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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

News

Menne Outlasts Tough Field to Win Women’s Stroke Play Title at Grayhawk Golf Club – Talon

By Brianna Gianiorio

Ashley Menne took home the Women’s State Amateur Stroke Play Championship Wednesday, after rounds of 73-67-71 to finish at -5 on Grayhawk Golf Club’s Talon Course.

“The first round, everything was kind of a blur. I was just so disappointed that I was like “I have to do better tomorrow; this is not like me at all,” said Menne, 18, after the win. “The second day, I kind of just got it all together and was more focused on what was in front of me rather than daydreaming. I went out and was a little more aggressive and made some good putts and went with the flow.”

Siripatsorn Patchana turned in a final-round 1-under 71 to finish second at 1-under. Defending Champion Mikayla Fitzpatrick recorded a final-round 1-over 73 to finish third, eight shots behind Menne. Full results can be found here.

Menne, an Arizona State freshman, carded her solo round over par in her opening round. Unhappy with that effort and determined to turn things around, the Arizona State Sun Devil bounced back with a second-round 67 to steal headlines over first round leader Mikayla Fitzpatrick.

“It was a bad start but then I got it back. I got three birdies after that,” said Menne, a Surprise, Ariz., native. “Nerves got to me but I handled it.”

The four-time JGAA Player of the Year entered the final round four shots ahead of Patchana and six shots ahead of Carly Strole, Mallorie Luitwieler and Fitzpatrick. A double-bogey on the second hole dropped her lead to one after the GCU Senior Patchana recorded a birdie. But Menne recorded three birdies on the front nine to go out at 2-under 35, four shots ahead of Patchana.

The 18-year-old junior golf prodigy has an impressive golf resume. She has compiled nearly 50 titles over the past four years as a junior golfer. She is a three-time State Champion,, three-time Arizona High School Girls Golfer of the Year and three-time AJGA All-American. Next week, Menne enters her freshman season with the eight-time NCAA Champions Arizona State.

“I’m just looking forward to practicing with the team and competing as a team,” said Menne. “I definitely feel like I am going to get better by playing with better players. The facilities are great and I love the coaches.”

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Jake Chanen Wins 96th Arizona Amateur Championship at Desert Forest Golf Club

143-yard pitching wedge to two feet on the 18th hole sealed Chanen’s second Arizona Amateur

 CAREFREE, Ariz. – Jake Chanen showed the heart and determination of a champion at Desert Forest Golf Club Saturday, winning the 96th Arizona Amateur Championship 1 up over Chris Kamin. The win is Chanen’s second career Arizona Amateur title, after winning at Tonto Verde Golf Club in 2018.

“It was awesome, that was a battle and I really enjoyed it,” Chanen said after the match. “It’s a great feeling and I’ll definitely remember this for a while.”

The 18th hole was a microcosm of the entire match. Kamin found the middle of the fairway with his tee shot, while Chanen had to punch out from behind a tree off the right side of the fairway, and appeared to be in trouble. But with a bit of mud on his ball, Kamin’s approach sailed left of the green to the dirt cart path.

Chanen’s third shot from 143 yards out with a pitching wedge won’t soon be forgotten, finishing two feet from the cup to apply the pressure. Kamin was unable to get up and down for par, and Chanen won the match after Kamin conceded Chanen’s short par putt.

“Whatever I think I could have done or would have done differently, Jake hit a really great shot on 18,” said Kamin of his opponent’s approach on 18. “Hitting that, he deserved to win it on that hole. There’s always a part of me that says, ‘I coulda-shoulda-woulda.’ But overall it was a really good week.”

Kamin started the match 2 up after two holes, before Chanen won the next two holes to tie through four. A roller coaster of a match saw Kamin 1 up through 8, but mud on his ball in the 9th fairway pushed it right into the cactus, forcing an unplayable an allowing Chanen to tie the match at the turn.

Kamin started the back nine much like the front, winning two of the first three holes to go up two through 12. Chanen responded by taking the 13th hole to go down one, setting the stage for a match-changing 16th hole.

Chanen hit driver to the middle of the fairway, then crushed a hybrid into the right greenside bunker, short-siding himself. Kamin meanwhile hit three straight irons to the middle of the green, setting up a birdie putt. But Chanen was able to get up and down from eight feet for birdie, and Kamin’s birdie putt went inches by the hole to even the match.

“That bunker shot was definitely hands-down the best of my life,” said Chanen, a recent Grand Canyon University graduate. “It was a tough lie to a super elevated green. I had nothing to work with, and I just tried to get it up there and make a putt, and I was able to do that.”

Chanen and Kamin would have 15-foot birdie putts on 17 to take the lead, but both came inches from falling, leaving the match tied and setting the stage for the epic 18th hole.

“It hurts right now, and it will hurt for a while,” said Kamin. “But Jake played well, and as disappointed as I am for me, I am happy for him.”

Full Bracket and scores from the week of the 96th Annual Arizona Amateur Championship 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.

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Kamin, Chanen Survive Stiff Competition to Advance to 96th Arizona Amateur Championship

Final match set for Saturday morning at Desert Forest Golf Club in Carefree 

CAREFREE, Ariz. – Chris Kamin and Jake Chanen survived another grueling day of match play competition Friday at the 96th Arizona Amateur Championship, played at Desert Forest Golf Club. Played in a second-consecutive 112-degree excessive heat warning at 2,600 feet of elevation, both players needed all they had in the tank to advance to Saturday morning’s Championship Match.

