News

Bradley, Moxness Lead Marilynn Smith Arizona Women’s Open

 

 

For Immediate Release
May 3, 2022

Media Contact:

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

 

PAT BRADLEY, BARB MOXNESS (-11) TAKE FIRST ROUND LEAD AT INAUGURAL MARILYNN SMITH ARIZONA WOMEN’S OPEN

18th hole eagle puts duo one stroke up on Pat Hurst and Wendy Ward heading into final round

 

MESA – World Golf Hall of Famer Pat Bradley and partner Barb Moxness posted a -11 (61) in the first round of the inaugural Marilynn Smith Arizona Women’s Open’s Senior Division Tuesday at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa. Playing a two-person Scramble format, Bradley and Moxness eagled the closing 18th hole to take a one-shot lead over Pat Hurst and Wendy Ward into the final round.

“Barb hit a great drive, and she hit a great second shot in to about 20-25 feet,” said Bradley, the Team USA Solheim Cup Captain in 2000. “I stood over it and I told Barb, ‘I’m not going to be short on this.’ And I found the right speed and the right line and it went into the hole for eagle.”

Hurst and Ward recorded five birdies on each side to go out and come back in matching 31’s. Birdies on 17 and 18 gave the team solo second place and positive vibes heading into Wednesday’s play.

“Wendy and I definitely ham and egged it pretty well out there,” said Hurst, last year’s Team USA Solheim Cup Captain in Ohio. “We both hit it well, we both putted well, and if we were out on one hole the other one was in. We played pretty well together.”

The team of Brandie Burton and Sandra Palmer is currently tied for third with Lisa DePaulo and Rosie Jones at -8 (64). Burton and Palmer recorded back-to-back birdies to close out the round, giving the duo momentum going into tomorrow’s Four-Ball portion of the event. DePaulo and Jones made four birdies on each side on a clean scorecard for their 64.

But no one could keep up with the white-hot duo of Bradley and Moxness, a 10-year member of the LPGA Tour. They birdied holes five through nine to go out in 29, and then played the last four holes of their round in -4, capped by the eagle on 18. Building momentum and sustaining it was key to the standout round.

“I think we jelled really well – we stayed in the game together and gave ourselves choices, gave ourselves chances,” said Bradley, who has 36 professional wins in her illustrious career. “Barb made some beautiful putts on the front side, and then we got hot on the back with the last four holes.”

Named for LPGA Co-Founder Marilynn Smith, the Arizona Women’s Open’s Senior Division brought out 48 of the country’s best professional and amateur players, competing for a $10,000 first prize and $30,000 total purse. Bradley spoke for many of the players in detailing what brought her to Mesa for the inaugural event.

“Marilynn is one of our role models that we looked up to on the LPGA Tour,” said Bradley, a six-time major winner on the LPGA Tour. “She’s a Founder. If it wasn’t for Marilynn Smith and her friends, we would not have the careers that we had. So, we are grateful that the Arizona Golf Association put this together and put Marilynn Smith’s name upon it. We are both honored to be here in honor of Marilynn.”

“She’s one of our Founders and she has this vision for giving back to the game like we all do,” said Ward, a four-time winner on the LPGA Tour. “She’s taken it to a whole other level and raising money for scholarships for girls to get to have the same opportunities that we did, it just brings it full circle to be able to give back.”

The public is invited out to Longbow Golf Club to watch tomorrow’s final round free of charge. Click Here for a live leaderboard and final round pairings.

 

 

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

What to Know about the First Major of the Year: the AGA Championship

two men hang out on the edge of the practice putting green at aguila golf course

The best amateurs in the state converge at Aguila Golf Course today as they tee it up for the first Major AGA Championship of 2022. Here is what you need to know about the event, field and venue. (Scroll to the bottom for fast facts).

The Event

One of Phoenix’s most popular municipal courses, Aguila Golf Course, plays host to the 33rd AGA Championship, formerly known as the AZ Publinks before changing names in 2018. The 72-hole event will be played in an individual stroke play format and conducted over four days, a new approach for every AGA major championship this year.

With tee times slated to go off at 7:00 am Thursday morning, players will get to take advantage of the cool morning temps, courtesy of the dwindling Arizona winter. There will be no shortage of competition as a 144-person field featuring old and new faces ready themselves to contend for the title. Players will be hoping to advance to Saturday’s third round as a cut to the low 60 players (plus ties) will take place after 36 holes.

