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2019 San Tan Amateur

Registration for the 2019 San Tan Amateur, on February 23th-24th, is now open

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Remembering an Arizona Golf Hall of Famer

Born and raised in Dalton, Massachusetts, Bill Emerson attended the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, a Division of the University of Massachusetts. He received an Associate’s Degree in Turf Grass Management in May 1961.
From 1962 through 1982, Emerson maintained some of the finest golf clubs in the Mid-Atlantic including Chevy Chase Club, Towson G&CC, Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, Crofton GC, and Stockbridge GC. He was a driving force within the Mid-Atlantic Association of Golf Course Superintendents. He served as President of the Association in 1977 and 1978. Emerson also served in other organizations, including the Maryland Turf Grass Council and the O.J. Noer Turf Grass Foundation. In 1982, he earned the title of Certified Golf Course Superintendent.
In 1983, Emerson moved west to Arizona and became the superintendent of Paradise Valley Country Club. During his twelve years at the club, he revolutionized golf course maintenance standards. Bill recognized the need for turfgrass research in Arizona and, along with other golf industry leaders and six private clubs developed the Par Committee. This committee was instrumental in funding University of Arizona turfgrass research and working with the Arizona Department of Water Resources on manageable water regulations.
Emerson became a leader among the Cactus and Pine, providing organization and development to the growing organization and was instrumental in taking it from a loosely structured chapter to an organized group of industry leaders. He served many years as the Cactus and Pine Treasurer. He was also the first President of the Cactus and Pine Foundation. In 1996, Bill received the Art Snyder Award for his distinguished service.
After leaving Paradise Valley Country Club in 1995, Bill worked with several golf-related management companies (Green Releaf, Golf Sat, Floratine and Arizona Sport Turf) bringing revolutionary golf course technology to many golf courses. These products seemed far-fetched in the 90’s; but have become mainstays in today’s practices. Bill has never stopped mentoring or working with today’s Superintendent and being a voice of reason.
Bill’s contribution to Arizona golf cannot be pinpointed to one monumental event. Bill has consistently and purposefully raised the standard, bringing all the entities of golf together here in the Southwest. His leadership has spearheaded education, awareness, and growth in the state of Arizona.

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Jackson Claims Victory at the 2018 Patriot All-America

2018 Patriot All-America Champion, Isaiah Jackson

Litchfield Park, AZ- After three days and 54 holes Isaiah Jackson, a junior at the University of Memphis, walked off the 18th green as the 2018 Patriot All-America Champion. He fired an even-par-70 on the final round, to end at five-under 205 with the victory.
After firing a 67 in round one, Jackson shared the lead with 2017 Patriot All-America Champion, Mason Overstreet. Jackson headed into the final round in the co-lead after his second-round 68.
With the challenging weather conditions on the third and final round, Jackson mixed four bogeys with two birdies on the front nine, managing to take sole possession of the lead.
“I knew the conditions were going to be tough. Today’s probably the coldest and toughest conditions I’ve played, except for about three years ago in Atlanta.”
At one shot ahead of Grand Valley State University junior, Alex Scott, Jackson managed to sink three birdies with a sole bogey on the final nine to determine his victory by three shots.
“I just tried to stick to my game plan, stay within myself, continue hitting good shots and making putts, and that was pretty much it. Coming off 18, everybody started clapping when I hit the par putt, so I just assumed I had won you know. I didn’t know I was in the lead by three, so it feels pretty good,” said the 2018 Patriot All-America Champion.
Finishing tied for second, Alex Scott from Grand Valley State University and Quade Cummins from the University of Oklahoma carded a three-day total of 208. UCLA senior, Jack Ireland, overcame the unfriendly weather, firing a seven-under 63, the tournament record low-round. Entering the day 12 shots behind the leader, the Bruin moved up the leaderboard to tie for 5th.
This prestigious tournament is unique from other collegian tournaments because the field of 84 is aligned with a fallen or wounded soldier who has made the ultimate sacrifice. Each player is provided with a PING golf bag bearing the name and a story card of an American soldier. At the conclusion of the tournament, each bag is shipped back to the golfer’s school, then auctioned off to benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation.
Isaiah Jackson honored his great-grandfather, U.S. Army Private First Class Willie B. McGill who made the ultimate sacrifice in combat during World War II.
“Being able to represent a fallen soldier or injured soldier, that is something you do not see a lot. It makes it even better that I am representing my great-grandfather on the bag this week,” said Jackson.
Along with his 2018 Patriot All-America victory, Jackson will receive a sponsor exemption to the 2019 Air Capital Classic played in June at Crestview Country Club in Wichita, Kansas.
With a combined effort from the Arizona Golf Association, Golf Coaches Association of America and the Wigwam Golf Resort, this marks the 8th Patriot All-America Invitational. The field features PING All-Americans from the previous season in NCAA Divisions I, II and III, as well as All-Americans from the NAIA, NJCAA and AJGA ranks.

