Tag Archives: Tiger Woods

Kathy Whitworth, winningest golfer in history, dies at 83

By: The Associated Press

Kathy Whitworth set a benchmark in golf no one has ever touched, whether it was Sam Snead or Tiger Woods, Mickey Wright or Annika Sorenstam. Her 88 victories are the most by any player on a single professional tour.

Whitworth, whose LPGA Tour victories spanned nearly a quarter-century and who became the first woman to earn $1 million for her career on the LPGA, died on Christmas Eve, her longtime partner said. She was 83.

Bettye Odle did not disclose a cause of death, saying only that Whitworth died suddenly Saturday night while celebrating with family and friends.

“Kathy left this world the way she lived her life — loving, laugh and creating memories,” Odle said in a statement released by the LPGA Tour.

Whitworth won the first of her 88 titles in the Kelly Girls Opens in July 1962. She won six majors during her career and broke Mickey Wright’s record of 82 career wins when Whitworth captured the Lady Michelob in the summer of 1982.

Her final victory came in 1985 at the United Virginia Bank Classic.

“Winning never got old,” Whitworth once said.

All that was missing from her career was the U.S. Women’s Open, the biggest of the women’s majors. Upon being the first woman to surpass $1 million in career earnings in 1981, she said, “I would have swapped being the first to make a million for winning the Open, but it was a consolation which took some of the sting out of not winning.”

Sorenstam referred to her on Twitter as the LPGA’s all-time victory leader and a “total class act” who will be dearly missed.

“Thanks for setting the bar so high, Kathy,” she wrote.

Whitworth was the AP Female Athlete of the Year in 1965 and in 1967, when she easily beat out Wimbledon singles champion Billie Jean King. Whitworth was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1982.

She was the LPGA player of the year seven times in an eight-year span (1966 through 1973). She won the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average seven times and she was the leading money winner in eight seasons.

But she was identified by one number — 88.

Snead was credited with a record 82 wins on the PGA TOUR, a total Woods has since matched. Wright won 82 times on the LPGA Tour, while Sorenstam had 72 wins when she retired after the 2006 season at age 36.

“I think Mickey had the best swing, and was probably the greatest golfer,” Betsy Rawls once told Golf Digest. “But Kathy was the best player of the game that I have ever seen.”

Whitworth was born in Monahans, a small West Texas town, and learned to play golf in New Mexico. She started at age 15 in Jal, New Mexico, on the nine-hole course built for the El Paso Natural Gas employees.

She soon was a two-time winner of the New Mexico State Amateur. After briefly attending Odessa (Texas) College, she turned pro at age 19 and joined the LPGA Tour in December 1958.

“I was really fortunate in that I knew what I wanted to do,” Whitworth once told Golf Digest. “Golf just grabbed me by the throat. I can’t tell you how much I loved it. I used to think everyone knew what they wanted to do when they were 15 years old.”

Wright had the more aesthetically pleasing swing. Whitworth was all about grinding, and about winning.

Whitworth won eight times in 1963 and 1965, and she had 11 victories in 1968. In none of those years did she earn more than $50,000. All these years later, the LPGA Tour total prize fund for 2023 will top $100 million.

Whitworth continued to conduct junior clinics and stay active in the game.

“I don’t think about the legacy of 88 tournaments,” she once said. “I did it because I wanted to win, not to set a record or a goal that no one else could surpass. I’m not some great oddity. I was just fortunate to be so successful. What I did in being a better player does not make me a better person.

“When I’m asked how I would like to be remembered, I feel that if people remember me at all, it will be good enough.”

 

At PNC, Tiger and Charlie Woods are back … and you already know their goal

By: PGA

ORLANDO, Fla. – The world returned to normalcy around 9 a.m. Friday. The sun climbed into the sky, swallows were swirling in Capistrano and at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Tiger Woods – on competitive hiatus since July, aside from 10 holes at The Match last weekend – stepped onto the opening tee at the PNC Championship.

