News

Blanchard Wins First AGA Major of the Year at Aguila Golf Course

LAVEEN, Ariz. – Brian Blanchard needed a playoff, but brought home the first AGA Major title of the year Sunday at Aguila Golf Course, shooting -7 overall after a final round even-par 72 at the AGA Championship. Blanchard’s final round tally made up a three-shot deficit, forcing a playoff with 54-hole leader Bryan Hoops and Adam Walicki. He would make birdie on the first playoff hole to triumph in the blustery conditions at Aguila for his first AGA tournament victory, doing so in major fashion by carding rounds of 70-74-65-72.

Close up of Brian Blanchard holds his kachina trohpy in front of him with golf course in background

Blanchard, of Desert Forest Golf Club, and Kurt Watkins were the only players to card rounds of 65 in the competition, with Watkins coming in the first round and Blanchard’s in the third. Going low seemed to give Blanchard some much-needed momentum going into the final round, where he would eventually outlast two former AGA players of the year en route to victory.

 

Full AGA Championship Leaderboard: https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/3320756

RELATED: Watkins leads after R1 of AGA Championship

 

Another tournament highlight came from Mike Davidson on the drivable par-4 eighth hole, where he made an Albatross with a hole in one. Check out the video below.

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


Up next for the AGA:

News

Kurt Watkins Leads After First Round of the AGA Championship

Watkins’ -7 (65) leads 144-player field by a shot Aguila Golf Course

by Alex Gelman
USGA PJ Boatwright Jr. Communications Intern

The weather and conditions were superb as 144 players this morning and afternoon teed it up at Aguila Golf Course for the start of the AGA Championship – the association’s first major championship of the season. Kurt Watkins fired a 7-under (65) to lead the field through 18 holes. Watkins was 9-under through 16 holes with five birdies and two eagles, until making his first blemish on 17, a double bogey.

Just one shot back of the lead, tied for second, is 2021 AGA Player of the Year Sean O’Donnell, 6-under. O’Donnell birdied three of the last five holes to finish his round. 2018 and 2019 AGA Player of the Year, Adam Walicki, also shot 6-under in the opening round.

Shankar Natarajan, winner of the AZ Short Course at Augusta Ranch last month, is currently alone in fifth place, 3-under (69).

“The energy was really high – the players have been looking forward to the first major championship for a few months now,” said Logan Rasmussen, AGA Director of Rules and Competition. “The golf course is in incredible shape and there are a lot of different options for course set up (tees, hole locations) which keeps it fresh and interesting.

“This is the first time the event has been played over four days. Having that variety of hole locations and an ability to challenge the players is what makes this event so great.”

The field will be cut to the top 60 players and ties after Friday’s second round. Those left will battle it out over the weekend for the coveted Kachina trophy.

The second round begins Friday morning at 7:00a.m. For the full leaderboard, CLICK HERE. For second round tee times, CLICK HERE.

News

2022 Schedule: AGA Major Championships Preview

With the first AGA Major Championship coming up this Thursday, we thought we’d preview all 11 AGA Major Championships and their respective host sites for 2022.  Five of the 11 majors are dedicated Women’s Championships, allowing for the highest level of competition among the state’s best female amateurs. A new change for the 2022 season is that all AGA Major Championships will be conducted over a four-day period to maximize the overall playing experience.

On the venue side of things, we have an exciting lineup on our hands. We’ll be returning to notable and local favorites Aguila Golf Course in Phoenix, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes in Maricopa and Quintero Golf Club in Peoria for another go-round of competition. Headlining the 2022 schedule are the 98th Arizona Amateur, set for August 8-13 at the Outlaw Course of the Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale; and the AGA Women’s State Stroke Play Championship, to be contested August 15-17 at Anthem Country Club’s Ironwood Course.

Continue for info on all scheduled AGA Major Championships and their venues for 2022.


