Sunday, September 30, 2018

Full House Resorts Announces Commencement of Ferry Boat Service at Rising Star Casino Resort

(RISING SUN, Ind.) - Full House Resorts announced that its Rising Star Casino Resort has received approval from the U.S. Coast Guard to operate its new ferry boat service between Rising Sun, Indiana, and Rabbit Hash, Kentucky. This is the final regulatory approval required to operate the ferryboat service.

The ferry service will commence a “trial period” this weekend, from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. There will be no charge to utilize the ferry during the trial period and boarding will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis. When the ferry commences normal operations, the fare will be $5.00 per vehicle one-way, and $8.00 round-trip. Casino customers will be reimbursed for their fare with qualifying play.

The ferry terminal in Kentucky is near the intersection of Highway 18 (also known as McVille Road) and Lower River Road, adjoining River Ridge Park. This is approximately two miles north of Rabbit Hash and approximately 15 miles west of Florence, Kentucky and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. This location is in the Google Maps database as the Rising Star Casino Ferry.

The ferry terminal in Indiana is at The Links Golf Course at the Rising Star Casino Resort, just off Highway 56 in Rising Sun, Indiana.

Further information about Full House Resorts can be viewed on its website at

Friday, September 28, 2018

The Abaco Club on Winding Bay to Sponsor Darren Clarke During PGA Champions Tour Debut

(Great Abaco, The Bahamas) - The Abaco Club on Winding Bay is pleased to announce that effective immediately, Club Ambassador Darren Clarke will represent the club during his appearances in PGA Tour Champions events, and will display the club’s logo on his golf bag and shirt.

Clarke has been a fixture at the Abaco Club since its opening in 2008, marrying his wife, Alison, on the club’s beach in 2012 and celebrating his 50th birthday at his cottage overlooking Winding Bay this summer. “There’s no place I’d rather spend time, the whole club is brilliant – everything about it is very relaxing,” Clarke says. “When I am trying to get ready for a tournament everything I need is right there, including the practice facilities, which are second to none,” he added.  

Darren Clarke has had a long and successful professional career including winning The Open Championship in 2011 and being named captain of the European Ryder Cup team in 2016. Originally from Northern Ireland, Clarke is no stranger to firsts. In the 1999 Smurfit European Open he became the first player on The European Tour to shoot 60 for a second time, having achieved it first in the 1992 European Monte Carlo Open. In 2002 he became the first player to win the English Open three times and in 2003 became the first player outside Tiger Woods to capture more than one World Golf Championship title. He has played on the European Ryder Cup team five times and has won 22 tournaments on major tours, including the PGA Tour, Sunshine Tour and Japan Tour.

“Darren is one of the world's most recognizable golfers and has won many fans across the globe over almost three decades,” said David Southworth, Founder and CEO of Southworth Development. “We are thrilled to support Darren during his senior debut on the Champions Tour. The Abaco Club is a very special place, just as Darren is a very special golfer and person.”

The Abaco Club’s Scottish-style “tropical links” golf course has been consistently ranked as one of the top courses in the Caribbean and Mexico. Designed by British course architects Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie, the picturesque course is set against the sea – with rugged rocks, sloping greens and lush flora throughout. Along with the course, there’s an extensive practice facility featuring a double-sided range, short-game practice area and PGA professional instructional programs.

For more information on The Abaco Club, visit

Glove It Introduces Its 2019 Collection

The collection features 10 new styles, designed to fit any personality

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) - Glove It, the industry leader in golf bags and accessories designed especially for women, introduces its 2019 collection. Glove It has become the No. 1 choice for golfers on and off the links with its innovative patterns and fabrics across its product lines. It continues its trend-setting fashion in 2019 with the introduction of 10 new styles that include a combination of vibrant prints, bold colors and a selection of traditional designs. It is easy for women to find a pattern that fits any personality.

2019 Collections
- Chic Slate - slate blue with a modified cheetah pattern
- Black/White/Rose - black and white combination with turquoise highlights and a rose pattern
- Lilac Paisley - classic paisley print with an ombre of lilacs, blues, and black.
- Tropical - vibrant tropical print with dark green and purple accents
- Blue Camo - classic camo with an updated twist that features metallic silver and a combination of navy and lighter blues
- Marrakesh - light rose with black and white highlights and floral pattern
- Aqua Leaf - geometric leaf in turquoise, teal, white and lime green.
- Kiwi Chic - solid textured kiwi greens with black trim
- Bloom - bright pink with bold floral combined with a geometric design
- Pastel Lattice - soft floral and grid design with navy highlights

Cart Golf Bag 
The Glove It Cart Bag is one of the top selling products in the Glove It line. The popular lightweight cart bag is designed especially for women with its 14 full-length dividers, easy access pockets and easy lift handle system.

Cart Bag Features:
- 14 full-length dividers
- Putter well
- Umbrella Sleeve
- Rain Hood
- Padded Adjustable carry strap
- Easy lift handle system
- 7 pockets including 2 garment pockets, a thermal lined cooler pocket, ball pocket, valuable pocket
- Weight - 5 lbs.
- 1 year manufacturer's warranty
- Suggested Retail: $219.95

Each collection also includes matching accessories for the active women's lifestyle.

Glove It Accessory Line
- Head Covers - comes in a set of 3; woods and hybrids feature an adjustable dial  (3-5-6-7-x). Suggested Retail - $55.95
- Glove - stretch knit back glove with a soft Cabretta leather palm providing premium comfort with maximum breathability, UV50 Sun Protection. Suggested Retail - $19.95
- Shoe Bag - full length zipper, mesh ventilation, padded top carrying handle. Suggested Retail - $36.95
- Wristlet - removable wristlet strap, perfect for carrying essentials. Suggested Retail - $12.95
- Visor - wide brim, adjustable coil, UV50 Sun Protection. Suggest Retail - $16.95
- 2 Zip Bag - functional carry-all bag, clips onto golf bag, converts to a cross-body bag, detachable strap. Suggested Retail - $23.95  
- Tennis/Sport Tote - 6 pockets, inside zipper pocket, top zipper tab closure, can hold 2 tennis racquets. Suggested Retail - $79.95
- Tennis Backpack - racquet compartment fits two racquets, side pocket for balls or water bottle, back zipper pocket, hidden top hook for name tag. Suggested Retail - $84.95  
- Sport Towel - trifold, microfiber terry cloth, with carabiner clasp. Suggested Retail - $19.95

The 2019 Glove It collection will be available at retail golf shops and online October 30, 2018. To view the entire 2019 collection, click here.

Johnson Captures 32nd U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur in Thrilling Final over Chugg

(St. Louis, Mo.) - Shannon Johnson, the 2018 medalist and a runner-up in 2016, birdied the par-5 18th hole at Norwood Hills Country Club on Thursday to edge defending champion Kelsey Chugg, 1 up, in a riveting, back-and-forth U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur final that featured 10 birdies between the two competitors.

Johnson, 35, of Norton, Mass., took a 2-up lead on Chugg, 26, of Salt Lake City, Utah, on two occasions in the match, but both times, Chugg rallied to win the next three holes, edging ahead of Johnson for the final time when she made a two-putt birdie on the par-5 15th. Johnson answered Chugg with her own 25-foot birdie putt on the par-4 16th, and after both players parred No. 17, Johnson reached the green in two on the 474-yard, par-5 18th.

Chugg laid up to 60 yards on No. 18 and hit a wedge to within 10 feet for birdie. Her putt slid past the left edge of the hole, and Johnson tapped in from 1½ feet to capture the championship that had eluded her in 2016, when she lost, 2 and 1, to Julia Potter-Bobb, and last year, when she lost in the semifinals. Chugg’s bid to become the fourth player to capture back-to-back titles, and only the second to do so in her first two attempts (Meghan Stasi, 2006-07) fell just short.

“It was just an incredible match,” said Chugg, who serves as the membership director for the Utah Golf Association. “I felt like I played as well as I could have. I would have loved the putt to go in on the last hole, but I really feel like I did a great job of hanging on, and she's just an incredible player. Just rock solid, and I played the best golf I could today to try and keep up.”

Johnson hit a 220-yard 7-wood onto the 18th green to leave herself 20 feet for an eagle, but it turned out that a birdie was enough to make her the 32nd U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion.

“I was surprisingly really calm, even on the 18th tee,” said Johnson, who played three years of college golf at the University of New Mexico and her final year at Indiana University. “I hit a great drive on 18. I didn’t think I could get on in two as we were walking up, but then the yardage that we had, we just had to cover 200 to the front. I couldn’t have hit it any better. It was unbelievable.