Ah, a golfer again. Check that. Woods rode onto the tee, in a golf cart. Across it, actually. It didn’t matter.

This is the reality of the latest version of Tiger Woods, a man beset by painful plantar fasciitis in his right foot on top of a badly damaged right ankle and leg. Fans who gathered down the ropes four and five deep left of the opening par 4 didn’t care much how Woods got there. He could have been dropped off by Uber, or by Roman chariot. They were just really, really happy to see him.

All types were curious to get the latest on Woods, winner of 82 PGA TOUR events and 15 majors and arguably the greatest to ever play the game. Having played only nine official rounds of golf on TOUR this season – all of them at majors – what does he have in his arsenal? What’s ahead for him? Woods turns 47 on Dec. 30. The clock ticks.

“Well, I played more this year than I certainly thought at the beginning of the year,” said Woods, whose biggest 2022 goal was to play in The 150th Open at St. Andrews.

As has been the case in his last two late-year PNC appearances, what awaits Woods is mostly unknown. His plantar fasciitis makes it quite difficult to walk. He said he will shut it down after this weekend, stop pushing so hard, and get back to healing.

But this week? He wouldn’t miss it. When his lengthy pro-am round had finished alongside his partner and son, 13-year-old Charlie, he was asked to name his favorite moment. That was easy.

“The whole thing,” he said. “The whole experience of being out there with him.”

Charlie is bigger and stronger and hits it much longer than he did a year ago, when he and his father made a spirited Sunday run at the title. (He has added about 25 yards of length.) They went on a great closing run last year, Charlie hitting many of the best shots, fired 15-under 57 in the event’s scramble format, and finished two shots shy of John Daly and John Daly II.

This event delivered the first eagle that Charlie ever made, along with so many of the great father-son moments that Charlie’s famous dad seemed to miss when he was off conquering golf tournaments around the world or rehabbing from serious injuries.

Charlie, who rolled an ankle and came up 18 with a slight limp of his own, struggled with his game on Friday, which was no big deal. (“I think they’ll be ready when the gun goes off (Saturday),” said Joe LaCava, Tiger’s caddie.)

Woods proudly said his son’s biggest growth year over year is the fact he now can figure out what he is doing and fix his swing on the fly during a competitive round. Getting there included a process of understanding taught by Tiger, who was passing along a lesson from his own father, Earl.

“You have to understand,” Tiger said, “in tournament golf, you’ve got to make a switch on the fly and trust it.”

In the gallery following Woods and his son were grandparents and parents pushing young children in strollers, some guy dressed resplendently as Uncle Sam, and a man and his son dressed in full, striped tan tiger suits. Former PGA TOUR Champions standout Jim Thorpe was in the crowd. Korn Ferry Tour pro Rob Oppenheim was watching (“Why wouldn’t I?” he said incredulously.) Football announcer Booger McFarland was curious to watch Tiger rip driver on one hole.

Woods played his opening nine in a group that included Will Wears, grandson of Arnold Palmer, a legend who was so instrumental in the growth of the PNC. After Wears, a tall and powerful player, drove the green at the 350-yard seventh, Woods, seated nearby in his cart, paid him the ultimate compliment: “Just like your grandad at Cherry Hills.”

Padraig Harrington said that 15 years ago, fans would come out to see Tiger hit the shots. Nowadays, the vibe is different. They just want to see Tiger. Who knows what round will be his last? With all the tribulations he has been through – back surgeries, knee surgeries, and a near-fatal 2021 SUV accident that nearly cost him his right leg – they are genuinely happy that he is here. It helps that the PNC is played under the umbrella of the PGA TOUR Champions, which allows players the use of carts.

“It has changed. There’s no doubt about it,” Harrington said of the atmosphere. “It is a different emotional atmosphere around it. In many ways, it’s bigger.”

Tiger had his moments striking the golf ball. Early on, he made a few short shots with wedges dance around the hole, and at the 214-yard eighth, he launched one of his towering 4-irons left of the flagstick, holding the shot off into a crosswind.