AGA Major Championships

landscape view of tee box at aguila golf course with mountain backdrop

Aguila Golf Course, Phoenix | Photo via TripAdvisor

March 17 – 20 | AGA Championship – Aguila Golf Course, Phoenix

Field Size: 144 players | Cut: low 60-players + ties will be made after 36 holes | Format: 72-holes of individual stroke play at gross

Formerly known as the AZ Publinks until 2018, the AGA Championship is the first men’s major championship of the calendar year.

  • COURSE INFO: Often referred to as one of the best public golf courses in Phoenix, Aguila consistently draws applause from the Phoenix locale. The 18-Hole Championship Course features three lakes coming into play on five holes, continuous cart paths, and four sets of tees – a Gary Planks links design course.
  • Opened: 1999 | Type: Public | Back Tees: 6,962 Yards | Back Slope: 125 | Back Rating: 73.0

view of lone tree golf club green in the foreground and palm tree and mountain in the distant background

Lone Tree Golf Club, Chandler | Photo via twoguyswhogolf.com

April 21 – 24 | Arizona Stroke Play Championship – Lone Tree Golf Club, Chandler

Field Size: 144 players | Cut: low 60-players + ties will be made after 36 holes | Format: 72-holes of individual stroke play at gross

The state’s best amateurs are pitted against each other in a Stroke Play format as they contend for the coveted Kachina trophy.

  • COURSE INFO: Golf in the Southwest doesn’t come any better than the meticulously manicured greens & lush green fairways at Lone Tree Golf Club. Designed by Darryl Wilson of the CMX Group, this semi-private, traditional-style course features five holes with water, one with an island green. Lone Tree Golf Club`s beautiful landscaping and natural surroundings rival that of many Phoenix golf courses and has four sets of tees and tiff dwarf grass overseeded with rye.
  • Opened: 2001 | Type: Semi-Private | Back Tees: 6894 Yards | Back Slope: 120 | Back Rating: 124

a lush green view of a golf hole with sand bunker in front of the green

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, Maricopa

June 9 – 12 | Arizona Mid-Amateur Championship – Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, Maricopa

Field Size: 144 players (ages 25+) | Cut: low 60-players + ties will be made after 36 holes | Format: 72-holes of individual stroke play at gross |

The region’s best Mid-Amateurs (age 25 and up) converge upon an AGA tournament favorite site to determine whose game is most on point on this Maricopa favorite.

  • COURSE INFO: A Schmidt-Curley & Fred Couples design features rolling hills, native grasses, and tees that stretch from 5,800 yards to over 7,500 yards, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes is a unique golf experience that will challenge the most accomplished golfer.
  • Opened: 2001 | Type: Resort | Back Tees: 7307 Yards | Back Slope: 138 | Back Rating: 75.1

small bunkers dotted before a golf hole with cacti in the lower third of the foreground.

Desert Mountain Golf Club (Outlaw), Scottsdale

August 8 – 13 | 98th Arizona Amateur Championship – Desert Mountain Golf Club, Scottsdale – Outlaw Course

Field Size: 144 | Format: Match Play | *Must be exempt or qualify for this event.

The Arizona Golf Association’s longest-standing competition has seen the likes of plenty of Arizona golf’s most sublime talents: Ken Tanigawa, Ken Kellaney , Bob Goldwater etc., and our most recent multiple time winner: Jake Chanen. (insert any other AZ golf greats to have played in it). Who will be the next local great to add the prestigious title of Arizona Amateur Champion to their golf resume?

  • COURSE INFO: Designed by Jack Nicklaus to enhance the natural landscape, Desert Mountain Golf Club’s Outlaw course is a traditional links-style course located on a 176-acre site adjacent to the Tonto National Forest. The spectacular desert scenery is marked by subtle terrain features from the natural washes and gently rolling hills to the clear views of local landmarks like Pinnacle Peak, the McDowell Mountains, and Four Peaks.
  • COURSE FACT: Outlaw’s unique layout requires placement, strategy, and controlled distance off the tee. It also features 126 bunkers and putting greens that range in size from 5,000 to 14,000 square feet.
  • Opened: 2003 | Type: Private | Back Tees: 7107 yards | Back Slope:  147 | Back Rating: 73.5

aerial veiw of ak-chin southern dunes

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, Maricopa | Photo via akchinsoutherndunes.com

September 15 – 18 | Arizona Four-Ball Championship – Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, Maricopa

Field Size: 160 players (80 teams) | Cut: Low 30 teams (+ ties) after 36 holes | Format: 72-holes of Four-Ball play

What works? Team works. That’s the case for this Championship where you’ll have to have your dynamic duo firing on all cylinders to lift the trophy.

