Jimmy Burch has covered professional golf for the Star-Telegram since 1991. He’s received state and national honors for his writing but fills his own scorecard with more bogeys than birdies when he hits the local links.
Officials at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial will give a sponsor’s exemption to next year’s PGA Tour stop in Fort Worth to the men’s individual champion at this week’s Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship. The biennial event, which draws competitors from 20 countries, runs Wednesday through Saturday at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Tex. Although the Spirit International is a four-player team competition, the men’s individual champion will be the golfer who is the most strokes under par during the 72 holes of the event. Dates for next year’s Colonial tournament are May 19-25, 2014.
“We want to support amateur golf,” Colonial tournament chairman Bobby Patton said. “Amateur golfers grow up to be professional golfers, and that’s our business. It’s the right thing to do to get involved early.”
Officials at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial raised $6.1 million for local charities through its “Birdies for Charity” program at this year’s tournament, one of the largest totals among events on the 2013 PGA Tour.
The total is part of the tournament’s annual charitable contribution that will be announced in December. The $6.1 million is the largest ever raised during one year by participants in the “Birdies for Charity” program, which began in 2005. Since its inception, the program has generated more than $33 million.
This year’s total was boosted by a matching fund of $200,000 from Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, the tournament’s title sponsor, as well as the 1,381 birdies recorded by participants during tournament week in May.
“It’s thrilling to see the community and charities support our birdies campaign with such enthusiasm,” Colonial tournament chairman Bobby Patton said. “To be one of the top birdies campaigns on tour is testament to the philanthropic nature of our community.”
Fort Worth golf officials will unveil their new, six-hole practice facility during Saturday’s 11 a.m. grand opening at Rockwood Golf Course. The River’s Edge course, a walking-only facility, can be played in three- or six-hole increments. Golfers also can pay an all-day fee of $10 for adults or $6 for juniors.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Sal Espino, District 2 council member, are expected to be part of the opening ceremonies at the facility, located at 1851 Jacksboro Highway. The course, built by Colligan Golf Design, was funded with gas well revenues and a donation of $150,000 from the Wadsworth Golf Charities Foundation as part of their “Links Across America” initiative. Total cost of the project, which will be used as a teaching facility by The First Tee of Fort Worth, was $380,000.
A team of golfers from Colonial Country Club has won the 2013 Maxwell Cup Trophy, a challenge between three clubs affiliated with noted course designer Perry Maxwell: Colonial, Southern Hills (Tulsa, Okla.) and Prairie Dunes (Hutchinson, Kan.). The clubs take turn hosting the Ryder Cup-style event, with each team’s roster consisting of 16 players. The Colonial contingent used a strong session in the singles matches to outlast the runner-up team from Prairie Dunes.
Golfers on the winning Colonial team included Chase Herdman, Kevin Gregory, Darren Lewis, Dillon Farish, Jonathan Mock, Doug Boyd, Jordan Woolf, Mark Hague, Clayton Sikes, Dow Finsterwald Jr., John McNey, Mark Woolf, Melvin Haas, Jim Whitten, Judd Pritchard and Burl Daniel.
Four teen golfers from The First Tee of Fort Worth will compete in the 2013 Nature Valley First Tee Open, a Champions Tour event in Pebble Beach, Calif. The tournament will be Sept. 27-29 and will be televised by the Golf Channel.
The four teens will be grouped with one of the 81 participants from the Champions Tour, as well as two amateurs. They will compete for the pro-junior title at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Representing the Fort Worth chapter will be Olivia Gibbs, North Crowley High School; Nicholas Narcisse, Mansfield High School; Connor Parrish, North Crowley High School, and Jacey Patton, Temple Christian Academy.
Kevin Long, executive director of The First Tee of Fort Worth, said organizers are “extremely honored” to have four participants in the event, the largest continent from any local chapter of The First Tee.
Limited spots remain for golfers interested in participating in the Angela Stanford Foundation’s “Let Your Light Shine” charity tournament, Sept. 22 at Diamond Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth. Stanford, a former TCU and Saginaw Boswell standout, will be among 18 LPGA Tour competitors taking part in the event. Stanford and two of her teammates on the 2013 U.S. Solheim Cup team, Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller, are among the confirmed participants in the event that will benefit the First Tee of Fort Worth, Lena Pope Home and children whose families have been affected by cancer. For more information, visit www.angelastanfordfoundation.org.