His fatigue as the round moves on is hard to disguise. At the 10th, as pro-am teams switched up their pros, there was a long backup on the tee. Woods sat in his cart for some 15 minutes, fiddling on his phone, and holding a short conversation with Annika Sorenstam, GOAT to GOAT, after she had caught up in the group behind him.

When Woods went to scale a hill to the tee when it was his time to hit, he moved slowly, gingerly, his body feeling the brunt of such a delay. Of course, the son of an Army Green Beret seldom admits that he is hurting.

“How’s the foot, Tiger?” he was asked afterward. Woods answered, “Yeah, it’s good.” Clearly, it’s not. Could competing this week, even with the use of a cart, push back his recovery from his latest ailments? You bet, he said.

“You know, I don’t really care about that,” Tiger said. “I think being here with and alongside my son is far more important, and getting to have a chance to have this experience with him is far better than my foot being a little creaky.”

Tiger pretty much owns every trophy a man can win, starting with U.S. Junior Championships (3) and U.S. Amateurs (3) to his 15 major championships, which include five Masters titles. He won the career Grand Slam three times over. Jack Nicklaus owns more majors (18), but it is Woods who most consider to be the GOAT.

Alastair Johnston, the power agent from IMG who worked with Arnold Palmer and drew up the game plan to bring fathers and sons together in competition 25 years ago (and since, mothers and sons, fathers and daughters, and even major winners and parents), can reluctantly accept fans considering his brainchild to be a “hit and giggle,” with a caveat: It is a “very competitive” hit and giggle. These are athletes used to competing hard, and winning big tournaments, and often it’s clear their children are similarly driven.

Johnston laughs in retelling the story from two years ago when Justin Thomas and his dad, Mike, who are close to the Woods family, dropped by the Woods’ home on Christmas Day wearing the bright red matching Willie Park belts they captured as PNC champions.

Said Johnston, “You knew right then that Tiger and Charlie were thinking, ‘We’re each going to get one of those, too.’”

Tiger never has met a tournament he didn’t want to win, regardless of his health. His son seems ultra-competitive as well. The two placed seventh in 2020, and runner-up a year ago. What would it mean for the two of them to win?

“Well, we’ve come close,” Woods said. “We’ve gotten better each year. So we’re trending.”

The First Look: PNC Championship

By: PGA Tour

  • Tiger & Charlie Woods Round 1 Highlights from PNC Championship

Tiger Woods and his son Charlie, 13, are making their third consecutive appearance at the PNC Championship. They’re seeking to go one better than last year’s thrilling runner-up finish that was highlighted by a record 11 consecutive birdies in the final round. The Woodses finished two back of John Daly and his son, University of Arkansas sophomore John Daly II.

FIELD NOTES AND STORYLINES: Twenty major champions will once again head to the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando to compete in the two-day scramble tournament alongside a family member… Tiger and Charlie Woods are back. It’s been a busy stretch for Tiger, who hosted the Hero World Challenge in the opening week of December after withdrawing from the event because of plantar fasciitis. He then competed in Capital One’s The Match on Dec. 10… Three of the four participants in The Match are also playing the PNC Championship as the tournament’s “youth movement” continues. An increasing number of active players are choosing to compete alongside their fathers instead of vice-versa. That includes Jordan Spieth, reigning PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas and Nelly Korda. Spieth is making his tournament debut alongside his father, Shawn… LPGA Tour legend Annika Sorenstam is set to tee it up with her 11-year-old son Will… John Daly and his son, John Daly II, are looking to become the first back-to-back winners of the PNC Championship since Larry Nelson won in 2007 and ‘08… Matt Kuchar returns to action, but this time with his 13-year-old son Carson after playing the last two editions with his elder son, Cameron… Lee Trevino, who is the only golfer to play in every edition of the PNC Championship, is back once again for 2022. The 82-year-old will play with his son, Daniel… A pair of former world No. 1s, David Duval and Tom Lehman, will play alongside their sons – Brady and Sean, respectively… Fellow Open Championship winners Stewart Cink and Justin Leonard will also play with sons Connor and Luke, respectively… Nick Faldo, who retired from his full-time broadcasting role with CBS this year, is back in action with son Matthew… A foursome of PGA TOUR Champions superstars will look to put a bow on their nice years on the over-50 circuit with Jim Furyk, Padraig Harrington, Bernhard Langer and Vijay Singh all playing alongside their sons… Multi-time major winners Mark O’Meara and Nick Price return to the PNC Championship… Finally, the ageless Gary Player will once again join the field at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and is set to tee it up with his grandson, Jordan.