  • COURSE INFO: A Schmidt-Curley & Fred Couples design features rolling hills, native grasses, and tees that stretch from 5,800 yards to over 7,500 yards, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes is a unique golf experience that will challenge even the most accomplished golfer.
  • Opened: 2001 | Type: Resort | Back Tees: 7307 Yards | Back Slope: 138 | Back Rating: 75.1

Wide view looking down on the green and fairway of the 11th hole at Quintero GC.

Quintero Golf Club, Peoria | Photo via quinterogolf.com

Nov. 12 – 13 | AGA Players Cup – TBD

The AGA Players Cup is modeled after the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup, with players accumulating points in Arizona Golf Association championships and other events throughout the season, before facing off in the AGA Players Cup Championship. Thus, marking the end of the tournament season.

 

To register for an Arizona Golf Association Championship,golfgenius.com/pages/3320754 click here.


Women’s Major Championships

view of a golf hole at briarwood country club with bunkers on both sides and the clubhouse in the distant background.

Briarwood Country Club, Sun City West

April 18 – 19 | Women’s Four-Ball Championship – Briarwood Country Club, Sun City West

Field Size: 72 players | Format: 36-holes of Four-Ball stroke play at gross and net, within flights

Teamwork makes the dream work! Players will need to have their dynamic duos dialed if they want to earn the Four-Ball Championship title and add a kachina trophy to their collection.

  • COURSE INFO: Designed by Greg Nash and opened for play in November 1983 Briarwood features beautiful, tree lined fairways that are relatively open, water hazards that come into play on several holes and a few sand bunkers cleverly situated throughout. To top it off, the course provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains and a peaceful atmosphere.
  • Opened: 1983 | Type: Private | Back Tees: 6500 Yards | Back Slope: 133 | Back Rating: 71.43

aerial veiw of ak-chin southern dunes

Jun 11 – 12 | Women’s Mid-Am Championship – Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, Maricopa

Field Size: 24 players (ages 25+) | Format: 36-holes of individual stroke play at gross.

Mid-Amateurs converge to test their skills – and luck – across 36-holes. The Arizona Mid-Am Championship will be conducted simultaneously, starting two days earlier on June 9 with both Championships ending on the 12th,

  • COURSE INFO: A Schmidt-Curley & Fred Couples design features rolling hills, native grasses, and tees that stretch from 5,800 yards to over 7,500 yards, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes is a unique golf experience that will challenge even the most accomplished golfer.
  • Opened: 2001 | Type: Semi-Private | Back Tees: 6894 Yards | Back Slope: 120 | Back Rating: 124

aerial view of a hole on the Ironwood course of Anthem CC with the green and bunkers in the lower right third.

Anthem Country Club (Ironwood), Anthem | Photo via clubcorp.com

August 15 – 17 | Women’s State Stroke Play Championship – Anthem Country Club, Anthem – Ironwood Course

Field Size: 84 players | Format: 54-holes of individual stroke play at gross

Players with a Handicap Index below the tournament threshold will vie for the Championship.  Anyone within seven index points of the threshold may opt into the Championship flight.  Multiple yardages will be used – those vying for the Championship will play all 54 holes from the longer yardage.  All other players will play from a shorter yardage.

  • COURSE INFO: With a true desert layout stretching over 7,200 yards from the back tees, seven water features and intimating bunkers Anthem Country Club’s Ironwood course lends a challenge to low-handicap players. Especially once they arrive at “Anthem Alley,” the 10th through 12th holes which play around water to a par of 4, 3 and 5. It’s a classic high risk/high reward design with dramatic elevations and large undulating greens set against a mountainous backdrop making for an all-around enjoyable experience.
  • Opened: 2004 | Type: Private | Back Tees: 7,231 Yards | Back Slope: 142 | Back Rating: 37.5

water on the left side with a golf green coming into view at the right at Tonto Verde golf club.