“Kelsey really didn’t miss too many putts all day, and I thought for sure we were going to go to extra holes. I was very surprised when she missed it.”

Johnson, the No. 1 seed after shooting 1-under 143 in two rounds of stroke play, jumped ahead with a 9-foot birdie putt on the par-5 second and a conceded birdie on the 310-yard, par-4 third. But after both players missed the green on the 173-yard, par-3 third, Chugg, the No. 11 seed, got up and down for a winning par, and she squared the match with a birdie on the par-4 fifth.

Johnson assumed a 2-up lead for the last time with a curling, 25-foot birdie putt on the par-3 12th, but for the second time, Chugg reeled off three wins in a row, including birdies on Nos. 14 and 15.

Chugg hit 14 greens in regulation to 12 for Johnson, and the defending champion’s steady play – she made four birdies against Johnson’s six – nearly was enough to keep the trophy. Having fallen 1 down for the second time on No. 15, Johnson made a crucial birdie on the 16th from 25 feet, outside where Chugg hit her approach shot.

“That was an incredible putt – she did that on 12, as well,” said Chugg. “I’m sitting there thinking I’ve got a good chance of making this, and then all of a sudden I’m having to change my game plan up. Her making that was definitely a momentum changer. But I think – gosh, she’s just an amazing putter.”

Shannon Johnson, on the roller-coaster match, with its five lead changes:
“After that long putt on 12, I just got a little quick on all my swings, really, on 13 and 14. I was just kind of getting ahead of myself. Kudos to [caddie] Matt [Johnson, no relation] to just kind of help slow things down. He said, swings are just quick, good tempo, so that helped big-time.”

Johnson, on the 25-foot birdie putt on the 381-yard, par-4 16th that squared the match:
“I thought I hit a really good shot into 16, and it just kept going, like it always does, so it was turning a little more right to left than I wanted, but it probably actually left me the straighter putt between Kelsey and I. I was like, please turn, please turn, and then it caught the last second, which was awesome.”

Johnson, on the support from friends who flew in from Massachusetts for the final:
“I think the first time I saw them was on 8 green as we were walking up. I don't know how much sooner they got there, but a couple times a plane flew over, I'm like, that could be them. I knew they were coming, which was good. Better to know than not know.”

Kelsey Chugg, on her match-play consistency:
“My game plan going into today was what I’ve been doing all week and what I do most of the time, just try and hit fairways and greens and be consistent and make pars because especially out here, pars win, but not against her. I had to grind for everything today.”

Chugg, on her putt for birdie on No. 18 that would have extended the match:
“I think I did lose a little focus there, just maybe should have taken a second to regroup. But I hit it right on the line I was looking, just a little firm.”

Chugg, on her year as champion, which included a berth in the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open:
“It’s been an unbelievable year, so much fun traveling, meeting so many different people. Playing in the Women’s Open has always been a dream of mine, obviously, but just getting there, being around some of my idols was incredible. But really, this week and having a chance to defend has been the most fun for me.”

- Johnson earns an exemption into the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open at the Country Club of Charleston (S.C.). It’s an exemption that was first awarded to Chugg in 2017. Both players receive exemptions into the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur, and Johnson the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur. Johnson also earned a 10-year exemption into this championship, which Chugg earned in 2017. The 2019 championship is scheduled for Sept. 14-19 at Forest Highlands Country Club in Flagstaff, Ariz.
- Dave Hanten, Johnson’s coach since she was 13 years old in Sioux Falls, S.D., drove from South Dakota to be there for the championship match. “This is unbelievable for him to be here to see it because he’s wanted to come the last couple years, and they've just been too far away,” said Johnson. “I think he got hopped in the car before that first match was done yesterday, and I was like, that’s pretty bold there. He’s got a herniated disc and he walked all 18. He couldn’t stay away.”
- Johnson is a member at Thorny Lea Golf Club in Brockton, Mass., a course designed by Wayne Stiles, who also designed Norwood Hills Country Club’s West Course. Thorny Lea is also the home course of Matt Parziale, the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion.
- Chugg’s match-play record in this championship fell to 11-1 with the loss. Johnson improved to 17-4 in her five starts.

- Custody of the Mildred Prunaret Trophy for one year
- A gold medal
- 10-year exemption into the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship
- Exemption into the 2019 U.S. Women's Open Championship at the Country Club of Charleston
- Exemptions into the 2019 and 2020 U.S. Women's Amateur at Old Waverly Golf Club and Woodmont Country Club.

Kevin O'Connell Defeats Brett Boner to Win 38th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship

(Charlotte, N.C.) - Kevin O’Connell called his victory this past June at the Monroe Invitational in Pittsford, N.Y., area his biggest triumph of his amateur career.

That was until Thursday’s 4-and-3 triumph at Charlotte Country Club over hometown favorite Brett Boner, 44, in the 36-hole final of the 38th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. Now he can call himself a national champion.

Playing in front of a partisan crowd of 300-plus spectators – most of whom were rooting for Carolina Golf Club member Boner – O’Connell, 30, of Cary, N.C., turned back his fellow North Carolinian to earn an exemption into next year’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links. Last month, O’Connell failed to qualify for match play in the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach.

“You will be hard-pressed to find a bigger fan of the game than me and I certainly understand the importance of the USGA, and how great their championships are,” said O’Connell. “To be the champion right now is probably what I am most proud of and focused on. Just simply being a champion. All the stuff that comes along with it, I think that will hit me a little big later on.”

A 70-minute suspension for a thunderstorm briefly put O’Connell’s coronation on hold. When the horns blew, he had just extended his margin to 4 up with four to play after Boner missed a 10-footer for par on the 32nd hole. Ten minutes after play resumed, a two-putt par from 10 feet on the par-4 33rd hole secured the title.

“It’s nice to be able to two-putt to get the win,” said O’Connell. “Often times you have to make a putt to win. And then afterward, it’s kind of immediate joy. It’s just an incredible feeling.”

Even during a strong four-year career at the University of North Carolina in which he was named the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year and a third-team All-American, O’Connell never hoisted hardware. After graduation, he made three unsuccessful attempts to qualify for the PGA Tour/ Tour to no avail and eventually applied and regained his amateur status in 2015.

Since then, O’Connell has worked for a wealth management firm in Chapel Hill, N.C., and most recently as a golf equipment representative – he just resigned from that job – while continuing his passion to compete in elite amateur and mid-amateur competitions, including the Monroe, where he posted a one-stroke victory over Bryce Hendrix.

O’Connell came into his second U.S. Mid-Amateur as the No. 364 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™ after playing at Pebble Beach. He earned the No. 10 seed for match play after shooting 1-under 141 in stroke play last weekend, then quietly rolled through the bracket until Wednesday. That’s when he needed two remarkable 19-hole comeback victories over Andres Schonbaum and Kyler Sauer to reach the championship match against Boner, a financial advisor who turned back 2016 champion Stewart Hagestad, 1 up, in the semifinals by holing a dramatic 22-foot birdie putt on the 18th green.

Neither competitor matched their semifinal performances, but O’Connell played consistent golf throughout the final. He seized control of the match with five consecutive wins to begin the morning inward nine as Boner doubled Nos. 10 and 11 and then bogeyed the par-5 12th with a three-putt. Boner managed to get back two holes coming in to trail by three at the lunch break.

“It's a very bittersweet ending because I played really poorly today for the most part,” said Boner, who played 10-over-par golf, with the usual match-play concessions. “I made some bad decisions that I didn't realize at the time. Maybe experience has something to do with it.”

A key moment in the afternoon round came at the par-5 25th hole when O’Connell, who owned a 5-up advantage after winning Nos. 23 and 24 with a birdie and bogey, respectively, converted a 14-foot birdie putt moments after Boner had ignited a roar from the gallery by making a 16-footer.

But Boner could get no closer than 3 down, even with spectators urging Boner on with shouts of “C’mon Brett!” Given the circumstances, O’Connell probably thought he was facing Tiger Woods.

Instead, he just beat a Tiger – a 1997 graduate of Auburn University.

“My comment on the crowd honestly would be that I thought it was cool you had a guy playing this close to home,” said O’Connell. “There were probably more people out watching maybe than there would've been. That was more my angle on it. I thought it was really fun to play in front of that many people.”

