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

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.

 

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