Phil Blackmar Defends His Title at Oak Hills

AT&T Championship tournamentThe AT&T Championship, presented by Alcatel-Lucent, a most welcome rite of a South Texas golfing fall, returns to San Antonio at historic Oak Hills Country Club, October 25-31, headed to its second quarter century with more fun and excitement than ever before.

“I don’t know how you can top the quarter century of memories that we’ve had in the past, but with our great title sponsor, our great course and the many great players we just keep doing it every year,” said AT&T Championship tournament director Colby Callaway.

“We certainly expect 2010 will be no exception.”

2009 Champion, Phil BlackmarLast year, in the longtime Champions Tour event’s silver celebration, Corpus Christi’s Phil Blackmar rallied from five shots back on the final day to capture a dramatic victory, edging a trio of golfers led by Austin’s Tom Kite, Andy Bean and former AT&T Championship winner Jay Haas.

The victory was the first for the 6-7 Blackmar on the 50-and-over Champions Tour circuit, but only continued a trend of highly skilled and hugely popular winners on the San Antonio senior stopover.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kind wishes from this special week,” Blackmar said after becoming the seventh Lone Star player to win the San Antonio event.

“For me and my family, in San Antonio at the AT&T, were it not for this week, well...maybe I would be a fishing guide right now.

”Blackmar had considered retiring after going his first three years without a victory and not even registering a top 15 finish for most of 2010. He needed a sponsor’s exemption just to get in the local tournament last year, but certainly made the most of it.

After an opening round 72 left him six shots behind opening round lead Keith Clearwater, Blackmar roared back with weekend rounds of 67-64 and when Kite missed an eight-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday, it was Blackmar who emerged as the most unlikely champion.

AT&T Championship at Oak Hills Country Club

But perhaps considering no tournament has been in the same city longer than the AT&T Championship has been in San Antonio, “unlikely” and “appreciative” have been common words for the tournament and its most current winner.

The event began in 1985, then called the Dominion Seniors, with Dallas’ Don January the first champion. The king, Arnold Palmer, turned in top 10 performances the first two years and the love affair with the Alamo City and Champions Tour golf was one.

In 26 years, the tournament has only had two local homes, The Dominion Country Club, and now Oak Hills since 2002.

Phil Blackmar Defends His Title at Oak HillsWhile the players and courses may have changed, nothing has changed the week of exciting pro-ams and parties done San Antonio style.

Huge crowds have followed the action on Oak Hills, where golfers and spectators can see a half-dozen holes by only moving a couple of hundred feet.

Plus the late October date, the final full field event on the Champions Tour to end the year-long Charles Schwab Cup race and usher in the season-ending Charles Schwab Championship, ensures a top field of golfing superstars will be on hand for the 2010 tournament.

Over the years, a regular golfing hall of fame wing has sprung up in San Antonio. AT&T Championship winners like three-time champion Lee Trevino, Chi Chi Rodriquez, Tom Weiskopf, Craig Stadler, Haas, Fred Funk and John Cook, who won back-to-back years before Blackmar’s victory in 2009.

More importantly, the AT&T has raised $5 million for local charity in its 25-year history, thanks to the loyal participation of the fans and sponsors to the annual week of golfing fun.

“I just love San Antonio, the people, the food, the scenery and the Riverwalk, there is always something going on there,” said Champions Tour veteran Haas, who has achieved the rare double of winning at both the PGA Tour’s Texas Open and the AT&T Championship, both at Oaks Hills CC.

It all comes together for one magic week of Champions Tour golf excitement, Oct. 25-31 at Oak Hills Country Club, with South Texas’ golf fans being invited to be a part of the first-hand excitement.

For further information about the tournament, including sponsorships, Pro-Am participation, ticket packages and a schedule of events, visit the AT&T Championship online at www.attchamp.com or call 210-698-3582.

The new quarter century of South Texas Champions Golf excitement never looked so good.

 

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