against Mason (Quagliata) I made like eight birdies and I had to have my best stuff against him,” said Quick, a Chapparral High School and Arizona State University grad. “I’ve known Joey for a long time, and I know his game and how it’s evolved in the past four or five years and he’s such a good player. I grinded and got through that match too, so I’m pretty stoked to take down a couple young studs.”

Quick will now face Grand Canyon University junior Matthew Braley in the Round of 8, after Braley defeated Greg Cesarek 2 & 1 in the Round of 16.

The day’s most thrilling match was won by 2021 San Tan Amateur Champion John Bearrie. He needed 25 holes to eliminate defending champion Jake Chanen in the Round of 32, draining a 15-foot birdie putt to win after Chanen made par.

Just two holes before, Chanen hit his tee shot on the 153-yard par-3 fifth hole to three feet. Bearrie then drained a 30-foot birdie putt to extend the match.

Round of 8 matches begin at 6:30 a.m. off the first tee at the Talon Course. Final Four matches will be contested afterward in the afternoon, with the last two players remaining in field squaring off in Saturday’s Championship Match.

Full leaderboard can be found by clicking here.