Kevin O’Connell receives the following for winning the 38th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship:
- A gold medal
- Custody of the Robert T. Jones Jr. Memorial Trophy for one year
- Exemptions into the next 10 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships
- Exemption into 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links (must be an amateur)
- Exemptions into the next two U.S. Amateur Championships (2019 at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club and 2020 at Bandon Dunes Resort)
- A likely invitation to the 2019 Masters Tournament (must be an amateur)

- Runner-up Brett Boner received a silver medal; exemptions into the next three U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships; an exemption into the 2019 U.S. Amateur; and an exemption from local qualifying for the 2019 U.S. Open.
- The 39th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship will be conducted at Colorado Golf Club, in Parker, and CommonGround Golf Course (stroke-play co-host), in Aurora, from Sept. 14-19.
- This was the third U.S. Mid-Amateur final between players from the same state. In 1985, Jay Sigel defeated O. Gordon Brewer in a battle of Greater Philadelphia, Pa., residents; and in 2006 Dave Womack defeated fellow Georgian Ryan Hybl.
- Kevin O’Connell becomes the second North Carolinian to win the title, following Scott Harvey, of Greensboro, in 2014. David Eger, who won in 1988, spent a good portion of his childhood in Charlotte (he was a member at this week’s stroke-play co-host Carolina Golf Club) and attended the University of North Carolina, but was living in Florida and working for the PGA Tour at the time of his triumph at Prairie Dunes. Eger was born in Maryland.
- Eger watched the championship match along with PGA Tour player Johnson Wagner, who also resides in Charlotte.
- O’Connell’s uncle, Rich O’Connell, took a red-eye flight from Los Angeles on Wednesday night to watch the championship match. O’Connell said he had 10 family members in his gallery.

Kevin O’Connell on getting a return trip to Pebble Beach after failing to qualify for match play last month in the U.S. Amateur:
“That was a big disappointment. Obviously, I was really preparing for it. And leaving there, my dad (Charlie) and I both just kind of said to each other, Wouldn't be it great if you could get your game in order and qualify and go back out there, thinking I would go through local and sectional qualifying [for the U.S. Open] next year. So to kind of take care of that early is phenomenal. I can't wait.”

O’Connell when asked if the game is more enjoyable now as a reinstated amateur:
“No question. I think along with being reinstated I'm also older. I think that helps a lot, too. When you're younger it just kind of means everything to you. Not that winning and playing well doesn't mean a lot anymore, because obviously it does. Everybody is at these tournaments to compete and win and see how they stack up. But without a doubt, I feel like my perspective is a little bit better.”

O’Connell on his consistent play in the final:
“Any time in match play you can get on a roll and get some holes in your pocket and get a lead it's huge. But that being said, it's funny how little or how small a 4- or 5-up lead feels when you're out there. Just particularly with that big of a crowd cheering for one guy, it doesn't take a lot for a 5-up lead to evaporate pretty quickly.”

O’Connell on losing the last two holes of the morning round to go into the lunch break 3 up instead of 5 up:
“Yeah, I was upset. There is no question. There is a huge difference between 5 up and 3 up. It's tough to lose a 5-up lead; 3 up is completely different.”

Brett Boner on losing five holes in a row, starting at No. 10, in the morning 18:
“It wasn't so much he went on a run as I went the opposite direction. I made a really bone-headed move on 10, and my brain did not stop moving – it was just moving too fast after I did. I wouldn't forgive myself and move on. On a day like today with that many holes to play, experience should have been that I should have moved on and not worried about it. It's just one hole. I gave him so many holes today where he didn't have any stress. It was all because of my play.

“[Holes] 10 through 14 were just brutal. I was proud that I hung in there. You start thinking all these crazy thoughts. Don't be that guy that loses 10 and 9 or whatever.”

Boner on his expectations and performance this week in his hometown:
“I expected to get to match play, and I knew if I could commit and trust myself that I had the game. Very proud of myself for getting here to the final. It is a huge accomplishment. I'm 44 years old. Who knows how many more of these that you'll get…This week was a culmination of all that I've tried to do with golf and I came up just a little short.”

Boner on the support he received this week:
“It has been very, very special. I just wish I was holding that trophy.”

Thursday, September 27, 2018

NBC Sports Group to Air 30 Live Hours of Ryder Cup Coverage from First Tee Shot to Final Putt

PGA TOUR Champions in Pebble Beach for the Pure Insurance Championship, Featuring Junior Golfers Representing The First Tee Chapters Throughout the U.S.

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – Golf Channel and NBC will combine for 30 hours of live tournament coverage of the 42nd Ryder Cup Friday-Sunday, the biennial competition featuring the top professional golfers representing the United States and Europe. Live coverage from Le Golf National outside of Paris will span from Friday morning’s opening tee shot just after 2 a.m. ET through the clinching point on Sunday. The United States will look to retain the Ryder Cup after defeating Europe in 2016 (17-11) and aim to win for the first time on European soil in 25 years, since 1993.

The PGA TOUR Champions will be at Pebble Beach Golf Links for the Pure Insurance Championship, where junior golfers representing The First Tee chapters from throughout the country will compete alongside the PGA TOUR Champions professionals.

42ND Ryder Cup
Dates: Sept. 28-30
Venue: Le Golf National (Albatross Course), Paris, France

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel / NBC (Eastern):
Friday: 2 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live, Golf Channel) / 8 p.m.-Midnight (Replay, Golf Channel)
Saturday: 2-3 a.m. (Live, Golf Channel) / 3 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live, NBC) / 8 p.m.-Midnight (Replay, Golf Channel)
Sunday: 6 a.m.-1 p.m. (Live, NBC) / 8 p.m.-Midnight (Replay, Golf Channel)

Golf Central Live From the Ryder Cup on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Friday: Midnight-2 a.m. / 1-3 p.m.
Saturday: Midnight-2 a.m. / 1-3 p.m.
Sunday: 4-6 a.m. / 1-3 p.m.

Broadcast Notes:
- 30 hours of live tournament coverage on Golf Channel, NBC: Golf Channel and NBC will combine for nearly 30 hours of its Emmy-nominated live event coverage, spanning from Friday morning’s opening tee shot just after 2 a.m. ET through the clinching point on Sunday.
- Golf Central’s Live From the Ryder Cup Wraparound News Coverage: Leading into and following live tournament coverage, Golf Channel’s team of news reporters and analysts will provide comprehensive wraparound news coverage from both on-site in France and from Golf Channel’s worldwide headquarters in Orlando.
- Defending Champion: The United States are the reigning Ryder Cup champions, having defeated Europe 17-11 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota in 2016.
- United States Team: Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods.
- European Team: Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, Alex Noren, Thorbjorn Olesen, Ian Poulter, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson

Golf Channel/NBC Sports Broadcast Team:
- Play by Play: Terry Gannon, Dan Hicks
- Analysts: Nick Faldo, Justin Leonard, Johnny Miller
- Tower: Tom Abbott, Curt Byrum, Peter Jacobsen, Gary Koch
- On-Course: Notah Begay, David Feherty, Roger Maltbie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, Mark Rolfing
- Interviews: Steve Sands, Jimmy Roberts
- News reports: Tim Rosaforte

Pure Insurance Championship
Dates: Sept. 28-30
Venue: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Poppy Hills Golf Course, Pebble Beach, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday: 5-8 p.m. (Live)
Saturday: 5-8 p.m. (Live)
Sunday: 5-8 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
- 81 First Tee Participants Competing in the Field: The field at the Pure Insurance Championship will be comprised of professionals playing alongside 81 junior golfers representing The First Tee Chapters from throughout the country, along with 162 amateurs.
- Headlining the field: Paul Broadhurst, Darren Clarke, John Cook, Fred Couples, Chris DiMarco, Hale Irwin, Jerry Kelly, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Scott McCarron, Colin Montgomerie, Mark O’Meara, Kenny Perry, Charlie Rymer, Vijay Singh and Tom Watson.

Golf Channel Tournament Broadcast Team:
- Play by Play: Whit Watson
- Analyst: Lanny Wadkins
- Tower: John Mahaffey
- On-Course: Arron Oberholser, Billy Ray Brown
- Interviews: Lisa Cornwell

Volvik Introduces Team Spirit Program

(ORLANDO, Florida) – Volvik (, known the world over for the outstanding performance characteristics and vibrant color options of its golf balls, has introduced the Volvik Team Spirit Program. To support their favorite youth, high school, college or professional teams, golfers can select corresponding colors of Volvik golf balls as gifts or team orders, or for tournament and daily-round play. Eleven different matte-finish color options are available in a multitude of team colors.

“Football season is the perfect time to kick off this exciting new program,” said Wes Whittingham, vice president of sales for Volvik. “Golfers everywhere want to ‘show their true colors’ by supporting their favorite teams with Volvik golf balls.

