Cactus, canyons, championship layouts forge Southwestern sense of place
Teeing off at a golf course in Tucson, Arizona can make even the most seasoned player see the game from a new perspective. The city is surrounded by five mountain ranges, and nature permeates the award-winning golf scene here. The terrain combines cactus forests and canyon hillsides with traditional parkland-style fairways for the best of old-school golf plus a strong sense of place. When combined with 300 days of sunshine a year, it’s easy to see why the city has been a golf getaway since the 1930s.
From rugged to pastoral, Tucson courses have challenged the PGA TOUR
From 1945 through 2006, the Tucson stop on the PGA TOUR produced some of pro golf’s most memorable finishes, and champions such as World Golf Hall of Fame members Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson and Phil Mickelson, who notched his first TOUR title as an amateur in the event’s 1991 edition.
Tucson’s PGA TOUR Champions Event Gets New Title & New Date in 2018
Many of these legends, golf’s most recognizable and accomplished players, age 50 and older, including 35 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame, will gather at Omni Tucson National Resort in Tucson for the PGA TOUR Champions-Cologuard Classic (formerly Tucson Conquistadores Classic) during the week of February 26-March 4, 2018. These champions always put on a great show, interact with fans, and create an engaging atmosphere.
The Tucson Conquistadores will continue to operate this event featuring a 78-player field competing for a $1.7 million purse with $255,000 and 255 Charles Schwab Cup points for the winner. The no-cut format includes three days of competition (Friday-Sunday) and pro-am events on Wednesday and Thursday. Tournament proceeds will continue to benefit Southern Arizona youth programs, which have received over $32 million since play began in 1962.
“We are excited to welcome Exact Sciences to Tucson,” said Visit Tucson President Brent DeRaad at the official announcement of the new title and sponsor on November 7, 2017. “The Tucson Conquistadores, their volunteers and the entire team at Visit Tucson will work hard to ensure our new sponsor experiences our “Free Yourself” brand lifestyle.”
The first three years ofPGA TOUR Champions play at the Omni Tucson Resort’s Catalina course delivered great success, with Marco Dawson capturing his first Tour title in 2015, and Woody Austin doing the same in 2016. In March, Tom Lehman dueled with Steve Stricker throughout a dramatic Sunday finish before notching the 10th PGA TOUR Champions win of his career.
Catalina Course at Omni Tucson National Resort Remains Course Host
The Catalina Golf Course (pictured atop) has been host to more than 30 PGA TOUR events (Chrysler Classic of Tucson), the annual host of the University of Arizona Invitational, and the 2006 host of the NCAA Regionals. The parkland-style course has been selected as one of Golf Digest’s “75 Best Golf Resorts in North America.” Although the terrain is fairly level, plenty of challenges are created by trees lining the fairways, water hazards that come into play on seven holes and more than 80 strategic bunkers, some of which are very deep and penal. The PGA pros rank the 18th hole as one of the most challenging finishing holes on the tour. Designed by Robert Van Hagge and Bruce Devlin, the fairways feature Tifway 419 pollen-free Bermuda and the greens feature Champion Bermuda.
Omni Tucson National Resort is home to 36 holes and 128 guest rooms with Mountain Vista suites. The resort is located at the foothills of the Santa Catalina mountains and features a variety of amenities, including the only Four-Star Forbes-rated spa in Tucson. For more info, visit: www.omnihotels.com/hotels/tucson-national/golf
Visit Tucson and the Tucson Conquistadores announced the news that Exact Sciences, the manufacturer of Cologuard, a noninvasive at-home colon cancer screening test, is the new title sponsor of the PGA Champions TOUR event to be contested on the Catalina course at Omni Tucson National Resort. As part of the sponsorship, the tournament will be renamed the Cologuard Classic and will be contested the week of February 26-March 4, 2018 to align with the beginning of March as national Colon Cancer Awareness Month.
Avid golfers from throughout the world travel annually to Tucson and Southern Arizona to experience our wide array of courses. For more information, go to visittucson.org/golf
Tucson is the second-largest city in Arizona with a population of 500,000 and more than 300 days of sunshine. Located in southern Arizona, 110 miles southeast of Phoenix and 60 miles north of the international border, in the heart of the Sonoran Desert region of the Southwestern U.S.A.