Tonto Verde Golf Club, Rio Verde | Photo via tontoverde.org

September 7 – 9 | Women’s State Senior Stroke Play Championship – Tonto Verde Golf Club, Rio Verde

  • COURSE INFO: Two great courses at Tonto Verde Golf Club, the Peaks and Ranch, welcome visitors to natural splendor. Gary Panks solo-designed the Ranch and received help from David Graham on the Peaks. The surrounding mountain landscape and views of the Tonto Verde National Forest make the downtown Phoenix metropolis a distant memory. Tonto Verde is the ideal, natural Arizona atmosphere. The Ranch is more suitable to long hitters than the Peaks, measuring in at nearly 7,000 yards.
  • Opened: 2002 | Type: Semi-Private | Back Tees: 7010 | Slope: 129 | Rating: 71.9

view looking down the fairway, with bunkers, on hole 15 at Quintero GC

Quintero Golf Club, Peoria | Photo via quinterogolf.com

Nov. 12 – 13 | Women’s Players Cup – TBD

The AGA Players Cup is modeled after the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup, with players accumulating points in Arizona Golf Association championships and other events throughout the season, before facing off in the AGA Players Cup Championship. Thus, marking the end of the tournament season.


To register for an Arizona Golf Association Women’s Championship, click here.

Which Championship and/or venue are you looking forward to the most?

Looking for a different event? Download the full 2022 Arizona Golf Association Event Schedule.

Or, view the full AGA Event calendar.

 

Follow us on Social Media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

News

Marilynn Smith Arizona Women’s Open Announces Purse Increase to $87,000

Open Division winner to earn $15K, Senior Division team gets $10K at the inaugural event in Mesa

 

Media Contact:

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

Player Contact:

Amy Fruhwirth, Programs Manager
(602) 944-3035 | [email protected]


For Immediate Release
March 8, 2022

SCOTTSDALE – The Arizona Golf Foundation today announced the inaugural Marilynn Smith Arizona Women’s Open will feature $15,000 and $10,000 winner’s checks in each respective division. Set to be played May 3-5, 2022, at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, 144 top professionals, amateurs and seniors from across the country will compete for a purse that has currently reached a minimum of $87,000, and is subject to increase as potential community sponsorships are accepted.

“We have worked hard to be a leader in the industry and increasing the Marilynn Smith Arizona Women’s Open purse to $87,000 shows our commitment to women’s golf in the state,” said Anj Brown, Director of Outreach at the Arizona Golf Association. “We hope this is just the beginning, and that as sponsorships increase, the prize pool will reflect the depth of the community’s commitment to the event as well.”

­­­The three-day, 54-hole Open Division will tee off Tuesday, May 3, with a max field of 104 players. The current payout structure will see the top 50 players and ties make a 36-hole cut, with the winner taking home $15,000. The top 20 places will be paid with 20th receiving $1,000.

The 40-player Senior Division will feature 20 two-person teams made up of Senior Tour and LPGA Tour professionals, playing a two-day 36-hole, Scramble and Best Ball format. The winning team will share the $10,000 winner’s prize, and the top-five teams will take home their respective share of the Senior Division’s minimum $30,000 purse, subject to increase as sponsorships are accepted.

A qualifying tournament will take place the week before the event to determine the remainder of the field. Time and location will be released at a later date. The entry fee is $600 per player in the Open Division, and $600 per team in the Senior Division. For a list of exempt players, or for information and to register, visit azgolf.org/azwomensopen.

On Monday, May 2, the Marilynn Smith Scholarship Pro-Am will see amateurs tee it up with special guests and professionals playing in the event, with proceeds going to the Marilynn Smith Scholarship Fund. The MSSF provides scholarships to female high school seniors who are planning to play golf at an accredited college or university in the United States. The goal of the Pro-Am is to fund fifteen $5,000 scholarships for young female golfers across the country. Teams can be reserved for a minimum of $1200 by registering at azgolf.org/azwomensopen.