“So many people are spectators or participants in youth, high school, collegiate or professional team sports. Volvik is pleased to present this opportunity for fans to match our matte-finish golf balls with their favorite team colors.”

Teams can promote spirit with email blasts and communiqués to let fans and supporters know about ordering matching color golf balls from Volvik, the #1 matte-finish ball in the industry. Every town or club has an associated team or school, and here is an opportunity for collaboration and united support of local teams and programs.

Golf clubs – both public and private – can promote local or regional teams’ colors by displaying Volvik golf balls on counters in golf shops, with balls available for purchase or order right there in the shop. The balls may or may not feature a logo, and reflect spirit through combined colors that match the local school or team of choice. In addition, Volvik golf balls in team colors can be sold on site at games, sporting events and special events of all kinds.

The Volvik Team Spirit Program tells a great visual story in support of teams and programs of all kinds. There are endless color combinations of matte-finish Volvik golf balls for mixing and matching.

The program provides the opportunity for merchandise sales to support local schools. Volvik golf balls are available for purchase by schools and colleges. More information is available at

Fall Equals Fun (and Savings) at Renowned Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island

(HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC) — Another magical summer has come and gone at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island.

With the departure of the year’s warmest months and beachfront fun in the sun comes the arrival of a temperate fall packing plenty of its own island adventure.

Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort has been celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2018. To commemorate the historic occasion at this venerable resort, Palmetto Dunes is offering visitors a number of attractive fall packages.

Among the most popular packages at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort are the “Birdies and Beer Getaway,” “Group Golf Stay and Play” and “Multi-Round Golf Specials.”

One of golf’s biggest events is this week’s Ryder Cup competition. Celebrate at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort with the special “Ryder Cup Golf Stay & Play Package” featuring resort accommodations on Hilton Head Island plus three rounds of golf to play three world-class Palmetto Dunes championship courses.

Package participants also receive a VIP Palmetto Dunes Resort gift bag full of Palmetto Dunes golf goodies. This Hilton Head Island golf vacation package, starting from $580 per person*, is completely customizable and includes:
* Four days and three nights in a two-bedroom resort view villa at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort
* Three rounds of golf on all three championship courses (includes green fees and cart fees)
* One Free replay when available on same day of play, same course
* One VIP Palmetto Dunes Resort Gift Bag per person including Palmetto Dunes logo hat, logo golf ball, tumbler, divot tool and a $10 Palmetto Dunes Resort Gift Card
* Pro Shop Merchandise & Dining Discounts at Big Jim's, The Dunes House & Alexander's Restaurant
* Two hours of court time per day per villa or home at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center
* Preferred rates on select resort activities

*Offer is based on 4-person occupancy in a two-bedroom villa and not available October 19 - 21, 2018 and October 24 - 25, 2018. Based on availability. Reservations inside 30 days must be paid in full and no refund on cancellation. Optional rates and dates may vary based on availability. May not be combined with any other offer. Rates may vary per dates of stay and available accommodations.

During the fall months, Palmetto Dunes offers a free Golf Clinic and Exhibition at the Robert Trent Jones Course every Monday from 4 to 4:50 PM. Pose questions to former PGA Tour player Doug Weaver and his staff. The class is hands-on, interactive and all skill levels will benefit.

In addition, be sure to sharpen your game for the fall and check out Palmetto Dunes’ updated golf academy schedule available through December 2. Among the programs offered are Daily Clinics, Junior Afternoon Clinics, Beginner Golf, Back to Basics, Short Game, Ladies Only, Supervised Practice and, of course, private lessons.

Unsure which golf school is right for you? Contact Doug Weaver at or call 844-207-9258.

Want to dig deeper when it comes to improving your game? The “Golf Academy Package” allows golfers to improve their golf game at the world-famous Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy. Enjoy two full days of golf instruction and play led by PGA-certified instructors with video analysis and special discounts on activities at our Hilton Head resort and more. The Golf Academy Package includes:
* Four days and three nights in a two-bedroom resort-view villa at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort (for four players)
* Two days of 3-hour instruction per day at the acclaimed Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy including a focus on tough shots, strength, stretching and more
* Two 9-hole rounds of golf after 2 pm at Arthur Hills or George Fazio
* Video analysis emailed to you
* Lunch after lessons
* Unlimited practice range use
* Two hours of court time per day per villa or home at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center when available
* Pro shop merchandise and resort dining discounts
* Preferred rates on select resort activities

Fall is also a great time to try pickleball. One of America’s fastest growing sports in terms of popularity, pickleball is a fun sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. Pickleball can be played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and with a slightly modified tennis net and can be played as doubles or singles.

Demonstrating its commitment to this fast-growing sport, Palmetto Dunes added eight Pickleball courts and is in the process of expanding its Pickleball Center. Eight new courts are being constructed and are expected to be open for play by mid-October. Palmetto Dunes also hired one of the sport’s most accomplished players, Sarah Ansboury, as its Pickleball Touring Professional and Director of Pickleball Instruction.

Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort offers outstanding tennis and pickleball packages for players at all skill levels at one of the world's finest family resort destinations. For year-round tennis players, the award-winning tennis resort offers dream vacations.

Call (855) 450-4861 to get a Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort package quote.

Defending Champ Chugg to Face Medalist Johnson in Women’s Mid-Amateur Final

(St. Louis, Mo.) - Defending U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Kelsey Chugg, 27, of Salt Lake City, Utah, won a pair of matches Wednesday at Norwood Hills Country Club in St. Louis, Mo., to move within one win of defending the title she won last year at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas.

While Chugg will attempt to become the fourth player to win consecutive Women’s Mid-Amateurs, her opponent in Thursday’s 18-hole championship match will be trying to get over the proverbial hump. Shannon Johnson, 35, of Norton, Mass., finished runner-up in 2016 to Julia Potter-Bobb and made the semifinals last year.

Chugg, the membership director for the Utah Golf Association, ousted four-time Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Meghan Stasi, 40, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in the morning’s quarterfinal match. Chugg won three of the first four holes en route to a 3-and-2 win. Chugg defeated Gretchen Johnson, 32, of Portland, Ore., 2 and 1, in the semifinals. Chugg appeared to be on cruise control against Johnson, winning holes 9-11 for a 5-up lead before Johnson won three of the next four to push the match to the 17th hole.

“Stasi was tough this morning. She had a rough start but really hung in there,” said Chugg. “She’s a veteran player, and she’s really good. So, hanging tough with her helped me out a bit. And then what Gretchen did this afternoon, it was tough to keep playing and keep my mind straight through all that.”

Johnson, a sales representative for Ping Golf, defeated Clare Connolly, 25, of Chevy Chase, Md., in the quarterfinals. After losing the first hole, Johnson won holes 4-6 to go 2 up. Connolly won holes 8 and 9 to square the match but Johnson won three of four holes from 13-17 to seal a 3-and-2 triumph. Johnson had no trouble in her semifinal match against Michelle Butler, 25, of Columbia, Mo. Johnson won the first three holes, including birdies on Nos. 2 and 3, then iced a 7-and-5 win with three straight wins from 11-13, closing with a conceded birdie on No. 13 after Butler missed her birdie try.

“It’s always good to go 1 up after one, kind of loosens you up, frees you up a little bit, and then made two good birdies on 2 and 3, which were huge,” said Johnson of her semifinal victory. “Other than 1, I think I probably hit every fairway, which is awesome. That’s what you’ve got to do, just try and leave it in the right spots on the greens.”

Chugg, on the difficulty of back-to-back days of two matches:
“I had some fatigue on the back nine, and was just hanging on. I was like, just hit fairways and greens, and trying to get through the thing, and [Gretchen] was really clutch coming down the stretch. I was feeling it. I’m feeling OK physically, but I’m looking forward to some rest and hopefully can clear my mind tonight.”

Shannon Johnson on the difference between 2016 and this year:
“I think looking back on a couple years ago, I just was super tentative with my putting. Got a new putter, different, and just trying not to think a lot about it and just kind of let it go. It’s been working so far. I’ve just got to come out swinging and get some good tempo on the first few holes.”

Johnson on the U.S. Women’s Open exemption on the line Thursday:
“I’m just trying not to think about it. Obviously, it would be unbelievable to win and be able to go play in that. Have to maybe ask for a little more time off work in the primetime. We’ll cross that bridge when we need to.”

Meghan Stasi on her quarterfinal loss to Kelsey Chugg:
“She just played solid. She didn’t make any mistakes. Unfortunately, I just got off to a bad start putting. Other than that, it was fine. I hit a couple shots here and there that weren’t pretty, but what are you going to do.”