COURSERitz-Carlton Golf Club, par 72, 7,106 yards (yardage subject to change). Players will navigate a Florida layout with generous landing areas and wide fairways but boasting subtly contoured greens and strategically placed hazards.

72-HOLE RECORD: 117, John Daly/John Daly II (2021)

18-HOLE RECORD: 56, Davis Love III/Dru Love (Second round, 2018)

LAST TIME: The Daly duo held off a hard-charging Tiger and Charlie Woods. The Dalys’ tournament-record 27-under effort was enough to win the PNC Championship for the first time. The Dalys shot a final-round 57, including birdies on seven of their last nine holes, to top Team Woods by two shots. The Woodses, wearing their trademark Sunday red and black pants, made a record 11 birdies in a row in the final round and came to the par-5 18th needing an eagle to put pressure on Team Daly. They could only manage to make par, however, and finished at 25 under, good for solo second. Team Woods went bogey-free over the 36-hole competition after making two bogeys in their tournament debut the year prior. Justin Thomas and father Mike finished tied for third in their title defense.

HOW TO WATCH

Television: Saturday, 1 p.m.-2 p.m. ET (Peacock), 2 p.m.-6 p.m. (NBC). Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Peacock), 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. (NBC)

Tiger Woods’ new normal a balancing act of rehab, rest

By: PGA

  • Tiger Woods on his intentions to play golf in 2023

NASSAU, Bahamas – Tiger Woods, who will miss this week’s Hero World Challenge because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, got a new question at his press conference Tuesday:

“There are 206 bones in the body. Do you know each one of them by now?”

Woods, who will be 47 on Dec. 30, laughed and shook his head.

“No,” he said. “But I know each one that hurts, OK?”

The unofficial Hero, which benefits Woods’ foundation and which he has won five times, has always served as a de facto State of the Tiger get-together. Before we turn the page on the calendar, it’s a time for Woods to sit before the press and answer questions about his win streaks, major titles, swing changes, dominance.

Now, though, the main topic is human frailty.

“Well, it was a tough decision just because I want to play,” Woods said. “… Unfortunately, I can hit the golf ball and hit whatever shot you want, I just can’t walk.”

Would he have considered taking a cart this week if he’d been allowed?

“On the PGA TOUR, no,” he said. “I think walking is an integral part of the game at our level.”

The only fix, he added, is to receive treatment and, most crucially, stay off his feet.

He will ride in “The Match,” a 12-hole tilt under the lights at Pelican Golf Club in Belleaire, Florida on Dec. 10 (TNT, 6 p.m.). He and Rory McIlroy will take on unbeaten Presidents Cup duo Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.

Woods will also ride, and not hit every shot, as he plays with son Charlie at the father-son PNC Championship at Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando, Grande Lakes, Dec. 15-18.

Almost as an aside Tuesday, Woods said his year has been more eventful on the medical front than anyone knew. “I had a couple surgeries, yes,” he said, but he would not elaborate.

He said the plantar fasciitis is a residual effect of the severe injuries he suffered in a single-car accident in Los Angeles in early 2021. He has teed it up three times this year, making the cut at the Masters Tournament (47th), making the cut but withdrawing at the PGA Championship, and missing the cut at The Open Championship.