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Junior Golf Association of Arizona Honors Standout Junior Golfers at Annual Awards Banquet

2018 Player of the Year Award Recipients
2018 Sportsmanship Award Recipients

The JGAA announced the 2018 Sportsmanship and Player of the Year Awards across five age divisions at the annual awards banquet held October 21 at Moon Valley Country Club.
“As we look forward to the 2019 season, it’s important to take a moment to honor our shining stars of 2018,” said Scott McNevin, Executive Director of the JGAA. “Ashley and Hayden certainly played well all season long, and we also saw a bunch of new faces making the list. Congratulations to the players, and thank you to all of the sponsors, parents, volunteers, golf clubs and supporters of the JGAA for making the 2018 season a successful and rewarding experience for the juniors.”
By earning Player of the Year honors in the Girls Championship division for the third consecutive year (2016-2018), Ashley Menne, 16, has become a permanent fixture at the awards banquet. Moreover, the Surprise resident won the points race in the Girls 13-14 division in 2015 as well as Girls 11-12 division in 2014 and 2013. All told, she has been the player of the year for an astonishing six consecutive years across four JGAA age divisions.
Hayden Sayre, 17, of Phoenix, is the 2018 JGAA Player of the Year in Boys Championship division, an achievement he also accomplished in 2016, before finishing in fifth place for 2017. In his five years playing JGAA tournaments, Sayer placed 21st on the list in 2013 in the Boys 11-12 division; and ninth in 2014 and second in 2015 in the Boys 13-14 division. For more information, contact Scott McNevin ([email protected]), JGAA Executive Director, visit www.jgaa.org or call 602-944-6168.

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Arizona Well-Represented at the 38th U.S. Mid-Amateur

The USGA accepted 4,709 applicants and Arizona’s own managed to clinch eight of the 238 available spots. Aaron Friedman, Bryan Hoops, Peter Ianello, Chris Kamin, Sean O’Donnell, Michael Martin, Shankar Natarajan, and Adam Walicki will tee off at Charlotte Country Club for the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
Aaron Friedman, of Scottsdale, fired a one-under 71, resulting in a six-for-two playoff at Moon Valley Country Club. Friedman was the first to survive after a birdie on the second playoff hole. This will be his first U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
It’s not inconceivable that 22-time USGA qualifier, Bryan Hoops, is one of only ten players in the field with ten or more U.S. Mid-Amateur appearances. Bryan Hoops (Chandler, AZ) grabbed the sole qualifying spot at Red Hawks Golf Club after a bogey-free round of 69. Hoops is a two-time AGA Player of the Year and two-time Arizona Mid-Amateur Champion.
After a six-for-two playoff, it was Peter Ianello’s birdie on the fifth playoff hole at Moon Valley Country Club that determined the final spot in the U.S. Mid-Amateur field. The Scottsdale resident proves his golf game is strong, qualifying just three weeks later for the U.S. Four-Ball Championship, with his partner Bennett Blakeman. This will mark his second U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
Chris Kamin (Phoenix, AZ) came out on top with medalist honors, after carding an impressive four-under 67 at Moon Valley Country Club. The 44-year-old, Bradley University golf alumni, played on mini-tours before reinstating his amateur status.
Sean O’Donnell (Glendale, AZ) was the second player at Moon Valley Country Club to punch his ticket to Charlotte. After finishing as an alternate in his last USGA qualifier, O’Donnell shot a two-under 70, walking off the greens as a 38th U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifier.
After carding a one-under 70, Michael Martin bagged the fourth and final qualifying spot at Stoneridge Golf Club in Stillwater, Minnesota. Martin, 34, of Scottsdale, will be playing in his second U.S. Championship of the year, after advancing with his partner to the round-of- 32 at the U.S. Four-Ball Championship.
Shankar Natarajan (Phoenix, AZ) clinched the final qualifying spot at Redlands Country Club in Redlands, California. His one-under-par 69 forced a two-for-one playoff, resulting in a victory for Shankar.
With a three-under 69 at Annandale golf Club in Pasadena, California, Adam Walicki (Phoenix, AZ) claimed the second qualifying spot.  The 2003 USGA Men’s State Team Championship low individual is no stranger to the U.S. Mid-Amateur, having played in six of the last eight.
The USGA is known for hosting ten of the world’s most desirable amateur championships. The U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship will land at Charlotte Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina for the first time in history, September 22-27, 2018.
For the full list of pairings and tee times: Click Here