News

Ashley Menne Wins 2021 Arizona Women’s Stroke Play

Ashley Menne won the 2021 Arizona Women’s Stroke Play Championship at Quintero Golf Club, finishing the 54-hole event at +2 overall. Carolyn Fuller (+3) finished in second place one shot behind, and Alexis Linam (+6) came in third place.

“I tried to focus on just keeping it in the fairway and making some putts,” Menne said of her final round strategy, where she shot a -2 (70).

Menne successfully defended her 2020 Arizona Women’s Stroke Play title, and began her defense with the 18-hole lead at -3 (69). Her first round featured six birdies, including back-to-back on the final two holed to secure a one-shot advantage over Linam.

“Focus on staying in the moment and trusting myself and need to just make some putts,” said the Arizona State University incoming sophomore.

Menne followed up her first round with a +7 (79), putting her in a three-way tie for third heading into the final round.

“In the second round I just struggled a lot off the tee,” said Menne. “I lost a lot of balls in the desert and was hacking it out, but I made it through the round.”

She changed her mindset going into the last round, changing her mental approach and finding success.

“I was protecting the (first round) lead rather than going out there and playing how I usually play,” Menne said. “That is what changed – I reset my mind and got it done.”

Mackenzie Cooper (+7) and Maya Benita (+8) rounded out the top five.

“This means a lot,” said Menne. “I love the AGA, love the staff and love coming and playing in the tournaments. So being able to win it again is just awesome.”

For full results click here: https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/2934217

News

Remembering Bill Rodie: 1929-2021

All will be saddened to hear of the recent passing of AGA’s Bill Rodie. His obituary follows. Bill played a remarkable role in the development of the AGA and in promoting efficient water use on golf courses. His contributions were many and impactful. Many people have made contributions to the Arizona Golf Community, but none more significant than Bill.

William (Bill) S. Rodie III, was born March 26, 1929 in Bridgeport, Conn., to William S. Rodie, Jr. and Julia W. Rodie. He graduated in the Class of 1947 from The Hill School in Pottstown, PA, followed by Williams College, Class of 1951. Bill served as a Lieutenant in the US Army during the Korean War from 1951- 1953 and married Constance (Connie) Teetor in 1952. He worked as a Financial Analyst with Ford Motor Co. from 1954-1959, after which Bill and his family moved to North Central Phoenix. He built a career as a Financial Analyst and Estate Planner with CIGNA Corp. and retired in 1990. An avid golfer, Bill served on the Board of Directors of The AZ Golf Assn. from 1985-1992 and was President 1990-1991. He was a member of the United States Golf Assn. Senior Amateur Committee from 1989-2001. Bill also served on the Groundwater Users Advisory Council of the AZ Dept. of Water Resources from 1995-2001. His dedication to golf earned him the 2003 Ed Updegraff Award for exemplifying the spirit of golf and he was inducted into the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame in 2007. Bill was a member of Phoenix Country Club and Desert Forest Golf Club. He volunteered his time in Boy Scouts, All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Day School and various charities over the years, including the Board of Directors of Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC). Bill will be remembered for his greatest loves: family, golf, fine wine and strangely enough, the Ringling Bros. Circus where he took his grandchildren every year. He was preceded in death by his wife of 20 years, Sondra and sister, Marion Winter. Bill is survived by his four children, W. Stuart (Rebecca), Don (Susie), Tom (Rebecca Brink), Robin Vitols (Normund), nine grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

A memorial service will be held at 3 pm on Thursday, August 12 at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 6300 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to SARRC; 300 N. 18th St., Phoenix. AZ. 85006.

News

Stephens, Blau and Hossack Capture Arizona Divisional Stroke Play Titles

by Kade Peterson
USGA P.J. Boatwright, Jr. Communications Intern

Three champions were crowned at the 2021 AGA Arizona Divisional Stroke Play Championship, played June 7-10 at TPC Scottsdale – Champions Course. Conrad Stephens (Senior), Tim Blau (Legends) and Chad Hossack (Masters) each earned a Kachina trophy after outlasting their respective divisions.

The conclusion of play on Tuesday saw Stephens hoist the Senior Division Kachina after two consecutive even-par 71’s to earn first place, three strokes clear of Ken Kellaney.