He went into The Open, he said Tuesday, thinking he could win. “I was doing everything right” he said, “and then, all of a sudden … my leg just wasn’t working properly.”

Although his health has improved since July, he said, it’s still not where it needs to be. And so he continues to toe the line between working his way back to health and working so hard that he inadvertently makes himself worse.

“It’s a balancing act, right?” he said. “How hard do you push it to make progress while not pushing it too hard to go off the edge and you set yourself back two, three days, and that’s been the balancing act the whole year. And trying to do that, get ready for this event, I did a lot of beach walks trying to simulate the sand out here and my foot just did not like that very much.”

For Woods, the winner of 82 PGA TOUR events, including 15 majors, this is the new normal.

“The goal is to play just the major championships and maybe one or two more,” he said. “That’s it. I mean, physically that’s all I can do. … I don’t have much left in this leg.”

When he does play, he continued, he’ll just hope to catch lightning in a bottle and remember how to close. It will be hard, he added, relegating himself to tournament hosting duties this week.

“When I was at home,” he said, “I was shooting 4, 5, 6, 7 under par like it was nothing, but I was in a cart. Now you add in walking and that goes away.”

When it returns, so will Woods, but for now the wait continues.

A look back at Tiger Woods’ five Hero victories

By: PGA

  • Tiger Woods’ final two birdies to win 2011 Hero World Challenge

Before his son Charlie became his co-star in Decembers, the Hero World Challenge offered the golf world one last glimpse of Tiger Woods before hitting pause for the holidays.

Woods started the tournament around the turn of the century to benefit his foundation. In more than two decades of existence, the small, but star-studded, gathering has offered many memorable moments. Woods has been the host with the most five times, winning the Hero to cap off some of the best years of his career. More recently, the tournament has offered us a rare glimpse of Woods while he has been sidelined by injuries, becoming a de facto “State of Tiger” gathering as he’s conducted candid press conferences about his health, launched comeback attempts or even just hit balls before curious observers, as he did last year.

He is back in this year’s field, his first Hero start since 2019, when he was the reigning Masters champion and preparing for a successful stint as the U.S. Presidents Cup Team’s playing captain.

Woods is coming off a year that saw him make an unexpected return to competitive golf at the Masters but also saw him play just three times as his surgically-repaired right leg struggled with the rigors of tournament golf.

To get you ready for Woods’ return to the Hero – and his first competitive appearance since July – here’s a look at his five victories in the Hero World Challenge.

2001
Venue:
 Sherwood Country Club, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Final round: 64, 273 (-15)
Margin of victory: Three shots over Vijay Singh (71)

Tiger Woods used a trademark comeback to win his Hero World Challenge for the first time. He was four down to Vijay Singh when he sprayed his tee shot on Sherwood Country Club’s ninth hole over a creek and onto the thick brush on the side of a hill. He took a penalty drop, hit his next shot under the bleachers behind the green and then watched his chip off a hardpan lie roll 45 feet past the cup. Woods holed the lengthy bogey putt, however. Singh failed to capitalize on Woods’ miscues, making a bogey of his own to stay just four ahead.

“It was a huge momentum swing,” said Woods, who shot 30, including five birdies in a row, to beat Singh by seven over the final nine holes.

It completed an eventful year that saw Woods complete the Tiger Slam and win his first PLAYERS Championship. He’d go on to win five more times in 2002, including the Masters and U.S. Open.

Woods’ final-round 64 at Sherwood tied the course record. He donated his $1 million winner’s check to the Tiger Woods Foundation.

“With a field like this, it feels great to win,” Woods said. “Winning this tournament gives me the same feeling as winning any tournament.”

2004
Venue
: Sherwood Country Club
Final round: 66, 268 (-16)
Margin of victory: Two shots over Padraig Harrington (66)

Woods was a ball-striking machine, missing just two fairways and two greens, as he collected his second Hero World Challenge victory. His final-round 66 was good enough for a two-shot win over Padraig Harrington, which would have been more had Woods putted well.