The Field

Familiar faces in the field include three recent AGA award winners: Sean O’Donnell (2021 POTY recipient), Bryan Hoops (2021 Mayfair & Masters POTY recipient) and Brad Wayment (2021 Senior POTY recipient). O’Donnell, who’s coming off a win at last month’s San Tan Amateur, is returning to the same event and venue where he earned his first AGA Major victory in 2020. After shooting 70-70-66 for an overall 7-under 206. Surely, he is looking for the same winning outcome this week.

Other notable players in title contention are recent JGAA standouts Mahanth Chirravuri and Joseph Lloyd, as well as AGA Short Course Champion Shankar Natarajan, who is looking for his first AGA Major victory. Chirravuri, a recent JGAA grad, is currently committed to play Division 1 college golf at the University of Southern California while Lloyd is riding out the last semester of his freshman year with the University of Utah men’s golf team.

The Venue

The venue, Aguila Golf Course, situated eight miles southwest of downtown Phoenix at the base of South Mountain, will provide scenic views and a challenging championship level course for the 72-hole stroke play event.

 

Weather Forecast:

four day weather forecast for Laveen, AZ

 

Fast Facts:

Championship Course Aguila Golf Course, Phoenix, AZ
Championship Yardage 7032 | Par 72
Dates March 17-20
Field Size 144
Format 72 holes of individual stroke play
Cut Low 60 players (+ ties) after 36 holes
Tournament Record Score 2019 George Markham  (65, 69, 65) | Overall 14-under 199
Defending Champion Cameron Barzekoff | (69,70,69) | Overall: 2-under 208
Past Champions in the field Past Champions in the field: Sean O’Donnell (2020), Sam Engel (2016), Jimmy Kozikowski (2013)
Pairings & Results: https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/3320754

 

News

Joe Foley Named Executive Director of the AGA

 

For Immediate Release                                                                 
March 10, 2022

Contact:

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

 

SCOTTSDALE – The Executive Committee of the Arizona Golf Association (AGA) has named Joe Foley as Executive Director following an extensive national search. Foley comes to the AGA from the United States Golf Association (USGA), where he served as Director of Regional Affairs for the Midwest Region, and replaces Ed Gowan, who is retiring after 36 years with the AGA.

“It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know the folks from the AGA during this process,” said Foley. “The energy and excitement – if not hysteria – for golf in this state is infectious. I’m so excited to now be a part of it.”

Foley, 33, spent the last eight years with the USGA, rising through the ranks from Manager of Rules and Competitions, to Senior Manager of Corporate Partnerships, to Director of Regional Affairs. Working out of the NYC Metro area, he led the USGA’s business relationships with industry stakeholders in the Midwest, including relationships with state and regional golf associations, USGA committee members and other partners in the region.

“We met many qualified and accomplished candidates in our nationwide search process,” said AGA President Bob McNichols. “Joe Foley fits the experience profile that Ed Gowan brought in 1985 and will have the full support of Arizona golf for years to come. We welcome him and look forward to the success of the Foley Era at Arizona Golf.”

Notably, Foley managed the Rules of Golf Modernization Initiative, culminating with the most comprehensive update to the Rules of Golf in 30 years when released in January 2019. As the USGA’s project manager, he helped direct a cross-functional team of twenty USGA staff members and an external team made up of representatives from The R&A. Foley guided several working groups, including the digital, PR/communications, publications, and education teams, while collaborating with players, influencers, officials, and media over a two-year period by seeking input and building advocates for the initiative. For the first time, golfers and administrators were encouraged to insert their voice into the governance process to help shape the future of the game.

“When it comes to Amateur golf, Joe Foley has as wide a background and experience level, especially with the Rules, Handicapping, Course Rating and Amateur Status as anyone in the industry,” said Gowan, who will continue in a support role for the better part of 2022. “Arizona Golf is blessed to have Joe as its leader.”

“After 36 years of service, Ed has so much to be proud of,” said Foley of his predecessor. “The entire golf community – across the state and beyond – has been influenced and inspired by Ed in some way. It’s now our responsibility to build on his work and legacy in the next chapter of the AGA’s history.”

