Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Rolex Testimonees take centre stage at 2017 Presidents Cup

(Geneva, Switzerland) – From 26 September to 1 October, Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey will host the 2017 edition of the biennial Presidents Cup. The world’s finest golfers representing the United States and the International Team will be there, all vying for the prestigious honor of being crowned Presidents Cup champions for the next two years.  

First held in 1994 and partnered by Rolex since 2010, this year’s Presidents Cup marks the 12th edition of the tournament, comprised of a series of foursome, four-ball and singles matches for each team to compete over.  

This will be Liberty National Golf Club’s first time hosting the Presidents Cup. Now in its 12th year, the venue boasts stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan just across the Hudson River.  

The 2017 Presidents Cup is an important event for Rolex Testimonees Steve Stricker and Nick Price who have been announced as the Captains for the U.S. Team and the International Team, respectively. They will be tasked with leading the top 10 players from their regions, plus two Captains’ picks each. Five captain’s assistants will be present to assist both Stricker and Price, including, for the U.S. Team, Rolex Testimonees Fred Couples, Tiger Woods and Davis Love III.

This year marks the first time Testimonee Stricker will lead the U.S. Team, although neither he nor Price is a stranger to the Presidents Cup. Throughout his illustrious 27-year career Stricker played an integral part in five U.S. Team wins: 1996, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. Price has played in five tournaments including the 1998 edition where the International Team recorded its only win of the series to date, and also served as Captain in 2013 and 2015. To date, 18 members of the Rolex family of Testimonees have participated as either a player or Captain.

GOLFING LEGENDS AND ROLEX TESTIMONEES TURNING BACK THE YEARS
The year 2017 is special as it marks Rolex’s enduring 50-year relationship with the game of golf. It all began in 1967 with Arnold Palmer, joined by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Known together as ‘The Big Three’, these legendary players changed the face of golf forever, and their partnership with Rolex as the first golf Testimonees marked the beginnings of a relationship based on a quest for perfection, excellence and sportsmanship. This year also sees the introduction of the Junior Presidents Cup, in collaboration with the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) – an organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf – of which Rolex has been a Premier Partner since 1986. The Junior Presidents Cup provides the top 24 non-European players, under the age of 19, the chance to experience international match play and push the limits of their abilities against the best in their sport.  

The honorary captains for the Junior U.S. and International Teams are Rolex Testimonees Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. As captains of the 2003 Presidents Cup, these two giants of the sport agreed to share the trophy – the only tie in the history of the tournament – after three gruelling playoff holes between fellow Testimonee Tiger Woods and Ernie Els failed to declare a winner. The incredible sportsmanship and respect shown by the pair epitomizes Rolex’s traditions and history. Add to that fellow Rolex Testimonee Trevor Immelman as International Team Captain, for a Junior Presidents Cup with three first-class ambassadors from which the next generation of golfers can learn.  
Rolex became a partner of the Presidents Cup in 2010, and speaking on the longevity of the alliance, Presidents Cup Executive Director Matt Kamienski said: “2017 is a very exciting year for the Presidents Cup as we introduce the Junior competition and continue to align our ideals with our partners, including Rolex. Rolex has a long-standing history with the AJGA, as well as to the PGA TOUR, highlighting its commitment to supporting golf at every level of the game. The Junior Presidents Cup provides the perfect opportunity for those young golfers to understand the importance of our partnership with Rolex. We look forward to continue working with Rolex to ensure the Junior Presidents Cup becomes a hotbed of young talent.”  

Speaking about the 2017 Junior Presidents Cup, Rolex Testimonee Trevor Immelman said: “It’s an honour to represent the Junior International Team as its first Captain. The AJGA, in partnership with Rolex, has helped pave the way for some of golf’s leading talents to succeed as professionals, including Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler. I am looking forward to helping the best junior golfers from outside of the United States and Europe to emulate their success and gain experience competing in team match play at an international level.”

THE PRESIDENTS CUP TEAMS
The U.S. Team is chosen from the 10 players who earn the most FedEx-Cup points over the last two years, while the International Team will be formed of the top 10 eligible players in the Official World Golf Ranking Both teams are rounded out by two Captains’ picks to ensure the best roster in the sport.

Representing their teams at this year’s Presidents Cup will be several members of the Rolex New Guard, a group of young, ambitious golfers who, through their skill, presence and achievements, are becoming the focal point of golf’s new elite. This new generation will compete alongside, and against, some more experienced members of the Rolex family of Testimonees, among them Presidents Cup legends and multiple-Major champions.

