Downtown Phoenix is a mixture of old and new, with cranes dotting the skyline and old homes and apartments being renovated.
So it’s fitting that a golf course in the heart of Phoenix shares in that theme this fall.
Phoenix Country Club, founded in 1899, will be the home of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship for the next 10 years. The event is the final tournament of the year for the PGA Tour Champions circuit, featuring golfers 50 and older.
“It’s remarkable that you find a club that has this kind of history and tradition right here, literally, in downtown Phoenix,” Greg McLaughlin, president of the Champions tour, said during the tournament’s media day this week. “It’s very exciting for us. We’re excited about the future.”
Phoenix Country Club, which hosted the tournament last fall for the first time, has a history with professional golf dating to 1932. For decades, it played host to the Phoenix Open, which has morphed into the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The tour announced last spring that the Cup would expand from a 54-hole tournament to 72 holes and include an official pro-am on the Wednesday of tournament week.
Kevin Sutherland, who won the tournament last year, returned to Phoenix this week to promote this year’s event, Nov. 5-11.
“I’m looking forward to playing it again and reminiscing in my own mind about some of the stuff that happened that last day,” Sutherland said. “I played well all year and to finish the way I did was just an amazing thing.”
The course at Phoenix Country Club was redesigned in 2002 by Tom Lehman, who plays on the Champions tour, and architect John Fought.
A key to the redesign, Lehman said, was getting some long-time members together to talk about their memories of the course.
“The intent was to bring the course somewhat back to somewhat like it might have played back then,” Lehman said, “and give it that old-time feel and that old-time strategy. I’m sure it’s not going to make everybody happy but I think the course plays well.”
ASU golfer No. 1 in world
Arizona State junior Alex del Rey fired a final-round, 8-under 65 to earn medalist honors at the 31st Eisenhower Trophy world amateur championship in Ireland last week. A 2018 All-Pac-12 first-team selection, del Rey followed in the footsteps of fellow Spaniard and ASU grad Jon Rahm, who finished first in this tournament in 2014. The Eisenhower officially is a team competition, and Spain finished third behind Denmark and the U.S.
PGA Reach has extended its partnership with Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale to host the PGA Jr. League Championship through 2022. The Championship has been held at Grayhawk since 2016, with this year’s event scheduled for Nov. 16-19. The event is a team competition with 12 groups from around the nation advancing to Arizona.