The PGA Tour has adopted a wraparound schedule for the 2013-14 FedEx Cup race, boosting the number of events in the season-long competition to 45. Players will begin accumulating points in October that will determine the 2014 FedEx Cup champion, who will be crowned Sept. 14, 2014 at the culmination of the tour’s playoff events.
As announced previously, the Dallas-Fort Worth stops on the 2014 PGA Tour calendar will be played in consecutive May weeks. The HP Byron Nelson Championship (May 12-18, 2014) will be followed by the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial (May 19-25).
Dates for other PGA Tour stops in Texas include the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio (March 24-30) and the Shell Houston Open (March 31-April 6). Those events will preceded the Masters Tournament (April 7-13), the first major championship on the 2014 slate.
Dates for the remaining majors on the 2014 calendar: U.S. Open (June 9-15), British Open (July 14-20) and PGA Championship (Aug. 4-10).
_ Jimmy Burch
2013-14 PGA Tour Schedule
TOURNAMENT TV GOLF COURSE(S) LOCATION O 7-13 Frys.com Open GOLF CordeValle Golf Club San Martin, CA 14-20 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open GOLF TPC Summerlin Las Vegas, NV 21-27 CIMB Classic GOLF Kuala Lampur Golf & Country Club Kuala Lampur, Malaysia N 28-3 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions GOLF Sheshan International Golf Club Shanghai, China 4-10 The McGladrey Classic GOLF Sea Island Resort (Seaside Course) St. Simons Island, GA 11-17 OHL Classic at Mayakoba GOLF El Camaleon Golf Club at the Mayakoba Resort Playa del Carmen, MX 18-24 World Cup of Golf* GOLF Royal Melbourne Golf Club Black Rock, Victoria, AUS BREAK J 30-6 Hyundai Tournament of Champions (Monday Finish) GOLF Kapalua Resort (The Plantation Course) Kapalua, HI 6-12 Sony Open in Hawaii GOLF Waialae Country Club Honolulu, HI 13-19 Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation GOLF PGA WEST (**Palmer Private Course, Nicklaus Private Course); La Quinta Country Club La Quinta, CA 20-26 Farmers Insurance Open GOLF/CBS Torrey Pines Golf Course (**South Course, North Course) San Diego, CA F 27-2 Waste Management Phoenix Open GOLF/CBS TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course) Scottsdale, AZ 3-9 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am GOLF/CBS **Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Monterey Peninsula Country Club (Shore Course) Pebble Beach, CA 10-16 Northern Trust Open GOLF/CBS Riviera Country Club Pacific Palisades, CA 17-23 World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship GOLF/CBS The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain Marana, AZ M 24-2 The Honda Classic GOLF/NBC PGA National (Champion Course) Palm Beach Gardens, FL 3-9 World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship GOLF/NBC Doral Golf Resort & Spa (Blue Monster Course) Doral, FL 3-9 Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com GOLF Trump International Golf Club Puerto Rico Rio Grande, Puerto Rico 10-16 Valspar Championship GOLF/NBC Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club (Copperhead Course) Palm Harbor, FL 17-23 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard GOLF/NBC Bay Hill Golf Club and Lodge Orlando, FL 24-30 Valero Texas Open GOLF/NBC TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course) San Antonio, TX A 31-6 Shell Houston Open GOLF/NBC Redstone Golf Club (Tournament Course) Humble, TX 7-13 Masters Tournament # ESPN/CBS Augusta National Golf Club Augusta, GA 14-20 RBC Heritage GOLF/CBS Harbour Town Golf Links Hilton Head Island, SC 21-27 Zurich Classic of New Orleans GOLF/CBS TPC Louisiana New Orleans, LA M 28-4 Wells Fargo Championship GOLF/CBS Quail Hollow Club Charlotte, NC 5-11 THE PLAYERS Championship GOLF/NBC TPC Sawgrass (THE PLAYERS Stadium Course) Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 12-18 HP Byron Nelson Championship GOLF/CBS Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas (TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas) Irving, TX 19-25 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial GOLF/CBS Colonial Country Club Fort Worth, TX J 26-1 the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance GOLF/CBS Muirfield Village Golf Club Dublin, OH 2-8 FedEx St. Jude Classic GOLF/CBS TPC Southwind Memphis, TN 9-15 U.S. Open # ESPN/NBC Pinehurst No.2 Pinehurst, NC 16-22 Travelers Championship GOLF/CBS TPC River Highlands Cromwell, CT 23-29 AT&T National GOLF/CBS Congressional Country Club (Blue Course) Bethesda, MD