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.

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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