Michelle Butler on her semifinal run:
“It was such an incredible week, and I was just happy to get to match play, and then obviously I wanted to keep going. But it was so fun. I learned so much, and I feel so great about my game right now. Like I said before, I haven’t played a ton of tournaments just with how busy I’ve been, so this makes me more excited to play more tournaments.”

Shannon Johnson advanced to the semifinals for the third consecutive year. She is the first player to make three straight Women’s Mid-Amateur semifinals since Margaret Starosto (nee Shirley) did so from 2013-2015 (won in 2014, lost in the final in 2013 and 2015).

Johnson shot the equivalent of 3 under par through 13 holes in her semifinal win over Michelle Butler, given the usual match-play concessions.

Johnson is the fifth medalist since 2013 to make the Women’s Mid-Amateur championship match. She lost to fellow co-medalist Julia Potter-Bobb in 2016.

Kelsey Chugg reached the semifinals by beating multi-time Women’s Mid-Amateur champions in consecutive matches. She defeated Julia Potter-Bobb (2013 and 2016) in 19 holes in the Round of 16 and Meghan Stasi (2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012), 3 and 2, in the quarterfinals.

Chugg is attempting to become the sixth player to win at least two Women’s Mid-Amateurs. She would join Carol Semple Thompson (1990, 1997), Sarah LeBrun Ingram (1991, 1993, 1994), Ellen Port (1995, 1996, 2000), Stasi and Potter-Bobb.

With a win on Thursday, Chugg would also become the first player to win the Women’s Mid-Amateur in her first two attempts since Stasi in 2006-07.

Gretchen Johnson advanced to the semifinals despite being 2 down to Julia Hodgson in the quarterfinals with two holes remaining. Johnson won 17 and 18 with pars, then birdied the 20th hole to win.

All semifinalists are exempt into the next two Women’s Mid-Amateurs while all quarterfinalists are exempt into next year’s championship at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz.

The 18-hole championship match will begin at 9 a.m. CDT on Thursday. The winner will receive a 10-year exemption into the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship and an exemption into the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open Championship at the Country Club of Charleston (S.C.). The runner-up will receive a three-year Women’s Mid-Amateur exemption. The winner is also exempt into the next two U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships, while the runner-up is exempt next year at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss.

Popular PEAKVISION GX5 Sunglasses for Golfers Add New Royal Navy Blue Color to Line

(CONWAY, SC) - The golf wrap-around GX5’s are one of PEAKVISION’s most popular styles and now golfers have three colors in the GX5 line to choose from: black, white or the new, royal navy blue.

The GX5 enhances the golfer’s ability to see the contours of the greens better with the high-definition amber lens which provide three times the definition than the naked eye. Golfers enjoy a light-weight, wrap-around frame that fit snugly and won’t move during one’s swing. The adjustable nose piece makes for a perfect fit.

Brand new to the GX5 allotment with mainstay colors that come in black or white, is the new royal navy blue color.

“The royal navy blue GX5 makes a fashion statement for those looking for an alternative to our black or white coloring,” says David Feaser, CEO, PEAKVISION Sunglasses. “The royal navy blue color is very classy and the lens make for an impeccable read of the green.”

“The GX5s’ are the flagship sunglasses of PEAKVISION for a reason,” Feaser adds. “The GX5’s offer a full wrap-around design with ultimate protection from UV rays while giving you three times the visual information than your naked eye. These sunglasses were built for golf and you will not take them off while you are putting.”

“Golfers benefit from the extreme clarity of the lens by seeing the contours on the greens better as well as the increased depth perception the lens provide, enabling better shot making,” adds Feaser.

“Who wouldn’t want this kind of edge on the course?” Feaser asks. “And instead of taking the GX5s’ off, placing them on top of your head like golfers do with most sunglasses, keeping PEAKVISIONs on while reading a putt and executing the shot, is an advantage! The lens help achieve a more accurate visual on the greens!”

PEAKVISION offers a 30-day, moneyback guarantee if you are not 100% satisfied.

To order PEAKVISION, visit PEAKVISION ships the same day the order is placed.

Two-Time Major Champion Brooks Koepka Captures 2018 PGA Player of the Year Award

Dustin Johnson Earns His Second Vardon Trophy

(PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.) – Two-time major champion Brooks Koepka, who turned professional just six years ago and who overcame a serious wrist injury prior to this season, wrapped up a historic campaign by capturing the 2018 PGA of America Player of the Year Award, presented by the PGA of America for excellence by a PGA TOUR professional.

Dustin Johnson, a two-time winner this season, earned his second Vardon Trophy in three years.

Koepka, who won a second consecutive U.S. Open Championship in June, powered his way to the PGA Player of the Year award by winning the PGA Championship in August. He collected 126 total points based upon two major championship victories, which guaranteed him 50 bonus points. He also finished fifth in the season money list and ninth in the Vardon Trophy standings for adjusted scoring average.

Justin Thomas, the 2017 PGA Player of the Year, finished second overall with 66 points, followed by Johnson with 58 and Fedex Cup Champion Justin Rose with 54.

Since 1948, the PGA of America has honored the game’s best players with the PGA Player of the Year Award. It is presented to the top TOUR professional based on a point system for tournament wins, official money standings, and scoring averages. Points for the 2017-18 season began with the Safeway Open on Oct. 5, and conclude Sept. 23, at the TOUR Championship.

In the Vardon Trophy race, Johnson finished with a 68.698 adjusted scoring average based upon 77 complete rounds. Rose was runner-up at 68.993, followed by Thomas (69.118), Webb Simpson (69.293) and Rory McIlroy (69.303).

Since 1937, the Vardon Trophy, named by the PGA of America in honor of legendary British golfer Harry Vardon, has been presented annually to the touring professional with the lowest adjusted scoring average. It is based on a minimum of 60 rounds, with no incomplete rounds, in events co-sponsored or designated by the PGA TOUR. The adjusted score is computed from the average score of the field at each event.

The PGA TOUR also recognizes its annual Player of the Year, with the winner announced in early October, determined by a vote of the membership.

2018 PGA Player of the Year Standings
1. Brooks Koepka 60 12 4 50 126
2. Justin Thomas 30 20 16 -- 66
3. Dustin Johnson 20 18 20 -- 58
4. Justin Rose 20 16 18 -- 54
5. Bryson DeChambeau 30 14 -- -- 44
6. Bubba Watson 30 10 -- -- 40
7. Francesco Molinari 40 -- -- -- 40
8. Webb Simpson 20 4 14 -- 38
9. Patrick Reed 30 -- -- -- 30
10. Tiger Woods 10 6 8 -- 24

2018 Vardon Trophy Standings
1. Dustin Johnson 68.698
2. Justin Rose 68.993
3. Justin Thomas 69.118
4. Webb Simpson 69.293
5. Rory McIlroy 69.303
6. Tommy Fleetwood 69.342
7. Tiger Woods 69.350
8. Rickie Fowler 69.435
9. Brooks Koepka 69.444
10. Tony Finau 69.520

U.S. Ryder Cup Team Directs $2.85 Million to Youth Golf Development, Community Outreach Programs

(PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.) - United States Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk, his five Vice Captains and the 12-member U.S. Team have made a $2.85 million commitment to the 2018 Ryder Cup Outreach Program, which impacts designated charities and youth golf development programs across the country.

Since 1999, and now spanning ten Ryder Cups, the outreach program has contributed more than $25.8 million to more than 200 charitable organizations.

All members of the 2018 U.S. Team, along with Furyk, designated $100,000 each to the charity or charities of their choice. Another $100,000 will be directed to help support youth golf development programs designed to introduce children to the game, provide unique approaches to play the game and deliver world-class coaching and mentoring to advanced juniors who may not otherwise have the financial means.

The five U.S. Vice Captains – David Duval, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III, Steve Stricker – will each designate $25,000 to the charity or charities of their choice, and another $25,000 to help support youth golf development programs.

“To be a part of the U.S. Ryder Cup team is an honor, and with that comes the ability to impact communities through the game of golf,” Furyk said. "Each of our U.S. Vice Captains and players appreciate the opportunity to represent our nation in the Ryder Cup in France, while simultaneously helping others back in America via the Ryder Cup Outreach Program. It’s a powerful combination.”