J 30-6 The Greenbrier Classic GOLF/CBS The Greenbrier (The Old White TPC) White Sulphur Springs, WV 7-13 John Deere Classic GOLF/CBS TPC Deere Run Silvis, IL 14-20 The Open Championship # ESPN Royal Liverpool Hoylake, UK 21-27 RBC Canadian Open GOLF/CBS The Royal Montreal Golf Club Ile-Bizard, Quebec, CAN A 28-3 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational GOLF/CBS Firestone Country Club (South Course) Akron, OH 28-3 Reno-Tahoe Open GOLF Montrêux Golf and Country Club Reno, NV 4-10 PGA Championship # TNT/CBS Valhalla Golf Club Louisville, KY 11-17 Wyndham Championship GOLF/CBS Sedgefield Country Club Greensboro, NC 18-24 The Barclays GOLF/CBS Ridgewood Country Club Paramus, NJ S 25-1 Deutsche Bank Championship (Monday Finish) GOLF/NBC TPC Boston Norton, MA 1-7 BMW Championship GOLF/NBC Cherry Hills Country Club Cherry Hills Village, CO 8-14 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola GOLF/NBC East Lake Golf Club Atlanta, GA
# Not PGA TOUR co-sponsored ** Host Course * Unofficial Prize Money, Sanctioned by the International Federation of PGA Tours FedExCup Playoffs (4 events)
Emma Costa, a junior golfer from Southlake, has advanced to the national finals of the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship, a golf developmental initiative created by the Masters Tournament Foundation, U.S. Golf Association and PGA of America.
Costa, 10, will represent the North Texas Region during the finals at Augusta National Golf Club on April 6, 2014. The finals will be held the day before the start of practice rounds at the 2014 Masters. Costa, one of the top 88 finishers at regional qualifiers, is a member of Timarron Country Club in Southlake. By reaching the finals, she earned three tickets to a Masters practice round while in Augusta, Ga.
Officials at the HP Byron Nelson Championship announced today that this year’s event raised $5.55 million for local charities, bringing the tournament’s career total to more than $132 million in charitable dollars since 1968. The 2013 total represents a 3 percent increase over 2012 charitable proceeds. The 2014 Nelson will be played May 12-18 in Irving.
PGA Tour officials have banned caddie races at events where they occur, including the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. The crowd-pleasing races also have been popular at the Phoenix Open.
Andy Pazder, the tour’s executive vice president and chief of operations, confirmed the edict today in a phone interview with the Star-Telegram after the issue surfaced during a report on the Golf Channel.
The primary issue, said Pazder, is caddie safety. Plus, some caddies told him they felt “humiliated” by the races at Colonial’s 13th hole.
“From my standpoint, fans enjoyed the caddie races,” Pazder said. “But as we looked at it with each passing year, safety became an issue. For somebody to legitimately run with a bag on his shoulder, I’m concerned about him tripping and falling and injuring himself. I didn’t want that to become a factor. We want the caddies to be safe.”
In addition, Pazder said: “I’ve had caddies come to me and say they feel humiliated by the caddie races, as if they’re a carnival sideshow. A number of them also liked it because it was their moment in the spotlight.”
It is worth noting that caddies, who work for individual golfers, do not receive health-care benefits from the PGA Tour. That makes liability issues a concern in the event a caddie would be injured while participating in one of the voluntary races to see which caddie is first to arrive at Colonial’s 13th green.
Colonial officials confirmed this morning that they will abide by the edict, ending a popular practice at Fort Worth’s annual PGA Tour stop.
“Whatever the tour needs, we’re 100 percent supportive,” Colonial tournament director Michael Tothe said. “It’s really up to them.”
In a statement confirming the end of the caddie races, Tothe playfully referenced Crowne Plaza, the hotel chain that is the tournament’s title sponsor. It said: “In keeping on brand with our title sponsor … and to support the PGA Tour’s wishes, we are putting the caddie races to bed. Good night caddie races, it’s been fun.”
Tothe said tournament officials intend to huddle about a possible replacement activity to entertain fans who congregate at the 13th green. But he acknowledged it will be tough to match the popularity of the caddie races, which became “an organic element the fans embraced” on their own.
“You’d rather let it happen naturally,” Tothe said of a fresh initiative at No. 13. “We haven’t brainstormed about it yet. But we will.”