Stephens recorded five birdies en route to his opening round 71, one stroke behind Kellaney’s first-round 70. Stephens had a clear focus in mind for the second round.

“I concentrated on trying to hit the fairways,” said Stephens. “I did a really good job with that until the last couple holes.”

The gap between Kellaney and Stephens quickly closed, as Kellaney made a bogey on the second hole. A birdie on the fourth hole put Stephens alone at the top. He would give the shot back on the eighth hole, going into the long par 5, ninth tied with Kellaney.

“I think nine really helped a lot,” said Stephens. “That’s a very difficult pin placement in the back left, there is a small tier you have to hit, and I put it (his third shot) to about four and a half feet and made the putt. That gave me the momentum I needed, and I kept going.”

Neither player made moves after making the turn, until Stephens made a bogey on 14. Kellaney could not capitalize after regaining the lead, playing 15 through 17 in four over par. Stephens stepped onto the 18th tee with a two-stroke lead over Kellaney, needing one more good hole to secure the win. He delivered.

“I hit a pretty good drive, but it just drifted right (into the desert),” said Stephens. “I had a wide-open shot, I hit a seven iron to about ten feet and made the putt. That capped it off, it felt really good.

“This is a big deal because I have only been here in Arizona for three years. I moved from Boise, Idaho. I was not able to play last year because I did not get in soon enough. It was exciting being able to play and I am glad I was able to win it.”

For Full Senior Division Results: https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/2795544

Competition continued Wednesday and Thursday, with the Legends and Masters divisions taking on the Champions Course.

Blau claimed the Legends Division title at the end of play Thursday with a one-under-par 70, but to him the accomplishment came a day early.

“I shot 70 and turn 70 tomorrow,” said Blau after five birdies on the day. “I hit my irons really well, only hit one bad iron shot today. This gave me realistic looks at birdies. Had a couple of twos out there which always helps the round. Nice one was on 16, was just on the back of the green and made a nice putt.”

Blau echoed many of the players in the field when discussing the challenge the golf course presented.

“Reading the greens is a challenge out there,” Blau said. “The guy in the pro shop told me the putts always break away from the mountain unless they don’t.”

Blau was able to navigate the greens well, on a day that did not see low scores from the rest of the field.

“Playing against some great players – Murph (Mitchell) shot 69 yesterday, Frank Ellenburg had a great round yesterday,” explained Blau. “To be honest I was only hoping I tied to get into a playoff, I did not expect these guys to not score. I think Frank made double on 18, which happens. Three years ago, I tripled to miss the playoff.”

Blau mentioned what being able to compete with a strong field like the one he bested meant to him after the round.

“What I am most pleased of is playing with these guys who are a little younger than me and playing up to that caliber,” Blau said. “These are really good players, anytime I can play with Frank (Ellenburg) Murph (Mitchell) and (Jeff) Zieky and keep in that competition range is pleasing to me.”

Following the Legends Division out was the Masters Division, where Hossack finished on top of the competition. He started the day tied for the lead and his consistent play carried him to victory, on a day where low scores were hard to come by.

“I credit it to my course management, just understanding my dispersion patterns,” said Hossack of his one-under-par 70 in the second round. “Sticking to what I know I do, the course played long for me because it was wet but tried to stay patient.

“(Being competitive) is always the goal, trying to have a chance. Every year I have just tried to get better, I worked with some great instructors, Boyd Summerhays and Stan Utley.”

Hossack was never far ahead of his competitors, standing on the 18th tee tied with his playing partner, Russell May.

“I figured we were close, but I wasn’t sure,” admitted Hossack. “I had no idea what Brian (Hoops) was doing, I figured someone might have been hot today because it was certainly getable. I didn’t change anything, I picked my lines and hit a good iron that ended up being the right number and it worked out.”

Hossack made birdie while May made bogey, providing for the final two-stroke margin. Hossack hopes this tournament win is a sign of things to come.

“It is a great start – I haven’t played much tournament golf the past couple years and this was the year to get back into it,” said Hossack. “These events are fun, I had a really good pairing and it was a fun golf course. I’m looking forward to playing in the next one.”

