An exciting and change-filled year lies ahead regarding professional golf tournaments in Tucson and metro Phoenix.
The 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open will be played, January 26 – February 1, on a renovated TPC Scottsdale course, while the region simultaneously hosts Super Bowl XLIX. The last time Phoenix hosted the Super Bowl in 2008, it attracted massive crowds to the tournament. Record attendance is certainly possible again in 2015.
In Tucson, the former World Golf Championships’ Accenture Match Play event is moving to San Francisco’s Harding Park in May 2015. The Tucson Conquistadores have filled that void by partnering with the PGA TOUR to create a new Champions Tour event called the Tucson Classic.
The inaugural event is set for March 16 – 22, 2015, on the Catalina Course at Omni Tucson National Resort. The event will be televised by The Golf Channel.
The timing will be ideal for locals to enjoy watching familiar and favorite golf legends, while allowing spring training baseball visitors staying in Phoenix to come down for a day or two of the action.
The Omni Tucson National Resort has hosted more than 30 PGA TOUR events and will offer a challenge to the world’s finest golfers age 50 and older. The 7,262-yard course designed by Robert Van Hagge and Bruce Devlin is a parkland-style layout with eight lakes and 80 bunkers. Many of the Champions Tour players competed in the former Tucson Open, which was held for years on this course.
While the Accenture Match Play was a 5 day, 64-player event where the field was halved daily, the Tucson Classic will feature a field of 81 players competing in 3 rounds (March 20 – 22) of no-cut tournament play. Additionally, the tournament will be preceded by 2 days of Pro-Am events that will allow Tucson’s, and Arizona’s, business community and residents to connect with the participating golfers.
The Pro-Ams will help the Tucson Conquistadores add to the $29 million they have generated for young athletes since the organization’s inception in 1962. The Tucson Classic’s economic impact remains to be determined, but is anticipated to be in the tens of millions of dollars.
For tickets and event information, visit tucsonconquistadores.com.
The creation of the Tucson Classic continues the city’s string of hosting a professional golf tournament, which dates back to 1945. A PGA TOUR event was staged in Tucson from 1945 – 2006, known by several names, but primarily as the Tucson Open. The World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play was contested in Tucson from 2007 – 2014.
Tucson Part of Arizona’s Changing Professional Golf Landscape
By Brent DeRadd