In the U.S. Team, these include three 2017 Major winners: Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas; the 2015 winner of THE PLAYERS Championship Rickie Fowler; two-time PGA TOUR winner Daniel Berger and five-time Major winner Phil Mickelson, who has played in every Presidents Cup since the match’s inception in 1994.

Rolex Testimonees joining the International Team include Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, whose 2016-17 season includes three PGA TOUR wins (including two World Golf Championships) and top-15 finishes in each of the year’s Majors; Australia’s Jason Day and Adam Scott, who will play their fourth and eighth Presidents Cups, respectively; and Anirban Lahiri from India, who has 18 career wins to his name.

Speaking on the importance of the Presidents Cup, Rolex Testimonee Jason Day said: “This year will mark my fourth Presidents Cup appearance, and it’s an honor that never diminishes. Rolex has been an important partner of the Presidents Cup since 2010 and its enduring commitment to golf helps create an inimitable sense of tradition and history around the tournament.”

WORLD GOLF HALL OF FAME
The 2017 Presidents Cup week commences with the World Golf Hall of Fame 2017 Induction Ceremony on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 in nearby New York City. Among those to be inducted is Rolex Testimonee Lorena Ochoa, from Mexico, whose impact on the LPGA was immediate, earning her the title of 2003 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year. During her impressive career, Ochoa won two Major Championships – the Women’s British Open 2007 and the ANA Inspiration in 2008 – amassed 27 victories on the LPGA Tour, and topped the Rolex Rankings for 158 consecutive weeks between 2007-2010.

More information: www.rolex.com

Daytona Beach Golf Courses Reopen Quickly After Hurricane Irma

World’s Most Famous Beach is Ready to Welcome Golfers

(Daytona Beach, Fla.) – Emerging from the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Daytona Beach golf courses have reopened and are welcoming players back to layouts with outstanding conditions as the fall golf season approaches.

After making landfall in South Florida, Irma brought high winds and rain to much of the state but Florida’s east coast was very fortunate and avoided the worst of the storm as it passed to west.

“Daytona Beach area golf courses are reporting that most of the damage they received was cosmetic, requiring cleanup but not long term recovery,” said Kate Holcomb, the Daytona Beach Area CVB’s Director of Communications. “As we head into fall, we are very fortunate to be able to welcome golfers back to Daytona Beach.”

Daytona Beach golf courses didn’t escape unscathed as most were closed for a couple days immediately after the storm, but they didn’t have to address major structural problems.

“We fared very well,” Mike Glenn, LPGA International’s General Manager, said of how his property emerged from Hurricane Irma. “We were open after a couple days of cleanup. The courses are in great shape, and you wouldn’t know there was a storm.”

The reasons for Daytona Beach’s increasing popularity as a golf destination are three-fold: the area is home to outstanding public courses, the value is tremendous, and the location ensures a good time on and off the course.

Golf course options are a driving force behind every trip and the Daytona Beach area, home to more than 20 layouts and a short drive from many more, delivers on that account.

Enjoyable as Daytona Beach’s golf offerings are, the ability to pair them with accommodations for stay-and-play packages maximizes value and makes planning much easier for group leaders. With nearly 30 different golf packages available, Daytona Beach has the ability to cater to any nearly type of trip.

An integral part of any great buddies trip is what happens off the course, and few destinations in America can come close to matching Daytona Beach’s offerings, starting with 23 miles of beautiful Atlantic Ocean beaches.

Golfers can enjoy the thrill of a great round in the morning and the exhilaration of a guided tour around Daytona International Speedway, highlighted by the opportunity to experience the track’s 31-degree high bank corners for themselves.

For more information, go to DaytonaBeach.Golf.

Major Series of Putting Announces Flagship Event 'One Putt for One Drop' Tournament, Nov. 4 -5, 2017

Celebrity Guests include Mardy Fish, Jack Wagner, Eric Gagné, Josh Beckett and Daniel Negreanu

(LAS VEGAS) – Major Series of Putting (MSOP) will host a special “One Putt for One Drop” tournament Nov. 4 – 5, 2017. The high roller tournament will feature a variety of celebrities playing to benefit One Drop, an international foundation created by Cirque du Soleil’s founder Guy Laliberté in 2007.

Guest celebrities include American former professional tennis player Mardy Fish and American actor Jack Wagner. Also joining the competition are Canadian former professional baseball pitcher Eric Gagné, American former professional baseball pitcher Josh Beckett and professional poker player and MSOP ambassador Daniel Negreanu.

“We are thrilled to add another high-quality event to our tournament and are honored to have the support of notable figures in the sports and entertainment world,” said Guillaume Béland, president and general manager for MSOP. “There’s no limit to what guests can expect at the MSOP Championships this fall.”

