10-year-old Emma Costa, a junior member at Timarron Country Club in Southlake, TX, caught all of our attention over the weekend. The young talent advanced from the regional qualifier to the finals of the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship in Augusta, GA. The tournament is put on by the Masters Tournament Foundation, the United States Golf Association, and PGA of America.
Come April 6, 2014, the day before practice rounds begin for the Masters Tournament, Costa will be representing North Texas at Augusta National Golf Club. Out of over tens of thousands of 7-15 year-old boys and girls that competed, Costa finished in the top 88 in the country. Costa has been working hard all summer as she competed in as many tournaments as possible in preparation for this moment.
Along with her regional win, Costa receives three tickets to the Masters practice round. She's already designated one ticket for her caddy - her mom.
Erica Lautensack, a junior at Arlington High School and Shady Valley Golf Club Member, continues to impress collegiate golf scouts as she dominated the Fort Worth Juniors Girls golf tournament last month. Lautensack went into the final round of the tournament with the title practically locked in but was determined to not let up.
With a commanding lead, Lautensack used her short game in the final round to chip away at her distant opponents. She was only one of two golfers to score in the 70s throughout the 3-day tournament and concluded with a total score of 219, a 15 shot victory over second-place finisher Alexandra Schies.
“Going into today, I knew it wasn’t a guarantee, because you could lose that so fast, but it was probably after the first five holes that I really thought I was going to win,” Lautensack explained following her victory. “It’s one of my best finishes in a tournament this big...It’s actually my best finish in a tournament this big.”
Erica began playing golf with her dad at a very young age and has been a ClubCorp Member at Shady Valley since she could manage to swing a golf club. She was the junior club champion for two years and, more recently, has been the women’s club champion for the past two years.
The 3-day long Bridgestone Invitational took place last week from Thursday till Saturday, however it may as well have been over Friday afternoon. Tiger Woods shot a record-tying 61 on Friday, leaving the other players to essentially fight for second place on Saturday. Woods finished with a -15 under 265, leading Keegan Bradley and Henrik Stenson by seven strokes. The victory marks Woods' eighth Bridgestone Invitational title, which is more times than Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker, and Matt Kuchar have won total tournaments on the PGA tour.
"I don't know what it is. It just fits my eye, I've felt comfortable here. For some reason it just comes out and I put it together." Woods put up 19 birdies and one eagle to five bogeys in the tournament. This win also marks his 79th PGA Tour victory.
Watch the highlights from Woods' second round on Friday below.
We are only one day away from the start of the Bridgestone Invitational! As you gear up for the event, have you ever wondered how the players qualify to play?
Eligible players are:
- Playing members of the 2012 U.S. and European Ryder Cup teams. NOTE: In even-numbered years, playing members of the last-named U.S. and International Presidents Cup teams shall replace the last-named Ryder Cup teams.
- The top-50 players, including any tied for 50th place, from the Official World Golf Ranking as of Monday, July 22, 2013, and Monday, July 29, 2013.
- Tournament winners, whose victories are considered official, of tournaments from the Federation Tours since the prior year's Bridgestone Invitational (with an Official World Golf Ranking Strength of Field Rating of 115 points or more).
- The winner of the following tournaments from each of the following Tours: Japan Golf Tour Championship (2013) and Bridgestone Open (2012) from the Japan Golf Tour; Australian PGA Championship (2012) from the Australasian Tour; Dimension Data Pro-Am (2013) from the Southern Africa Tour; and Thailand Golf Championship (2012) from the Asian Tour.
74 players are eligible for the premier golf event, however one man chose to set golf aside as he and his wife celebrate the wonderful gift of new life. Hunter Mahan announced his withdrawal from the tournament Monday following the birth of his first child, Zoe.
“I have elected to officially withdraw myself from the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational so that I can take the opportunity to spend this precious first week at home with Zoe,” he said in a statement. “I would like to thank the PGA Tour for supporting my decision not to play this week."
Jordan Spieth made history on Sunday as he became the first teenager to win a PGA event since Ralph Guldahl in 1931. 19 year old Spieth sunk a bunker shot on the final hole of regulation to send him into a playoff with David Hearn and the defending champion, Zach Johnson. The intensity grew hole after hole, leading up to Spieth's grand finale in the 5th round. Spieth set up for a 26-inch putt on the 18th green, and nailed it. Along with a smooth $828,000 prize check, Jordan Spieth also earned a spot in next week's British Open in Scotland.
Oh, and did I mention Spieth is a Dallas native and member of our very own Brookhaven Country Club? Spieth attended Jesuit College Preparatory school in Dallas, TX and moved to Austin to begin his college career at the University of Texas. Making a name for himself early on in is time at Texas, Spieth won three events and lead the team in scoring average during his freshman year. He was also named Big 12 Freshman of the Year, selected to the All-Big 12 Team, and named a first-team All-American.
Aside from his accolades, Jordan Spieth shares something in common with previous teenage PGA victor, Ralph Guldahl. Guldahl was also a Dallas native as he attended Woodrow Wilson High School. In 1931, Guldahl entered the Santa Monica Open during his rookie season at age 19 and came out on top. He went on to win 15 additional PGA events throughout his career before retiring in 1959. After his professional career came to an end, Ralph Guldahl became a golf instructor at ClubCorp's own Braemar Country Club in Tarzana, CA.