Full Legends Division and Masters Division Results: https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/2795877

News

Father’s Day Nationally Televised Golf Special Benefits Phoenix Non-Profit

(PHOENIX, AZ) – Two legends of golf and their sons will take part in the nationally televised “2nd Annual Father’s Day Match for a Cause” raising thousands of dollars for a local charity – Elevate Phoenix.

Current PGA TOUR Champions professional Tom Lehman is joined by his son Thomas to square off against fellow PGA TOUR Champions competitor & World Golf Hall of Famer Mark O’Meara and his son Shaun. Thanks to Venue Sponsor Troon, the two families will take to the links at one of Arizona’s top golf courses, the Westin Kierland Golf Club. The one-hour taped special premieres 1:30-2:30 p.m. EST on Father’s Day, June 20, 2021. Bally Sports Network will air the show with multiple re-broadcasts throughout the month. The potential viewership is over 84 million households as DirectTV, DISH Satellite, Comcast, Hulu, SlingTV, PlayStation Vue, Match Play YouTube channel, Philo TV and fubo TV will also be broadcasting the special event.

This year viewers have a chance to join in on the action and win once-in-a-lifetime prizes too. Philanthropy Sponsor Great Clips has committed a $50,000 match for a second year towards any donation committed to Elevate Phoenix through the Father’s Day campaign. By entering the giveaway, one lucky supporter will win a luxury golf basket including a signed copy of Tom Lehman’s book and a Master’s flag signed by past winner Mark O’Meara, golf equipment and more! Register now at: https://elevatephoenix.org/save-the-date/.

Both sons have golf in their blood and Scottsdale resident Tom Lehman couldn’t have found a better opportunity to play with his son and raise money for his favorite charity at the same time. All players are supporting Elevate Phoenix, a local non-profit providing 24/7 mentoring for at-risk youth.

“It is with great honor and excitement that my son Thomas and I get to team up together in the 2nd Annual Father’s Day Match for a Cause,” said Tom Lehman. “This year at The Westin Kierland Golf Club we will go toe-to-toe with long-time friend Mark O’Meara and his son Shaun. I’m also thrilled the Elevate Phoenix organization will serve as the sole benefactor of this special fundraiser. My heart has been a part of their mission for more than 11 years and the success of their students is a win for us all. We couldn’t have done this event without the support of Troon, Match Play TV and Versatile Golf; it’s a true team effort.”

The “2nd Annual Father’s Day Match for a Cause” is a two-person father/son 18-hole competition. Each competitor will play their own ball and the lowest score of the twosome is the team score. All Par 3s have designated sponsors hosting a closest to the pin competition for major bragging rights. Along with great golf action, the program features renowned Match Play TV and radio host Ray Adams along with LPGA Member/Versatile Golf owner Jill Mann Strite for on-course Q&A with the players.

“Elevate Phoenix is extremely grateful to be selected as the designated charity of choice for this year’s Father’s Day Match for a Cause,” said Elevate Phoenix President Ed Beasley. “It’s because of supporters like Tom Lehman, Mark O’Meara, Great Clips, Bally Sports & host Ray Adams’ generosity that we can continue to advance our mission of delivering long-term, life-changing relationships with our urban youth. Especially when our Teacher/Mentors were asked to provide above and beyond support during this past Covid school year, their investment helps us continue developing successful leaders of our future.”

The ability to host an event on Father’s Day for an organization that provides mentorship opportunities holds special meaning for Mark O’Meara.
“My son Shaun and I are looking forward to playing with Tom and Thomas in the Father/Son Match for a Cause,” said O’Meara. “We hope everyone can tune in because it’s going to be special when a father and son get to play in a dual like this for a great cause.”

# # #

About Elevate Phoenix
Elevate Phoenix delivers long-term, life-changing relationships with urban youth. The Phoenix non-profit works with at-risk youth in the Phoenix Union High School District from elementary school through college by providing them with tutoring, literacy, workforce preparation, life skills development and 24/7 365 days a year mentoring. Elevate Phoenix teaches accredited, elective high school classes in the District with fulltime teacher-mentors. The success of the program continues to drive it forward, yielding impressive results. In the last eleven years, Elevate students graduate at a rate of 98%, compared to the state average of approximately 78%. A remarkable 100% of Elevate students have post-secondary plans after high school. Elevate Phoenix currently operates in the Cesar Chavez High School, Camelback High School and Maryvale High School, along with each of their feeder elementary schools, impacting about 5,000 students each year.

