Saturday, March 25, 2017

2017 Tourney Time for McConnell Golf

McConnell Golf offers an impressive calendar of events, highlighted by 18 professional, collegiate, amateur or elite junior level events contested on McConnell Golf courses

(RALEIGH, N.C.) — During its nearly 15-year existence, McConnell Golf has forged a reputation for touching all the right bases through its stable of private clubs. The company’s member-first, high-quality approach includes a wide variety of locations throughout the Carolinas from the mountains to the coast and now into Tennessee, as well as an honor roll of golf course architects — legendary names including Donald Ross, Arnold Palmer, Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Greg Norman and Hale Irwin.

Equally impressive is the list of tournament championships hosted annually by McConnell Golf courses. The company’s 2017 calendar of events is particularly impressive, featuring 18 professional, collegiate, amateur or elite junior level events contested on highly regarded McConnell Golf courses this year.

As a result of North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2 (HB2) that has affected several NCAA and ACC championships in the state of North Carolina, the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Golf Championships were relocated in October from long standing venues in North Carolina to a pair of McConnell Golf facilities in South Carolina. “McConnell Golf deeply values our relationship with the ACC,” said McConnell Vice President of Golf Operations Brian Kittler. “We are proud to have quality venues in South Carolina available that will allow us to host both the Men’s and Women’s Championships on short notice.”

The 2017 Women’s ACC Golf Championship will be played April 13-15 at The Reserve Golf Club in Pawleys Island, S.C., following a nine-year run at McConnell’s Sedgefield Country Club Ross in Greensboro, N.C. In last year’s tournament, Virginia defended its title after becoming the first-ever champion from outside the state of North Carolina in 2015. The Reserve was designed by Greg Norman and has played host to numerous important events including the 1999 South Carolina Open, the 2001-02 Carolinas Opens, 2003-05 Carolinas PGA Section Championships, 2012 South Carolina Senior Championship, 2014 South Carolina Amateur and 2016 Carolinas Women’s Amateur.

The Men’s ACC Golf Championship will be contested April 21-23 at the Arnold Palmer-designed Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton, S.C., after 15 consecutive years at McConnell’s Old North State Club in New London, N.C. Last year, the Clemson Tigers won their 10th conference championship and first since 2004.

In other events being contested over McConnell Golf courses in 2017, the South Carolina Golf Association (SCGA) held its 24th Senior Four-Ball Championship on March 20-21 at The Reserve GC. Musgrove Mill member Walter Todd and Eddie Hargett used a birdie on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff over Todd Hendley and Bobby Hines to defend their title. East Carolina University will play host to its own Pirate Intercollegiate on April 2-4 at MCG’s Brook Valley Country Club in Greenville, N.C. ECU won by 23 shots last year at Brook Valley. On April 10, today’s scholastic stars will visit Treyburn Country Club in Durham, N.C., the site of the 11th McConnell Golf/TYGA North Carolina High School Invitational. Last year’s event was won by Myers Park of Charlotte.

The Carolinas Golf Association (CGA)’s 37th Carolinas Mid-Amateur Championship will be contested April 21-23 at Providence Country Club in Charlotte, N.C., while the CGA’s 40th Carolinas Club Championship will be played on April 24 at Sedgefield Ross. Finally it’s back to Treyburn for the CGA’s Ladies Four-Ball Event on May 15. And, not to be outdone by their neighbors up north, the SCGA’s 54th Four-Ball Championship will also be played at a McConnell Golf course on May 24-28 at Musgrove Mill.

Since 2001, the Web.Com Tour’s REX Hospital Open has been played at McConnell Golf’s TPC Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, N.C. The 2017 REX Hospital Open will be June 1-4. Earlier this year, McConnell Golf and Wakefield Plantation agreed to host the event for another five years.

In 2016, former University of Alabama golfer Trey Mullinax won with a final score of 14-under. Mullinax’s come-from-behind victory was his first win on the tour and the tournament purse of $117,000 propelled Mullinax from 33rd to fourth on the money list. At the end of the season, Mullinax joined the 24 other highest finishers to earn his full-time PGA Tour card for 2017.

The CGA’s Ladies Four-Ball Event will be competed on June 5 at Old North State Club, while the CGA’s 22nd North Carolina Four-Ball Championship will be played October 13-15 at TPC Wakefield Plantation.

Greensboro takes center stage for McConnell Golf in the summer and fall. This year marks the 10th playing of the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Haas Family Invitational at the Sedgefield Ross Course on June 13-16. Last year, Eugene Hong of Sanford, Fla., shot a final-round 70 to win by four strokes.

The Sedgefield Dye Course is the annual site for the prestigious Cardinal Amateur. The 2017 Cardinal Amateur will be played July 27-30. Last year, Georgia Tech freshman Andy Ogletree won with a three-day total of 202 (-8).

The PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship returns to Sedgefield Ross on August 17-20. Last year, a few back-nine bogeys and a late weather delay didn’t derail 21-year-old South Korean Si Woo Kim’s coming-out party at Sedgefield. In the second round, Kim fired a Sedgefield Ross Course record 60 — narrowly missing 59 — then continued to pad his lead over the weekend, leading by as many as six shots through the turn Sunday afternoon. Despite a few hiccups coming home, Kim still held off former world No. 1 Luke Donald by five strokes, becoming the youngest winner on the PGA Tour since Jordan Spieth won the 2013 John Deere Classic.

Back in Durham, Treyburn will play host to the AJGA Amino VITAL Junior Championship on July 17-20, followed by the CGA’s eighth North Carolina Match Play Championship on August 2-6. Treyburn will close out its tournament schedule by hosting the Treyburn Invitational Pro-Am on October 23-24.

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