In 2018, Youth Golf Development Programs that will benefit directly from the Ryder Cup Outreach Program are:
• KPMG Future Leaders Program: Affords top female high school seniors across the country the opportunity to enhance their personal growth through college scholarships, a leadership development retreat at Stanford University, a mentoring relationship with a woman business leader, and an introduction to golf.
• Drive, Chip & Putt Championship: A free, nationwide junior skills competition for boys and girls, ages 7-15 supported by The Masters Tournament Foundation, the PGA of America and the United States Golf Association.
• PGA Jr. League: As PGA REACH’s flagship youth pillar program, PGA Jr. League is a fun, social and inclusive opportunity for boys and girls to learn and enjoy the game of golf under the direction of PGA and LPGA Professionals. Much like other recreational league sports, participants wear numbered jerseys and play on teams with their friends. At the end of the regular season, all-star teams are formed to compete in the PGA Jr. League Postseason presented by National Car Rental. In 2018, there were PGA Jr. League teams in all 41 PGA Sections and all 50 states.

The 42nd Ryder Cup is being contested Sept. 28-30, at Le Golf National in Paris, France.

For more information about the Ryder Cup, visit

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

2017 Champion Chugg Edges Two-Time Winner Potter-Bobb in 19 Holes

(St. Louis, Mo.) - Defending champion Kelsey Chugg, of Salt Lake City, Utah, made consecutive birdies on No. 18 and the first playoff hole on Tuesday to defeat two-time champion Julia Potter-Bobb in 19 holes and advance to the quarterfinals of the 32nd U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Norwood Hills Country Club.

“It was really an intense match, one of the most intense I’ve ever played,” said Chugg, 27, who won this championship last November in her debut at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas. “Especially playing against such a good friend of mine.”

Chugg lost No. 17 to Potter-Bobb to go down a hole, but she converted a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 18 after Potter-Bobb missed her 14-foot birdie try, sending the match to extra holes. Chugg knocked her approach to 6 feet on the par-4 first hole and made the putt to defeat Potter-Bobb, of Indianapolis, Ind., who won this championship in 2013 and 2016.

Chugg and Potter-Bobb, who both won Round-of-32 matches on Tuesday morning, formed a four-ball partnership and qualified on Sept. 4 for the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball, which will be played at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla., next April. Chugg will now take on four-time champion Meghan Stasi in Wednesday’s quarterfinal round. Stasi, 40, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., won another matchup of past champions on Tuesday afternoon, defeating 2004 winner Corey Weworski, 56, of Carlsbad, Calif., 1 up.

Medalist and No. 1 seed Shannon Johnson, 35, of Norton, Mass., eliminated four-time champion Ellen Port, 57, of St. Louis, 2 and 1, in the morning Round of 32, before ousting Jordan Craig-Nyiri, 32, of Connellsville, Pa., 6 and 5, in the Round of 16.

“I didn’t make any putts all week, and it carried on to this match,” said Port, who has won seven USGA championships and will seek her fourth U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur title starting Oct. 6 at Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club in Vero Beach, Fla. “That was the difference. I missed a couple shots, but she putted well, and I had my opportunities.”

Johnson, who was the runner-up in 2016, will take on Clare Connolly, 25, of Chevy Chase, Md., Wednesday at 8 a.m. CDT in the quarterfinals. Connolly roared back from a four-hole deficit to defeat Courtney McKim, 28, of Raleigh, N.C., in 19 holes after dispatching 2014 champion Margaret Starosto, of Woodstock, Ga., 5 and 4, in the morning.

2015 champion Lauren Greenlief, 28, of Ashburn, Va., has won all three of her matches by 4-and-3 margins, and will take on Michelle Butler, 25, of Columbia, Mo., on Wednesday. Butler, who eliminated Kayla Eckelkamp, 28, of Washington, Mo., on Tuesday afternoon, is competing in her first USGA championship.

Gretchen Johnson, 32, of Portland, Ore., who edged 2017 semifinalist Marissa Mar, 26, of San Francisco, 1 up, in the afternoon, will take on Julia Hodgson, 26, of Canada, who outlasted Tara Joy-Connolly, 45, of North Palm Beach, Fla., in 19 holes.

Medalist Shannon Johnson on her victory over seven-time USGA champion Ellen Port:
“I knew that going against Ellen was going to be a tough match, and I just made it a little harder on myself by not swinging freely; my tempo was a little off. But luckily I was able to make a couple of clutch pars out on some of the tougher holes, and Ellen three-putted the 15th hole while I made a good 6-footer to win. The last few holes are tough, so if you can make par, it’s going to go a long way.”

Johnson, on an adjustment she and caddie Matt Johnson (no relation) made between rounds:
“I came out and hit a few balls and he noticed my shoulders were just pointing a little the wrong way. I was a little open to my target, which would make sense considering where my shots were going this morning. It’s awesome to have another set of eyes, and I really hit it awesome this whole back side today.”

Michelle Butler, of Columbia, Mo., on the 36-hole day:
“I think when you go in mentally prepared that it’s going to be a long day and a physical grind, it helps you out a lot, but I feel like I'm gaining confidence the more I'm out on this course – shot by shot, match by match. I'm definitely playing a lot better than I did in stroke play.”

Butler, a University of Missouri graduate, on her rooting section:
“I've had such a good fan crew out here. My boyfriend Hunter, my dad, my boyfriend's parents… They always call me MB. My boyfriend's dad came up with that. So they're over there yelling, ‘Go MB, go MB.’ It's pretty cool. It's been nice having that support.”

Clare Connolly, on her comeback from four holes down:
“I wanted to play smart golf. I tried to force a lot of things on the front nine, and it just was not working. So went back to the roots and went back to smart golf. If you don't have a shot, hit it out, try to get it up and down. So back to the fundamentals.”

Connolly, on being exempt into the 2019 championship as a quarterfinalist:
“For being my first time here, I'm absolutely thrilled. After playing in the Women’s Am a couple weeks ago and being one of the oldest, it feels good to have the shoe on the other foot, to say the least, so I'm very honored and I'm very excited, so got to keep it going.”

2015 champion Lauren Greenlief, on her comfort level in this championship:
“I think having gone through it before and having made the deep run at the Women’s Am just helps build confidence. A big part of this game is just being confident, making confident swings, so I’m just trying to carry that throughout and leverage my match-play experience.”

Meghan Stasi, on being a four-time champion:
“I don't even think about it, honestly. It feels like just yesterday even though [the last victory] was 2012. It doesn't bother me. I just want to play and compete, and if it happens again, that's incredible, but I've got to get through tomorrow first. It's another long day ahead.”

All of the players who advanced to the quarterfinals are exempt from qualifying for the 2019 championship, which will be played Sept. 14-19 at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz. Semifinalists are exempt for two years, the runner-up earns a three-year exemption and the champion is exempt for 10 years.

Tara Joy-Connolly played two extra-hole matches against players from Canada on Tuesday. She defeated 2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion Judith Kyrinis in 22 holes in the morning, then lost to Julia Hodgson in 19 holes. Mary Jane Hiestand, the runner-up in this championship to Chugg in 2017 who missed the cut this year, caddied for Joy-Connolly for all 41 holes on Tuesday.

The average age of the eight quarterfinalists is 29.7 years. The average of the 132-player starting field was 38.8 years.

The championship continues with quarterfinal and semifinal matches on Wednesday at Norwood Hills Country Club. The first quarterfinal match is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. CT. The 18-hole championship match will be contested on Thursday with the champion receiving an exemption in the 2019 U.S. Women's Open at the Country Club of Charleston.

Breakthrough Golf Announces Partnership with The Duran Group

(Dallas, TX) - Breakthrough Golf Technology announces a strategic partnership with US sales & distribution company The Duran Group. Due to the unprecedented success of its Stability shaft for putters, BGT and The Duran Group have partnered for expanded distribution in the US. The focus will be on course golf facilities and off course fitting retailers.

Barney Adams, CEO/Founder of BGT stated, "Our relationship with The Duran Group is further testament to the growing popularity of the Stability shaft. I'm very pleased with the success we've had on tour, where the best players in the world can benefit from our technology and now with Duran's help the Stability shaft will be available to the broader market."

For 50 years, the putter shaft has not changed; it's a simple steel pipe. Over the years, head designs for putters have evolved and gotten dramatically heavier. This has resulted in shafts that are not stable or strong enough to keep these heavier, advanced putter heads from oscillating. The Stability shaft delivers the face squarer at impact for improved accuracy and solid feel and has a lower launch for a predictable roll, resulting in better distance control.

Tony Duran, President/Founder of The Duran Group stated, "With significant advancement in putter head designs and putter grips over the past decade, it's amazing that the engine of a putter, the shaft, has been overlooked in the golf market. Breakthrough Golf Technology's Stability shaft is a giant leap forward for golfers of all skill levels, and we look forward to developing selective distribution with the best golf shops and club builders."