About Ray Adams
Ray Adams is the host of his popular TV show “Match Play with Ray Adams” on Bally Sports Networks now in its tenth season. Adams’ digital content on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube can be found at matchplaytv. Adams has also continuously covered the game of golf and the golf industry on his two radio shows for 22 years. Adams feature interviews are with the greatest players in the world from all the tours, celebrities and key golf industry professionals. “Hot talk with the biggest stars” is the focus of his shows. His TV show airs several times weekly on many platforms and household screens around the USA. He is all about producing compelling content while telling in-depth stories about his guests and sponsors all the while growing the game and advancing charitable causes. Media Contact: Jason Keesling, Content Producer, [email protected]

About Troon
Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon is the world’s largest golf management company providing services at 585-plus locations around the globe, including managing 630-plus 18-hole equivalent golf courses. In addition to golf, Troon specializes in homeowner association management, private residence clubs, estate management and associated hospitality venues. Troon’s award-winning food and beverage division operates and manages more than 620-plus food and beverage operations located at golf resorts, private clubs, daily fee golf courses and recreational facilities. With properties located in 45-plus states and 30-plus countries, Troon’s family of brands includes Troon Golf, Troon Privé, Troon International, Honours Golf, OB Sports, Indigo Golf Partners, CADDIEMASTER, True Club Solutions, Cliff Drysdale Tennis and RealFood Hospitality, Strategy and Design. Troon-affiliated properties include Princeville Makai Golf Club on Kauai; Champion Hills in Hendersonville, North Carolina; Ocean Club in Paradise Island, Bahamas; and Vattanac Golf Resort in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. For additional news and information, visit www.Troon.com, or connect with Troon on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Troon Chronicles, Press Room, or subscribe to Troon Magazine.

News

Arizona Golf Hall of Fame Announces 2020 Inductees

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2020

 

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Arizona Golf Hall of Fame Committee is proud to announce the four inductees to the 2020 Class, which is comprised of three modern candidates selected by the Voting Delegates: John Gunby, Tina Tombs and Mark Woodward; and one Legacy candidate by the Selectors Committee: Desert Mashie Golf Club. The Legacy Division recognizes those in Arizona who have made contributions to golf, but due to the historical nature and having occurred decades ago their impact is not known to modern voters.

The dinner and induction ceremony will be held Tuesday, February 16, 2021. Invitations and RSVP’s to the ceremony will be available at a later date.

 

John Gunby, Southwest Section PGA Professional 

A 2017 recipient of the AGA Champion of Golf Award recognizing “Selfless lifetime service to the Game of Golf in Arizona”, John Gunby’s dedication to serving the game for the last 40+ years is well-documented and recognized by his peers. He has orchestrated a fundraising golf tournament for the Wounded Warriors Foundation on Veterans Day, and has been very involved from the outset with the Southwest PGA’s and the national PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) initiative including orchestrating a PGA HOPE Comedy Show to raise funds for PGA HOPE programs.

In 2019, Gunby received the Southwest PGA Patriot Award, which bestows special recognition on a PGA Professional who personifies patriotism through the game of golf and demonstrates unwavering commitment and dedication to the men and women who have valiantly served and protected the United States. The 2013 Southwest PGA Golf Professional of the Year, Gunby was recently announced as an enshrinee into the 2019 Southwest PGA Hall of Fame.

“I am deeply indebted to all those involved with golf in Arizona, as they have made such a positive difference in my life and the lives of countless others,” said Gunby. “The acronym GOLF so appropriately stands for: Great Opportunities, Lifetime Friends. Thank God for the wonderful game of golf.”

 

Tina Tombs, Professional Golfer and Instructor 

A two-time NCAA All-American in 1984 and 1985 at Arizona State University, and an ASU Hall of Fame inductee in 2006, Tina Tombs competed on the LPGA Tour after graduation and won the 1990 Jamie Farr Toledo Championship. She has been a member of the LPGA ever since, as a competitive player on the tour and now on the Legends Tour, and as an accomplished teaching professional.