A limited number of spots are open for amateur players to putt against celebrity guests for an admission fee of $11,111 of which $1,111 will be donated to One Drop. The nonprofit is dedicated to providing access to safe water and sanitation to improve the living conditions of some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

The event is open to the public for viewing. Tickets to the One Putt for One Drop tournament will be complimentary. More information about ticketing will be released shortly.

Deemed as the biggest putting tournament in history, the 2017 MSOP Championships are scheduled to take place Oct. 27 – Nov. 5 in Las Vegas. The event will offer a wide variety of putting tournaments including singles and team events in stroke play and match play formats with exclusive events including the One Putt for One Drop tournament.

MSOP is holding qualifying events throughout North America in collaboration with golf courses in an effort to find the best putter in the world. For more information on MSOP, the One Putt for One Drop event and upcoming qualifiers, visit www.msop.com.

Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds to Open This Fall at Reynolds Lake Oconee

State-of-the-Art Facility Offers Sport Shooting & Archery

(Greensboro, Ga.) – The initial phase of the Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds is scheduled to debut this fall at Reynolds Lake Oconee, offering a variety of outdoor experiences at the award-winning community located on 12,000 acres surrounded by the majestic Lake Oconee, between Atlanta and Augusta.

Named for the beautiful stream that flows into Lake Oconee and shapes the property’s topography, Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds is under the design direction of international shooting champion Justin Jones of Great Britain, one of the world’s foremost experts in the development and management of elite resort shooting facilities.

The Sporting Grounds complex encompasses nearly 100 acres and features a 20-station sporting clays course, five-stand shooting range and air rifle facility, as well as archery and instructional/games areas and a hiking course. The guest center will be adjacent to the existing, 1800s-era Sandy Creek Barn and a 40-acre lake.

“Not only do we have the best collection of golf courses in Georgia, but now we will have one of the most impressive sportsman’s venues in the country,” said Rabun Neal, president at Reynolds Lake Oconee. “Indeed, Reynolds Lake Oconee has it all.”

The Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds project is the latest in a multi-million-dollar improvement plan designed to touch nearly every facet of the Reynolds Lake Oconee community and resort.

The aesthetic of the 20-station Sporting Clays course is created much like a golf course. The first key element is variation and interest in the overall “hole-by-hole” layout that embraces the natural topography of the land. The clays course is laid out in a series of stations (holes) with each specifically designed to offer shot variation of length, angle and trajectory, emulating the unpredictable and challenging nature of a classic British shoot, with clays launched at a variety of speeds, trajectories, angles, elevations, and distances.

It is in such variety that shooters are challenged throughout the course with a diverse mixture of shot selections. The stands have been individually designed and created with the assistance of the Reynolds Signature Homes architectural design team. Great Britain-based Promatic International, the leading manufacturer of shooting club machinery and equipment, has been retained for its services as well, and its solar-powered units are in use throughout the course.

Certified instructors will be available for lessons, and a personal guide will accompany guests through all activities.   Shooters on the sporting clays course will traverse the course in a specially-outfitted sporting clays buggy. Fishing and water sports activities (kayak, canoe, motorized paddleboards) are also available at the Sporting Grounds.

Already recognized among the “25 Best Golf Communities in North America” by GOLF Magazine, Reynolds Lake Oconee is not only building a world-class sporting facility, but is building on its long-established reputation as an outstanding place to live.

Reynolds Lake Oconee has 117 holes of golf, all designed by legendary golf architects, including Jack Nicklaus, Rees Jones and Tom Fazio. Beyond the “Top 100” ranked golf courses and additional sporting activities, the Reynolds community offers a wide array of recreational opportunities along the more than 350 miles of Lake Oconee shoreline.

Vacation guests at Reynolds can choose from individual cottages within the private gates, while enjoying a variety of amenities. Accommodations also are available at The Ritz-Carlton.  A variety of vacation packages, some incorporating golf and shooting, will be available.

For more information about Reynolds Lake Oconee, visit www.reynoldslakeoconee.com or call (877) 809-3324.

TOUR Championship, DAP Championship Headline NBC Sports Group Tournament TV

PGA TOUR Season Culminates at TOUR Championship; Spieth, Thomas, Johnson, Leishman & Rahm Would Claim FedExCup with Win at East Lake

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – The PGA TOUR season culminates at the TOUR Championship in Atlanta this week, with each of the top-5 players in the current FedExCup standings (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Marc Leishman, Jon Rahm) guaranteed to claim the FedExCup and accompanying $10 million bonus with a victory. NBC Sports Group will provide more than 20 hours of live tournament coverage from East Lake Golf Club.