We wish Jordan Spieth the best of luck as he competes in the British Open. If nothing else, he can now say he's accomplish something Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Roroy McIlroy never did.
One of the most exciting events in golf is getting closer, sports fans. From August 1-4, Firestone Country Club in Akron, OH will host the Bridgestone Invitational. The event will showcase a pool of elite golfers from around the world while benefitting a great cause. 75% of the proceeds will go to the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, making this tournament not only a treat to watch but a great way to make an impact in the lives of children everywhere.
Firestone is home to three courses, all of which stand out amongst the most prestigious in the country. The Invitational will take place on the par 70 South course which features 7,283 yards of shear beauty. This course was designed by the world famous Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Jones designed roughly 500 courses in 45 states and 35 different countries.
An American has won the tournament 10 times since 1999, with Tiger Woods contributing with a mere 7 victories. Will Keegan Bradley defend his title from 2012? Why not attend the event yourself and find out?
And it's going to be big.
Not only is the player lineup loaded with local Texan stars, but the Shootout is offering rare opportunities for both collegiate and highschool players to play alongside the LPGA pros.
On Tuesday, March 12, 2013, the North Texas College Shootout was held at Las Colinas with two spots at the Shootout on the line.
After a beautiful morning on the course, two lead ladies emerged and tied for first and second. Madison Pressel of the University of Texas and Casey Grice of the University of North Carolina snagged the two sponsor's exemption spots with scores of even-par 71.
As if playing on their first LPGA tour wasn't enough, both ladies had a different added bonus.
Madison Pressel, a senior at UT, is the younger sister of LPGA star Morgan Pressel, who is also scheduled to play at the Shootout.
"Being able to play my first round in an LPGA tournament with my sister will be awesome," said Madison.
Casey Grice, although a junior far away at UNC, calls College Station, Texas, home.
"This is a great opportunity for me to play with the pros," said Grice, a junior at UNC. "I'm [a native], so I was excited to see the LPGA return to North Texas."
Chelsea Mocio and Katerina Ruzickova are teammates at Texas A&M and from placing third and fourth have earned the opportunity to play in the LPGA Monday Qualifier on April 22 against a field of professionals competing for two spots in the LPGA tournament proper. Mocio carded a 73 and Ruzickova finished with a 74.
The North Texas LPGA Shootout will be held April 25-28, 2013. The 144-player official money tournament is the Tour’s first in the North Texas region in more than 20 years.
For tickets and information on available pro-am spots please Click Here.
The American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) has named the 2012 Exide Technologies Junior Open presented by Mizuno, held in April 2012 at The Country Club of the South in Johns Creek, Ga., as The Tournament of the Year.
“Because of the outstanding commitment made by our title sponsor, Exide Technologies, and tremendous support from the membership, we have continued to conduct a top quality tournament,” said Tournament Chairman Chuck Strong.
“Members and sponsors want to get involved because they see what the AJGA is about, an organization that not only focuses on improving and providing playing opportunities for junior golf, but building character in these young men and women.”
According to the AJGA, year after year, the Club Members have wholeheartedly supported the tournament by seeking out and securing sponsors, volunteering and creating a wonderful experience for the young players and their families.
Additionally, ever since the tournament started playing at the Club, the junior golf program there has seen dramatic growth.
“Three years ago we had 12 kids involved and this year we had 80. The increase has to do with the exposure parents received at the tournament and the excitement over junior golf,” Strong said.
Understandably, the tournament’s impact goes above and beyond the Club. According to the AJGA, since the tournament’s first year in 2010, it has provided the community with an economic boost of more than $270,000.
Additionally, Junior-Am tournament fundraising events have raised almost $50,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta and during the tournament, head golf pros at the Club held interactive clinics on the driving range for Big Brothers and Sisters.
Next year, the tournament will be held April 19-21, 2013 at The Country Club of the South.
We want to thank the Members and staff at The Country Club of the South for their wonderful efforts and extend our congratulations for receiving the award!
Head golf professionals at three of ClubCorp’s Hilton Head, S.C. clubs competed in a golf marathon on November 7, 2012, playing as many holes as possible to support The First Tee.
Play began at 7:30 a.m. for Chip Pellerin, head golf pro at The Country Club of Hilton Head; Lance Buntin, head golf pro at The Golf Club at Indigo Run; Jeremy Steiner, head golf pro at Golden Bear Golf Club and Dan Riker, general manager of The Golf Club at Indigo Run and Golden Bear Golf Club. By the time they decided to break for lunch, the group had already completed 72 holes in under 5 hours!
The team accepted pledges and donations for every hole they played throughout the day. And although the golf marathon concluded that day, the pros plan to continue their campaign at their respective Clubs.
“Golf has a long history of giving back and we are proud to be a part of the impact of The First Tee,” said Pellerin. “The movement is spreading across the nation and young people truly benefit from the training and core values they receive. As golf professionals we are showing our support by raising awareness through this and other initiatives at our Clubs and in the community.”
Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has been able to impact more than 6.5 million young people through a network that boasts 194 chapters offering programs at more than 700 golf facilities, 4,800 elementary schools and 120 U.S. military installations. Through 2017, The First Tee’s goal is to reach 10 million additional young people and grow the network to 1,200 golf facilities, 10,000 elementary schools and 350 other youth-serving locations. Programs such as the golf marathon in Hilton Head, will help make this goal a reality.
The amount raised is still being tabulated since the generous donations are still coming in to all the Clubs. Thank you to all who participated!