In 2014 and 2018, Tombs was named the LPGA National Teacher of the Year. She earned the Arizona Golf Association’s Updegraff Award in 2017, given annually to the person who “… by his or her actions and accomplishments exemplify the Spirit of the Game.” Other awards include 2014 and 2018 LPGA Central Section Teacher of the Year; 2015 Marilynn Smith Service Award; Golf Digest’s Best Teachers in Arizona, 2017-20; Teaching and Club Pro’s Top 50 LPGA Teachers, 2017-20; and GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher since 2019.

“When I think about my career, I feel overwhelmed,” said Tombs. “I have put my heart and soul into this game. I am blessed to have received so much from the game of golf and its beautiful community. I wake up every morning and I am filled with gratitude, even more so after this year, that my office is the golf course. It is the honor of my career to be recognized by the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame!”

 

Mark Woodward, Superintendent 

Currently the Director of Agronomy at Whisper Rock Golf Club in Scottsdale, Mark Woodward is a Certified Golf Course Superintendent/Director of Agronomy (CGCS) who has over 50 years of experience in many facets of the golf industry, forty-five of those in Arizona. His diverse career has included both stints as a Superintendent and Administrator.

As the City of San Diego’s Golf Operations Manager in 2005, Woodward was responsible for preparing the Torrey Pines South Golf Course to host the 2008 U.S. Open, working closely with the United States Golf Association (USGA).  For his efforts at Torrey Pines, Woodward was recognized by Golf Inc. Magazine as one of golf’s “Most Admired Operators” in 2006 and in the Top 35 “Most Powerful People in Golf’ in 2008 and 2009.  He served as CEO of the Golf Course Superintendent Association of America (GCSAA) from 2008 through 2010, and was a Senior Vice President of Operations for Scottsdale-based OB Sports Golf Management from 2013 through 2017. Woodward served on the Cactus and Pine Golf Course Superintendents Association board of directors on three separate occasions dating back to the 1980’s, and currently as President.

“I was extremely humbled and taken a little off-guard to be selected for this honor,” said Woodward. “By far, the most rewarding part of my career in golf has been all the inspirational people I’ve met and worked with. They are the true foundation of the golf industry.”

 

LEGACY DIVISION

Desert Mashie Golf Club, Industry Leader

During the years of segregation when golf was a restrictive game and most courses were prohibitive or private, a group of ten professional African American men – the Desert Mashie founding fathers – came together and challenged that limitation. The Desert Mashie Golf Club was founded in 1946 as an organization “for all persons interested in golf regardless of race, or ethnicity,” one of the oldest independent clubs in Arizona. They stated the organization did not practice, permit or condone segregation or discrimination in any form because of color, race, creed, religion, national origin or gender orientation in order to foster their love of golf and expand the sport in the community.

The club defined its purpose, commitment and outlined a program for growth, with five objectives established:

  1. To provide instructions and clinics for its members
  2. To provide organized competition for its members
  3. To promote a golf program for youth
  4. To promote a program for women
  5. To develop better public relations in the total golf community

In 1948, Desert Mashie held its first annual golf tournament and in 1950, Desert Mashie joined the United States Golf Association (USGA). In 1954, Desert Mashie Golf Club became a charter member of the Western States Golf Association (WSGA) whose 30 member clubs span six western states.

A past president, Dr. William “Bill” Dickey, was one of the most decorated servants of the golf industry. Fervently believing in a college education for youth through golf, Dr. Dickey was one of the founders of the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, and in his own BDSA Foundation, distributed over 1,000 scholarships to college-bound minority golfers. An Arizona Golf Updegraff Awardee recognizing his spirit and service, he also was presented with The PGA Distinguished Service Award in 1999, its highest honor.

“We are so honored and grateful to be named to the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame,” said Carolyn Suttles, Desert Mashie Club President. “The mission of Desert Mashie has always been about our Junior Golfers. The fact that we have helped send young people off to college – and the alumni from our Junior Program – to work not only in golf but in a myriad of professional careers, is proof of the impact our organization has had on this community.”

 

Contact:

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