Breakthrough Golf Technology website:

PGA TOUR, NASCAR and Music Stars Partner with Myrtle Beach Golf Community to Raise Money for Victims of Hurricane Florence

Dustin Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Mark Bryan Lead Effort to Help Families Harmed by Storm

(Myrtle Beach, S.C.) - PGA TOUR superstar Dustin Johnson, NASCAR champion Denny Hamlin, and Mark Bryan of Hootie & the Blowfish are teaming up with the Myrtle Beach golf community to raise money for families impacted by Hurricane Florence.


Myrtle Beach’s two PGA TOUR Superstore locations are also participating in the initiative.

Johnson, a 19-time PGA TOUR winner, is partnering with and the Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association to launch a community wide effort that will raise money during the fall golf season to support victims of the storm.

Johnson, who played his collegiate golf at Coastal Carolina University and lived in the area for more than a decade, has pledged financial assistance through the Dustin Johnson Foundation.

Hamlin and Bryan are donating proceeds raised through their annual Pro Am Jam to, a non-profit foundation started by Golf Tourism Solutions, the agency responsible for promoting the Myrtle Beach golf community as a destination.

“Dustin Johnson and Mark Bryan are long-time friends of the Myrtle Beach golf community, and we’ve gotten to know Denny Hamlin through his participation in the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am, which speaks to his altruism,” said Bill Golden, CEO of Golf Tourism Solutions. “Hurricane Florence has impacted so many throughout the Carolinas, and we, in conjunction with Dustin, Mark and Denny, want to do what we can to help people throughout the region and here at home who have been affected.”

Hurricane  Florence made landfall just north of Wilmington, N.C., on September 14 as a category 1 storm, and deluged North and South Carolina with historic rainfall totals that are still significantly impacting both states.

PXG Adds Emerging Player Talent to Its Roster of Champions

Kevin Dougherty & Grant Hirschman Join the PXG Troops
(Scottsdale, AZ) – PXG has signed two promising young golf professionals, Kevin Dougherty and Grant Hirschman, to its roster of champions in an effort to support emerging talent.
Kevin Dougherty
Kevin Dougherty is an American professional golfer who turned pro in 2014, making his debut on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada. In 2017 Dougherty successfully completed Tour Qualifying School. He then teed it up on the Tour for the 2018 season. With ball speeds in excess of 190 miles per hour, Dougherty is one of the longest hitters on tour averaging 328 yards.
Following his PXG custom club fitting, Dougherty shared, “I was convinced in one shot that PXG is different. All my career I have struggled with too high of launch and too much spin. The first shot I hit with PXG I said wow. The club technology really supported the launch conditions I was looking for. I am ecstatic that Bob and everyone from PXG have welcomed me into the family.”
Grant Hirschman
Also joining PXG’s professional staff is decorated junior and collegiate golfer Grant Hirschman. A recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Hirschman competed in every tournament during his four-year college career. As captain of the men’s golf team he led the University of Oklahoma, a PXG sponsored program, to a National Championship in 2017. Grant kicked off his professional career this summer on PGA Tour Canada; posting a 69.06 scoring average, recording a top ten finish and qualifying for the Tour Championship. In only ten starts, Grant retained status for the 2019 season, finishing in the Top 60 of the Order of Merit. Hirschman will head to Tour Q-School this fall in an attempt to move up the ranks in 2019.
“Both Kevin and Grant are extremely hard-working guys, and I admire them both for their tenacity,” PXG founder and CEO Bob Parsons stated. “I expect that they will come into their own in the coming months and am proud to support them along the way.”
"I am thrilled to join the list of elite professionals playing PXG,” Hirschman said. “I won a national championship in college playing PXG clubs. Now I’m ready to win at the next level playing the best equipment in the game."
PXG’s current professionals represent some of the very best talent on the PGA and LPGA Tours. Dougherty and Hirschman will join current #PXGTroops Zach Johnson, Billy Horschel, Pat Perez, Ryan Moore, James Hahn, Charl Schwartzel, Wyndham Clark, Lydia Ko, Anna Nordqvist, Katherine Kirk, Austin Ernst, Christina Kim, Brittany Lang, Alison Lee, Ryann O’Toole, and Gerina Piller. 
For more information about PXG and its professional staff visit,

Talamore Golf Resort Earns TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

(Village of Pinehurst, NC) — Talamore Golf Resort has earned a TripAdvisor “Certificate of Excellence” for 2018.

Since 2011, TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence has honored hospitality businesses that deliver consistently great service across the world. This designation is presented to approximately 10 percent of total businesses on TripAdvisor that have achieved great reviews over the past year.

“We strive everyday to provide a memorable golf experience at all touch points across the resort,” said Matt Hausser, Talamore Golf Resort’s General Manager. “It is rewarding that so many take note and share their positive experiences on TripAdvisor.”

In February, the Village of Pinehurst Area Chapter of the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) named the New Course at Talamore Golf Resort the “Course of the Year 2018.”

The prestigious award comes after a major restoration was performed on the golf course in 2016.

Not to be outdone, Talamore’s partner property across the street, the Arnold Palmer-designed King’s Course at Mid South, underwent a similar golf course restoration and greens conversion along with numerous other club enhancements.

In all, these projects are among $6 million in capital improvements at Talamore’s four North Carolina and Pennsylvania facilities.

Both courses were also rewarded by the North Carolina Golf Panel with impressive jumps in its prestigious Top 100 for 2018. The King’s Course at Mid South moved up six spots to No. 53 in the state, while The New Course at Talamore catapulted a whopping eight spaces to No. 92. Given that North Carolina has been described as having “50 Top-10 golf courses,” earning high marks is no easy task.

Talamore also received a major clubhouse renovation that included an expanded bar, enclosed rear patio and comfortable seating with a unique new old time, rustic feel.

The King’s Course at Mid South also performed a clubhouse overhaul, along with its course renovation. The back porch was enclosed to include a new bar with indoor and outdoor seating, and big-screen TVs for sporting events. The main floor received a full cosmetic overhaul with new furniture, flooring and a few other special touches to provide a unique and updated feel. Club Members now have a dedicated Kids Area with Playstations, Nintendos, comfortable beanbag chairs and more.

“Our membership has grown in a lot of new directions over the past several years and the clubhouse needed to move with the times,” said Hausser. “Members will be able to visit the club and feel comfortable to enjoy their time while the kids can do their thing.”

A new deck with pergola covered seating, outdoor living spaces with fire-pits geared up for “S’mores Night” are also in store. Upstairs at Mid South is the adult’s only Crow’s Nest, which boasts the finest views and bartending in the area. Comfortable seating indoors and out makes this the ultimate private club hangout out.

Alongside the Palmer and Jones’ centerpieces are a plethora of club amenities including pools at both properties, Jacuzzis, kiddie pool, tennis, basketball and even pickle ball. More than 50 member-only social and golf events adorn an active, year-round calendar at the clubs. Member Guests, Men’s and Ladies Day, the club’s famous Putt-Putt, Casino night, Pumpkin Painting, Guest Chefs, Chili cook off and more provide something for all ages and tastes.

Talamore members also enjoy seamless privileges with Talamore’s two highly renowned clubs in Pennsylvania — Talamore Country Club and Applecross Country Club by the Nicklaus Design group. Championship golf, exceptional private club dining, pools, fitness and great local accommodations make Talamore’s pair of Pennsylvania clubs a unique and fun experience for all members. Members have access to all club events so they can plan their trip around special events at all the Talamore clubs.

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Reflection Bay Golf Club Brings New Staff, Resort-Style Experiences to Lake Las Vegas

(Las Vegas) - Award-winning Reflection Bay Golf Club at Lake Las Vegas hit the proverbial hole in one with the addition of two key executives to its team. Director of golf operations Eric Dutt and general manager Jon Openshaw are enhancing the Jack Nicklaus Signature Design course to provide more high-end golf experiences for its guests.  

Since 35-year golf industry veteran Dutt and Openshaw came on board in August 2017, the golf club has been remodeled and Bayside Grill opened, with a menu created by celebrity chef Scott Commings. Commings, who won season 12 of Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” is the executive chef for Lake Las Vegas and provides menus for not only Bayside Grill, but also Reflection Bay’s events and weddings. The 32,000-square-foot club can accommodate up to 300 people with both indoor and outdoor venues to host weddings, holiday and corporate parties and special events.