The Web.com Tour Finals continue this week with the  DAP Championship in Ohio, the third leg of the four-event series.

The PGA TOUR Champions field will tee it up at famed Pebble Beach alongside First Tee participants from across the country in a team event at the PURE Insurance Championship.

On the European Tour, three-time major champion Padraig Harrington will defend his 2016 title at the Portugal Masters.

PGA TOUR
TOUR Championship
Dates: Sept. 21-24
Venue: East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Ga.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 1-6 p.m. (Live) / 7 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)
Friday 1-6 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday 12:30-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday Noon-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday 2:30-6:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday 1:30-6 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Top-5 in FedExCup Standings have clear path to winning FedExCup: As points reset ahead of the TOUR Championship, every player in the field technically will have a mathematical chance of winning the FedExCup. However, the top-5 in the standings are only players guaranteed to win the FedExCup and $10 million first place bonus with a victory this week. The top-5 in the standings include: Jordan Spieth (1), Justin Thomas (2), Dustin Johnson (3), Marc Leishman (4) and Jon Rahm (5).

Nines reversed once again at East Lake: Last year, the PGA TOUR made the decision to flip the nines at East Lake Golf Club in hopes of creating a more dramatic finish down the closing stretch. This week, the new routing of the tournament will continue for the second consecutive year.

TOUR Championship field: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Marc Leishman, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Paul Casey, Pat Perez, Matt Kuchar, Charley Hoffman, Daniel Berger, Jason Day, Webb Simpson, Jhonattan Vegas, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Chappell, Brian Harman, Adam Hadwin, Kyle Stanley, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Sergio Garcia, Xander Schauffele, Russell Henley, Gary Woodland, Patrick Cantlay and Jason Dufner.

Golf Channel / NBC Broadcast Team:
Play by Play: Terry Gannon (Golf Channel) / Dan Hicks (NBC)
Analyst: Frank Nobilo (Golf Channel) / Johnny Miller (NBC)
Tower: Gary Koch / Peter Jacobsen / Mark Rolfing / David Feherty / Steve Sands
On-Course: Roger Maltbie / Notah Begay / Jim “Bones” Mackay / Mark Rolfing
Interviews: Todd Lewis (Golf Channel) / Steve Sands (NBC)
Essays: Jimmy Roberts

WEB.COM TOUR
DAP Championship
Dates: Sept. 21-24
Venue: Canterbury Golf Club, Cleveland, Ohio

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live)
Friday 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live) / 5:30-7 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday 2:30-5:30 p.m. (Live) / 5:30-7 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Live) / 5-7 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Web.com Tour Finals continue with third-leg of four: The DAP Championship will be staged as the third of four events encompassing the Web.com Tour Finals. The final event, the Web.com Tour Championship, will take place Sept. 28-Oct. 1 at Atlantic Beach Country Club outside of Jacksonville, Fla.

Players eligible to compete: Eligible players for the Web.com Tour Finals are Nos. 1-75 on the Web.com Tour’s regular season money list, as well as Nos. 126-200 in the FedExCup standings following last month’s Wyndham Championship (less those with exemptions), plus non-members who earned enough equivalent FedExCup points to finish within the 126-200 range. Cumulative earnings in these four tournaments will determine an additional 25 PGA Tour cards and the positioning of all 50 players who earn cards on the initial 2017-2018 PGA TOUR tournament priority list.

Headlining the field: Beau Hossler, Chesson Hadley, Ben Crane, Angel Cabrera, Peter Uihlein, Rob Oppenheim, Tom Lovelady, Ryan Armour, Jonathan Randolph and Alex Cejka.

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:
Play by Play: John Swantek
Analyst: Craig Perks
Tower: Steve Burkowski
On-Course: Phil Blackmar / Gary Christian

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
PURE Insurance Championship
Dates: Sept. 22-24
Venue: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Poppy Hills Golf Course, Pebble Beach, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday 6-9 p.m. (Live) / 2:30-5:30 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday 5:30-9 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday 6-9 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
First Tee pro-am: The tournament features 81 PGA TOUR Champions players, 81 junior golfers from ages ranging 14-18 from the First Tee program, and 162 amateurs. Teams will play one round on each course over the first two days, with 23 pro-junior teams along with 10 two-player amateur teams advancing to the final round at Pebble Beach alongside the professionals.

Broadhurst defends: Paul Broadhurst finished with an 11-under total to edge out Bernhard Langer by one shot in 2016.

Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Davis Love III, Kenny Perry, Jerry Kelly, Vijay Singh, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo, Rocco Mediate, Paul Goydos and Fred Funk.

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:
Play by Play: Whit Watson
Analyst: Lanny Wadkins
Tower: John Mahaffey
On-course: Billy Ray Brown
Interviews: Lisa Cornwell

EUROPEAN TOUR
Portugal Masters
Dates: Sept. 21-24
Venue: Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, Vilamoura, Portugal

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday 6:30-8:30 a.m.
Friday 6:30-8:30 a.m.
Saturday 8-11 a.m. (Live)
Sunday 8-11 a.m. (Live) / 4:30-6 p.m. (Tape delay)

Broadcast notes:
Harrington defends: Padraig Harrington won in 2016 for his first victory on the European Tour since 2008.

Headlining the field: Padraig Harrington, Andy Sullivan, Danny Willett, Thomas Bjorn, Thomas Pieters, Shane Lowry, Russell Knox and Thorbjorn Olesen.

Golf Channel Broadcast Team:
Play-by-Play: Dougie Donnelly
Analyst: Ken Brown
On-Course: Jay Townsend

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Nexbelt Tour Staff Professional Marc Leishman captures wire-to-wire victory at BMW Championship

(RANCHO CUCAMONGA) - Nexbelt, "The Fastest Growing Belt in Golf,"announced that Nexbelt Tour Staff Professional, Marc Leishman, won the BMW Championship, held at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, Illinois this past weekend.

Two weeks after finishing T-3rd at the Dell Technologies Championship, Leishman, bounced back to lead wire-to-wire at the third FedEx Cup playoff event of the season.

Leishman wears the X-Factor Golf Series belt on Tour which features Nexbelt's patented flip down face and hidden ball marker.

Leishman fired rounds of 62, 64, 68 and 67 to grab a five-stroke victory over the field. This was his third time winning on the PGA Tour and he is now ranked 4th on the FedEx Cup Points List going into the Players Championship, the final event of the season, that will determine who becomes the 2017 FedEx Cup Champion.

"Watching Marc's wife Audrey cheer her husband on to victory Sunday at the BMW Championship with their 2-month-old baby in her arms was by far the most rewarding part of this victory," said Eddie Rowland, Co-Founder of Nexbelt. "You'd never know the dire situation she faced just two years ago. It's a testament to how strong a family bond they have and I couldn't be happier for Marc and all his success."

Two years ago, Leishman rushed home from Augusta National where he was preparing for the Masters as his wife, Audrey, was facing a diagnosis of sepsis, a life-threatening compilation of bacterial infections that caused doctors to induce a coma. She was given just a 5 percent chance of survival.

"I think when things are good and settled in your personal life, it makes it easier to perform in your professional life,'' said Audrey Leishman while her husband was being congratulated by fellow players. "We've had a great year personally, professionally. We're really happy and blessed.''

Nexbelt is the "The Fastest Growing Belt In Golf." Its team of Staff Professionals for 2017 includes PGA Tour Players, Jim Furyk, Kevin Na, Marc Leishman, William McGirt, Jason Bohn, Jarrod Lyle, Greg Chalmers and LPGA Tour Player Katie Burnett.

Nexbelt is known for its innovative technology and providing golfers with the maximum comfort and minimal adjusting. The unique ratcheting system called PreciseFit allows the wearer to adjust the belt in ¼ inch increments, providing the golfer with the best fit, feel, and fashion available.

Nexbelt's DRIVE Vision ...
Deliver what we Promise with Integrity.
Retain the Human touch
Invest in Good People generously.
Value our Customers Unconditionally.
Embrace Change with Innovation.

For more information about Nexbelt, visit www.Nexbelt.com.

USGA to Relocate 31st U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur from Quail Creek Country Club in Naples, Fla.

(FAR HILLS, N.J.) – The 31st U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, originally slated for Oct. 7-12 at Quail Creek Country Club in Naples, Fla., will be relocated to a new venue to be identified at a later date, the USGA announced Tuesday.

This follows last week’s announcement that the championship would be postponed due to the impact of Hurricane Irma on the region, including extensive flooding and damage sustained by Quail Creek’s course and clubhouse.

“Our thoughts continue to be with our good friends at Quail Creek, and with everyone affected by this storm as they continue to recover and rebuild,” said Rachel Sadowski, U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship director. “The USGA remains committed to conducting this championship, and we are working diligently to secure a new venue that provides the ultimate test of golf for these exceptional athletes.”

Players were notified via email Tuesday of the change. More information on a revised date and venue will be delivered as plans are solidified.

For more information on the championship, visit www.usga.org/womensmidam.