Indiana Proud to Host Two National PGA Events, Looks Forward to Another in 2011

Indiana Proud to Host Two National PGA Events, Looks Forward to Another in 2011On two occasions in 2010, Indiana welcomed elite players from around the country to compete at the highest level on two of the Midwest’s finest courses. The new Dye Course at French Lick Resort welcomed PGA Professionals for the 43rd PGA Professional National Championship June 27-30, and Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne hosted aspiring young players for the 35th Junior PGA Championship August 2-5.

“2010 gave both Sycamore Hills and French Lick Resort a chance to show the nation Indiana’s ability to pull off a national PGA event. Both events were extremely well received and both clubs and communities did outstanding jobs of securing volunteers and providing first-class hospitality for the players,” said Mike David, Executive Director of the Indiana Golf Office. “I think it is great for golf in Indiana anytime one of our facilities can host a National event. I think it gives Indiana as a whole the opportunity to show our commitment to the game of golf.”

French Lick Resort became the first facility in Indiana to host the Professional National Championship. “It’s an honor to have a national championship come to a course that is barely over a year old,” said world-renowned course architect Pete Dye. “It’s an honor to have it in Indiana. It’s great to build a course that is in your backyard.”

To accommodate the large field of 312 competitors, the first two qualify-ing rounds were held on both The Dye Course and The Donald Ross Course at the resort. “It is a rare opportunity to be playing two courses designed by two of golf’s greatest architects, the greatest classic architect, Donald Ross, and arguably the greatest modern-day architect, Pete Dye, all on the same piece of property,” said French Lick Resort Casino PGA Director of Golf Dave Harner.

Indiana Proud to Host Two National PGA Events, Looks Forward to Another in 2011

Indiana was the 14th state to host the PGA Professional National Championship, and it was the first PGA of Americasanctioned championship to be conducted in French Lick since 1924 when PGA co-founder Walter Hagen won the PGA Championship. “It is great to add to the history of this Championship by hosting this Championship where Walter Hagen set history,” said Steve Ferguson, chairman of the board of the Cook Group, which owns and operates the resort. “We are very proud to serve as hosts and realize the importance of this Championship to the PGA Professional.”

Two months after the Professional National Championship, it was Sycamore Hills turn to take center stage once again. In September of 2009, Sycamore Hills impressed competitors from around the United States during the USGA Women’s Team Championship and repeated their performance in 2010. “The community support was tremendous with well over 200 volunteers, exceptional local media coverage and a steady stream of spectators,” said Tim Frazier, Head Golf Professional at  Sycamore Hills.

The Junior Championship officially opened with the Player’s Dinner, where the juniors were treated to a very special and inspirational evening with keynote speaker and LPGA Hall of Fame member Annika Sorenstam at Fort Wayne’s new baseball stadium, Parkview Field. “Annika was a treat. I thought she had a great message,” said Avon resident Patrick Rodgers. “It was very cool getting to meet her, get her autograph, and get a picture taken with just the two of us because she has been my idol since I was little,” said Beegle. The 2009 National PGA Professional of the Year and President of the Indiana Section, Jack Barber, served as the Master of Ceremonies that evening.

Juniors from Indiana and the rest of the country will have another chance to take on the challenging but beautiful Sycamore Hills track in 2011. The PGA of America announced that the 36th Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour will be held for a second consecutive year at Sycamore Hills August 2-5, 2011.

“Sycamore Hills was a great host in 2010 and we are happy to be back for a second consecutive year,” said Chris Childers, Junior Golf Manager for The PGA of America. “Both the club and the community of Fort Wayne were very inviting and the players got to experience a challenging and exciting course. We look forward to the 2011 Championship and know it will be as exciting as 2010.”

Don Hunter, manager of Sycamore Hills Golf Club said, “We are honored to have the Junior PGA Championship back and look forward to working with our community as we host world-class junior golfers that this event brings. It is wonderful to bring together the great talent within our communities as we showcase Fort Wayne to the world.”

 

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