“Our goal at Reflection Bay Golf Club is to surpass our guests’ expectations and give them a memorable resort-style experience,” said Dutt, who was previously vice president of Las Vegas golf operations for Caesar’s Entertainment and its Rio Secco golf course, Cascata golf course and Butch Harmon School of Golf. During his tenure there, Cascata was ranked among America’s Top Golf Courses by Zagat.  His golf career has also included serving as Tournament Operations Manager for PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and PGA Senior tour events in Las Vegas from 1985-1995 and opening The Badlands Golf Club in 1995.

Dutt has been building Reflection Bay and its golf related offerings over the past year, with the addition of former PGA Tour professional Craig Barlow and Jeff Gallagher. Barlow, a PGA Tour professional who has made 170 cuts on the PGA Tour and competed in eight major tournaments including the British Open and five U.S. Opens, is the club’s director of instruction. Former professional golfer Jeff Gallagher is a golf instructor.

Dutt’s team is also working with Raintree Investment Corporation to develop golf amenities at the Lake Las Vegas Sports Club and partnerships with the Jack Nicklaus designed private course, South Shore Lake Las Vegas.

Dutt is one of the most sought-after experts in the Las Vegas golf industry with work that includes consulting for the Tiger Woods Foundation National Charity Event and consulting for the City of Henderson, among others. He is the current president of the Nevada Golf Course Owners Association and is on the Board of Directors for the Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association. He is also chairman of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, PGM National Advisory Committee.

While Dutt focuses on the overall goals and direction of Reflection Bay, Openshaw manages course operations, dining and special events, including weddings and tournaments. His background includes several years as an assistant golf professional at Rio Secco Golf Club, Stallion Mountain Golf Club and Pronghorn Golf Club in Bend, Ore.

Reflection Bay hosts the annual Lake Las Vegas Classic, presented by Audi, coming this Fall. The food, wine, golf and music festival will be held November 1-3.

For more information, visit

Port Royal Golf Course to Host The Bermuda 3s

(Southampton, Bermuda) – Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton, Bermuda will host The BERMUDA 3s presented by Goslings, a new team par-3 golf championship matching pro-am teams from four international territories. Scheduled for October 21-26, 2018, the four-day, 72-hole competition will be played at three iconic Bermuda golf courses, including Port Royal Golf Course on October 23rd, with the finals at Turtle Hill Golf Club’s par-three course on October 24th and 25th.

Certified PGA Professionals from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain & Ireland and Continental Europe will lead four-person teams (three amateurs and one professional) and compete in a Best Ball Team Competition (net of handicap) for a $100,000 purse and a world title. Entry fees of $12,500 per team will earn a PGA Professional and their three amateur partners one of just 20 places per region and one of golf’s most extraordinary experiences including golf on three incredible golf courses; five nights of single accommodations at the Fairmont Southampton on Bermuda’s stunning south shore; and memorable evening functions including opening and closing ceremonies, award-winning food and unparalleled Bermuda hospitality. Amateurs may be from different golf clubs as the BERMUDA 3s is an opportunity to represent one’s country.

The BERMUDA 3s is the creation of two golf industry veterans, former PGA chief executive Joe Steranka and Honda Classic Executive Director Ken Kennerly, and is sponsored by the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Goslings. Bermuda has been a popular golf destination since hosting the PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 2007-2014. The event is called the BERMUDA 3s for several reasons, including:
- 3 Golf Courses
- Final two rounds at Turtle Hill Par 3 Course
- 3 Amateurs (and 1 Pro)
- Bermuda Triangle (3 Sides)

“There is nothing more exciting than representing your country in any endeavor but especially golf,” said Steranka who was instrumental in the growth of the modern-day Ryder Cup. “BERMUDA 3s is a celebration of the game and a recognition of the influential role PGA Professionals have around the world.”

Port Royal Golf Course has been ranked among the world’s best public golf courses by Golf Digest and named Bermuda’s finest course by the New York Times. Port Royal features 18 championship holes over 6,842 manicured yards, the longest and most picturesque course in all of Bermuda. Designed by world-renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1970, Port Royal underwent a multi-million renovation in preparation for the 2009/2010 PGA Grand Slam of Golf.  With the support of the Bermuda Government and professionally managed by Troon Golf, Port Royal is one of the world’s premier public golf courses boasting sweeping ocean views and a luxurious clubhouse. For those short on time, Port Royal’s 9-hole Ocean View Golf Course offers a quicker alternative to its 18-hole championship course.

“We are excited to host this outstanding international competition at Port Royal Golf Course,” said Greg Maybury, general manager, Port Royal Golf Course. “October is the perfect time for golf in Bermuda and we look forward to welcoming the 300-plus competitors to the island for this great event.”

Registration is now open online at, via email to or by calling 561-379-2134.

For additional news and information, visit

Forsgate Country Club’s Frank Esposito Wins Third New Jersey Senior Open Championship Title

Esposito Leads 2018 New Jersey Senior Player of the Year Race

(Monroe Township, NJ)—Forsgate Country Club congratulates Frank Esposito, a member of its Teaching Professional staff, on winning the 2018 New Jersey PGA/New Jersey State Golf Association Senior Open, which was contested at Green Brook Country Club in North Caldwell last week.  Esposito, 55, successfully defended his 2017 Senior Open title with rounds of 67 and 70 to finish two shots clear of his nearest challengers. He earned his first NJPGA/NJSGA Senior Open victory in 2014.

Esposito, who said his game was off for most of the summer, admitted that going into the second round he found it tough to play with the lead. “All kinds of things go through your head, but you just kind of go about your business,” he said. “I was struggling off the tee and I started to lose confidence. In this game, you’ve got to have confidence. It’s always nice to win an open championship in your state.” Esposito currently holds a slim points lead for 2018 New Jersey Senior Player of the Year honors, an accomplishment he achieved in 2017 and 2014.

Considered by many as New Jersey’s best senior golfer, Esposito has played in PGA TOUR Champions Tour tournaments, competed in the U.S. Open and in two PGA Championships. In 2014, he won the prestigious Senior PGA Professional National Championship. Esposito has a stellar New Jersey golf resume. He is a five-time NJPGA Player of the Year, a two-time NJ Open champion and is a member of the New Jersey PGA Hall of Fame.

For more information about Forsgate Country Club visit or call (732) 521-0070.

TOUR Championship Final Round Becomes Most-Watched FedExCup Playoffs Telecast Ever

Total Audience Delivery Eclipsed 7.8 Million Average Viewers;
Fueled by Most-Streamed NBC Sports Golf Round Outside of The Open

(ORLANDO, Fla.) – NBC Sports Group’s final round coverage of the TOUR Championship on Sunday (3:00-6:19 p.m. ET) garnered a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 7.8 million average viewers, as Tiger Woods claimed his 80th career victory, and his first in five years. The telecast’s TAD was up 212% vs. 2017 (2.5m). Television viewership posted 7.18 million average viewers, up 192% YOY (2.46m) and a 4.45 U.S. household rating, up 178% vs. 2017 (1.60). It also becomes the most-watched telecast in the history of the FedExCup Playoffs (2007-2018) and the most-watched PGA TOUR telecast in 2018 (excludes majors).

Coverage peaked from 5:45-6 p.m. ET with 10.84 million average viewers as Woods finished his TOUR Championship-winning round and Justin Rose sealed his season-long victory as the FedExCup champion. The peak viewership number trails only the Masters (16.84m) and PGA Championship (12.39m) in 2018. The extended coverage window (1:30-6:19 p.m. ET) drew 5.89 million average viewers and a 3.69 U.S. household rating to become the most-watched and highest-rated TOUR Championship telecast on record (1991-2018).

Sunday’s final round saw 18.4 million minutes streamed across NBC Sports Digital platforms (+561% year-over-year), and becomes NBC Sports’ most-streamed Sunday round (excluding majors) on record (2013-’18).

Sunday’s lead-in coverage on Golf Channel (11:54 a.m.-1:25 p.m. ET) also garnered a Total Audience Delivery of 829K average viewers and posted a .56 U.S. household rating, becoming the most-watched and highest rated lead-in telecast of the TOUR Championship ever (2007-2018). Golf Channel was the No. 2 Sports Network during this window and No. 7 out of all Nielsen-rated cable networks during that span.

This week, NBC Sports Group will offer weeklong coverage of the biennial Ryder Cup from Le Golf National outside of Paris. Live From the Ryder Cup continues all week on Golf Channel, surrounding nearly 30 hours of NBC Sports’ Emmy-nominated live event coverage, spanning from Friday morning’s opening tee shot just after 2 a.m. ET through the clinching point on Sunday. The United States will look to retain the Ryder Cup after defeating Europe in 2016 (17-11), and aim to win for the first time on European soil in 25 years, since 1993.