Prior to the USGA, Foley worked in the Education field, serving as a Finance & Operations Manager for Explore Charter Schools in New York. A 501(c)3 charter management organization, he monitored the fiscal health of four charter schools, reporting to senior administrators and a board of directors. Foley previously volunteered with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in rural Montana after earning his undergraduate degree in Management with an emphasis in Finance from Boston College.

An avid hiker and competitive golfer, Foley carries a 1.5 Index and enjoys playing in regional and national amateur championships. He plans to move to the Scottsdale area by the end of March and begin his tenure as Executive Director of the Arizona Golf Association on April 4.

 

About The 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 more than 600 member clubs, to provide tournament and rules expertise to more than 90,000 members and to oversee the application of amateur status. For more information please visit azgolf.org, and follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

News

Inaugural Marilynn Smith Arizona Women’s Open and Pro-Am Set for May 1-5, 2022

144 top female golfers from across the country to compete for $50K purse at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa

 

SCOTTSDALE – The Arizona Golf Foundation today announced the inaugural Marilynn Smith Arizona Women’s Open and Scholarship Pro-Am, set for May 1-5, 2022 at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa. 144 top professional, amateurs and legends from across the country will compete for a minimum $50,000 purse.

“With the departure of the LPGA from Arizona, we feel it important to heighten the visibility for elite women’s competitions,” said Ed Gowan, Executive Director of the Arizona Golf Association. “This first Marilynn Smith AZ Women’s Open will raise the bar.”

“Marilynn Smith lived her life as a trailblazer, uplifting, befriending and making a difference for others,” said Debbie Waitkus, Chair of the Marilynn Smith & Founders’ Legacy Foundation. “She would be incredibly pleased to know that her annual Scholarship Pro-Am is part a new opportunity in Arizona for women to compete at a high level.”

The three-day, 54-hole Open Division will tee off Tuesday, May 3, with 104 players playing three rounds each. At the same time, a 40-player Senior Division featuring 20 two-person teams made up of Legends Tour and former LPGA Tour professionals, will play a two-day, 36-hole scramble and four-ball format. The minimum $50,000 purse will be divided as follows: 70% going to the Open Division, and 30% going to the Senior Division.

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 a 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.

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. 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, 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 a scholarship to a female high school senior who has played golf in high school or in her community and is planning to play golf at an accredited college or university in the United States. The Marilynn Smith Scholarship is awarded to high school seniors who will play golf at the collegiate level. To date, more than $1 million has been granted to over 200 young women. Eight $5,000 scholarships will be awarded in 2022.

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.

 

 

Media Contact:

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

Player Contact:

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

News

Highlighting Golf Trailblazers: The Desert Mashie Golf Club

A large group of individuals pose for a picture in front of a clubhouse.

Photo credits: Desert Mashie Facebook page

As Black History Month comes to a close, we reflect on a member of our most recent Hall of Fame class: The Desert Mashie Golf Club. Passion, pride and perseverance are just a few words that come to mind when you hear the Desert Mashie Golf Club name.

The club, which was formed in 1946 by a group of Phoenix area golf enthusiasts after a round at Encanto Golf Course, has grown into a community focused organization that boasts almost 200 members. However, at the time Encanto Golf Course was the only facility in the city where minorities were allowed to play golf. Thus, they created an organization “for all persons interested in golf regardless of race, or ethnicity,” with Encanto as its home course.

With that, 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

WATCH:

Just a few years later in 1950, Desert Mashie Golf Club joined the United States Golf Association (USGA) and maintains its membership to this day. In 1953, Desert Mashie Golf Club became a charter member of the Western States Golf Association (WSGA). The founding members of the club were Dr. Thomas A. Crump, Aubrey C. Aldridge, Earl Le Near, Earnest S. Bartlett, Dr. Lowell C. Wormley, Curtis “Dock” Earl, William Robbie” Robinson, Ray Mercado and Densil Perdue.

As a result, the Desert Mashies trailblazed a path over the next 75 years in the golf community all the while championing diversity, inclusiveness and youth development. With youth development being a main focus for the organization they created the annual “Desert Mashie Spring Championship” in 1981, which became a sanctioned JGAA event in 1992. Today, they are recognized as one of the oldest public golf clubs in Arizona.

Visit the following resources to learn more about The Desert Mashie Golf Club and African American Golf History: