The Oro Valley Country Club hosted the Southern Chapter PGA Senior and Women’s Championships. It was contested over a 36-hole stroke play competition at this traditional tree lined, par-72 layout with magnificent bent-grass greens, nestled in at the base of Pusch Ridge of the Catalina Mountains.
After an opening-round 2-under par 70, the Director of Operations of the Southern Chapter PGA Rick Price found himself on top of the leader-board in the Senior Division with a two-shot lead over Steve Hughes former champion from 2008.
The women were led by defending Champion Susie Meyers; Teaching Professional from Ventana Canyon with an opening round 74, taking a comfortable seven shot lead into the final round over the 2010 Champion Pam Drake. Kristie Fowler, Assistant Golf Professional at The Gallery Golf Club and Susan Harnedy of The Stone Canyon Club posted opening rounds of 84.
In the final round when Price made bogey on the par 5 second hole, Hughes birdied to draw even. Price proceeded to birdie the 4th, 7th and sank a 40-foot birdie putt on the 9th hole to turn at 2-under par taking the lead into the back nine.
The Head Golf Professional from The Gallery Golf Club, Paul Nolen who recently finished runner-up in the Arizona Open Senior Championship shot an opening round of 73. Nolen was in pursuit on the back nine on the final round making birdies at the 11th and 15th holes before both Nolen and Price drove it through the fairway into the trees on the 18th hole, forcing them to both pitch out to the fairway and settle for bogies. Price carded a 34-37=71 in the final round for a two-day total of 3-under par 141 to win the Championship. Paul Nolen posted rounds of 73-73=146 to finish second. Chip Garriss the Nike Sales Representative fired a final round 71 with an opening round 79 for a 150 total to tie for third with Steve Hughes shooting 72-78=150. Dave Simm, the Director of Instruction at Ventana Canyon shot 78-73=151 finishing in fifth place.
“I don’t play that often anymore because I usually run the tournaments. It was a little ironic that my wife Jenny was teasing me during the championship as my Mom used to when I was an amateur golfer by saying, “Don’t come home unless you win.” Of course, kidding, I hope… that was certainly enough motivation to play well. It sure felt good to win again and especially our Senior Chapter PGA Championship,” said Price.
With such a large lead after Meyers opening round 74, she cruised to a final round 80 posting a 154 total good enough for an eight shot victory over the Head Golf Professional from Randolph Pam Drake shooting 81-81=162. Kristie Fowler posted rounds of 84-80=164 finishing third as Susan Harnedy 84-84=168 finished fourth one shot ahead of Kim Griggs from the Views Golf Club. Meyers said, “It is so nice that we as women professionals have an opportunity to get together and compete at our local level. It’s a lot of fun, and I am honored to be able to compete and win our Chapter Championship.”