Tournament week kicks off on Sunday, May 1, the community is invited to attend Sunday Tea at Papago Golf Club in Phoenix. Arizona Golf Hall of Famer Bill Huffman will interview players, including LPGA greats Kathy Whitworth, Susie Berning and Sandra Palmer. Guests will enjoy refreshments, an expo and an incredible memorabilia display. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the Sunday Tea, the Marilynn Smith Scholarship Pro-Am and Arizona Women’s Open, ranging from Presenting Sponsor to General Benefit Sponsorships. For more information please contact Chris Montgomery by email at [email protected], or by phone at (602) 872-7011.

For all information on the Marilynn Smith Arizona Women’s Open week’s activities, visit azgolf.org/azwomensopen.

 

About The Marilynn Smith Scholarship Fund
Marilynn Smith Scholarships are granted annually through The LPGA Foundation. A founding member of the LPGA in 1950, Marilynn established the fund in 1999 with the proceeds of a golf tournament she organized. The objective of the Marilynn Smith Scholarship is to provide scholarships female high school seniors who have played golf in high school or in her community, and are planning to play golf at an accredited college or university in the United States. To date, more than $1 million has been granted to over 200 young women.

About Arizona Golf Foundation
The Arizona Golf Foundation’s purpose is to fund, support and promote all aspects of the Game of Golf in Arizona, with particular attention to public accessibility, youth development, military charities, scholarships and turf research. Visit azgolf.org/donate to learn more about how to support the Foundation’s efforts. With the departure of the LPGA from Arizona, we feel it important to heighten the visibility for elite women’s competitions.

About Longbow Golf Club
Longbow Business Park and Golf Club is a 330-acre, mixed-use development, being developed by Daedalus Real Estate Advisors, that incorporates office, light industrial, retail, hotel and residential uses surrounded by desert vegetation, a main street transportation design and features the award-winning Longbow Golf Club. Troon managed Longbow Golf Club was originally designed by Ken Kavanaugh in 1997. In 2003, Daedalus commissioned Kavanaugh to execute a complete redesign of the golf course creating a complete refresh layout. For more information on Longbow Golf Club, visit longbowgolf.com or call (480) 807-5400.

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.

News

Eaton & Zmistowski Combine to Win Season Opener

MESA, Ariz. – Kim Eaton and Lynn Zmistowski combined to card an Even score at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa to claim the Women’s Season Opener title.  The event, played in a four-ball stroke play format, saw the runner up pairs of Christy Cervetti and Megan Reeves and Molly Steffes and Tori Totlis finish two strokes behind the winning pair of Eaton and Zmistowski. The competitors were faced with a not-so-typical Arizona winter day as cloud cover rolled in alongside persistent high winds which made for an added challenge on the Longbow Golf course.

Eaton opened the front nine decently but it wasn’t until a birdie on the seventh hole where she eventually found her rhythm. Zmistowski complemented Eaton’s birdie with a birdie of her own on the eighth hole followed by a par to finish the front nine under par. On the back nine, Eaton showed her POTY worthy consistency as she made par for each hole, despite bogeys on 15 and 16, the former of which Zmistowski was able to save par for.

RESULTS | PHOTOS

This is the first victory of the competitive season for both Zmistowski and Eaton, who was recently honored as 2021 AGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year. The next upcoming women’s event is the AGA Women’s Four-Ball Championship, April 18-19 at Briarwood Country Club in Sun City West.

 

UP NEXT : AGA Women’s Four-Ball Championship

Be sure to follow the AZ Golf Association on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook for the latest updates.


Women’s Tournament Schedule: https://www.azgolf.org/event-directory/?event_year=2022&event_month=any&event_type=40

Women’s Championship Schedule: https://www.azgolf.org/event-directory/?event_year=2022&event_month=any&event_type=2