“I’m tired,” a visibly exhausted Kamin said after beating Cory Bacon, 4 & 3. “I mean I’m 46 years old. Most of these kids are high school or college kids. I’m a little gassed so I’m going to go home and rest. But I’m excited for tomorrow – I love playing this golf course.”

“It was a battle from start to finish – we both played pretty good all day,” said Chanen, a recent graduate of Grand Canyon University, after taking care of Canon Olkowski in 22 holes. “I’m pretty proud. I’m not going to lie, I’m very tired so I’d definitely going to get a lot of sleep tonight.”

Kamin made birdie to Bacon’s par on the opening hole, and never looked back, taking a 4 up lead through five. Bacon tried to make a run on the back nine, winning 13 and 14 to trail by three with four to play. But Kamin would splash a bunker shot on 14 into the hole for birdie to close the match.

“I’m putting well and chipping well this week,” said Kamin. “I’m hitting my irons pretty well. So far, it’s been a lot of fun. What I’ve been doing has worked so far. There’s no reason to try anything different [in the Championship Match].”

Chanen led Olkowski 1 up coming to the 18th hole. But the Colorado University-Boulder sophomore was able to make par to Chanen’s bogey, forcing extra holes. Following a stalemate on the first three holes, Chanen was able to make par on the 22nd hole (Hole 4), eliminating Olkowski’s bogey.

“It came down to 18 and I really gave it away and hit a really bad shot from the middle of the fairway,” said Chanen, the 2018 Arizona Amateur Champion. “But it happens, and that’s golf. We kept going, just kept battling, and finally he slipped up on the last hole there and I was able to make par and get out of there.”

In the morning’s Round of 8, Kamin needed 20 holes to get past Trevor Lampson. On the 20th hole (hole 2) and in trouble just off the left side of the fairway, Kamin used a half-swing to land a 180-yard shot just six feet from the pin. Lampson made his par putt, but Kamin drilled his birdie putt to close out the match.

Bacon only needed 14 holes to eliminate top-overall seed Joseph Lloyd, 6 and 4. Bacon raced out to a 4 up lead after birdie on the par-5 7th hole, his third hole won in a row. Bacon then closed out the match dormie on the 14th green, chipping to a foot with his third shot. Lloyd, on the green in three shots, conceded the putt, and therefore the match.

Olkowski also needed all 18 holes in his narrow 2 up victory over Matthew Braley in the Round of 8. The match was tied at the turn, but Olkowski made birdie on the par 5 11th hole, and leading by one on the par 4 18th, closed out the match in style with a par to Braley’s bogey.

Chanen’s morning match was much more of a roller coaster, falling behind Scott Schlader after losing each of the first four holes. Chanen would claw back to tie the match on the 14th hole, making eagle on the 329-yard par 4. He then closed out the match on the 18th hole, making par to Schlader’s bogey.

The Championship Match tees off at 7:00 a.m. at Desert Forest. 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

Match Play Elite 8 Set at 96th Arizona Amateur Championship at Desert Forest Golf Club

Top seeds survive as field of 32 to start play Thursday is whittled down to eight

CAREFREE, Ariz. – Eight of Arizona’s top amateur golfers remain after two rounds of match play Thursday at the 96th Arizona Amateur Championship Wednesday, played at Desert Forest Golf Club. Played in 112-degree conditions at 2,600 feet elevation, and on one of the toughest golf courses in the Grand Canyon State, it was a day of sheer survival for the 2020 Elite Eight.

“You just have to keep the ball in play off the tee, and accept that par is a great score,” said 2016 Arizona Amateur Champion Cory Bacon, who eliminated Austin Quick in the Round of 8, 1 up. “That’s really what it comes down to. If you can eliminate your blow up holes, you’re probably going to win a lot of matches out here.”

Top overall seed Joseph Lloyd, third-seeded Canon Olkowski and fourth-seeded Chris Kamin each won their respective matches 1 up in the Round of 16, needing all 18 holes to win. The mental grind of match play occupied a lot of the players’ attention as opposed to just battling the golf course.

“This course is tough enough,” said Kamin, talking about Desert Forest. “You need to have a game plan for how you want to go about each hole, and staying with that rather than worrying about what the other guys do.”

For Bacon, it was a roller coaster of a match that started early and continued through the back 9 of Desert Forest. Down one to Quick after 16 holes, Bacon birdied 17 and 18 to come from behind and advance.

“There was a lot of adrenaline flowing, and I still have some adrenaline,” said Bacon after the match. “But it was a really fun match. I didn’t think I was going to win, honestly, because I was down the whole way. But I managed to pull it out.”

Recent Grand Canyon University graduate Jake Chanen eliminated reigning AGA Player of the Year Adam Walicki in Thursday morning’s Round of 32, 2 & 1. He then beat UNLV Sophomore George Leigh in the Round of 16, 3 & 1, joining fellow GCU Lopes Trevor Lampson and Matthew Braley in Friday morning’s Round of 8.

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.