This one was especially gratifying as Woods was still solidifying swing changes and had just come off an odd year of close calls: 10 top-10 finishes without a victory after his lone win that year, at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

“Probably ’98 was more difficult,” Woods said of his 2004 swing overhaul, “but certainly this one I got a lot more badgering from you guys. I got a lot more questions, ‘What are you doing?’ Because I had a great run for like five years, back in ’97. Yeah, I was dismantling my golf swing and … people thought I was crazy there.”

Also gratifying: His father, Earl Woods, whose health problems had limited his activity, was on site to see him win.

2006
Venue:
 Sherwood Country Club
Final round: 66, 272 (-16)
Margin of victory: Four shots over Geoff Ogilvy (71)

It was a bittersweet year for Woods, whose father, Earl, passed away in the spring.

Tiger missed the cut in his first event back, the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, but won The Open Championship a month later, crying on caddie Steve Williams’ shoulder. It was the first of six wins in six starts for Woods, including two majors (The Open, PGA Championship) and two WGCs (Bridgestone Invitational, American Express Championship).

By the time he got to Sherwood, he hadn’t lost in five months. He started the final round one behind Geoff Ogilvy, the winner earlier in the year at Winged Foot, but erased that deficit with two early birdies, including a chip-in at the third hole, and an Ogilvy bogey at the second. It was all Woods the rest of the way.

Although he had been distracted by Earl’s poor health for the first part of the season, he’d still managed early wins at Torrey Pines and Doral, and racked up six more after his father’s passing. The gaudy totals: 15 official PGA TOUR starts, eight wins, one second, one third, 11 top-10s.

And another victory in what would become the Hero World Challenge.

“It’s been a year of two halves, really,” he said.

2007
Venue:
 Sherwood Country Club
Final round: 68, 266 (-22)
Margin of victory: Seven shots over Zach Johnson (68)

Woods had concluded his 2007 season with four wins in five starts, along with winning the inaugural FedExCup. He would win his first three starts of 2008, as well.

In between, Woods, then 31, took a lengthy competitive hiatus after the Presidents Cup in September. It didn’t show at Sherwood. He dusted off the clubs 10 days before the event, carded a second-round 62 to jump ahead of the pack and cruised to the event’s largest margin of victory at the time (Jordan Spieth won by 10 shots in 2014).

Woods’ daughter Sam, 6 months old at the time, was on the scene for congratulations, as he punctuated a campaign that featured seven TOUR titles including the PGA Championship at Southern Hills.

That season, Woods ranked No. 1 on TOUR in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and No. 2 in Strokes Gained: Putting. Seemingly his form had never been better. But he wasn’t convinced.

“Obviously, I’ve got a lot of room for improvement, which is a great sign,” he said. “Just imagine if I could hit the ball the way I wanted.”

Even Woods had to be pleased with what awaited in 2008, which was on pace to be one of his best years before it was interrupted by knee surgery. He won four of his six starts and finished second at the Masters. His worst showing was a fifth-place finish in the World Golf Championship at Doral. His campaign ended with one of his most famous victories, the 2008 U.S. Open.

2011
Venue:
 Sherwood Country Club
Final round: 69, 278 (-10)
Margin of victory: One shot over Zach Johnson (71)

Woods hadn’t won worldwide since the Australian Masters in November 2009. For a player who had accrued 71 PGA TOUR titles by age 33, it was a monumental drought brought on by the prolonged effects of personal scandal.

Woods, then 35, trailed Zach Johnson by one stroke with two holes to play. Then came a vintage Tiger finish. He drew even with a curling 15-foot birdie at the par-3 17th, and after Johnson missed a 15-foot birdie at the finishing hole, Woods made birdie from 6 feet to secure a one-stroke victory.

The emotion was palpable as Woods released a fist to the sky amidst a southern Californian roar.

“It feels awesome, whatever it is,” said Woods of the winning emotion. “I had the lead at the Masters on the back nine, and had a chance at the Aussie Open. So this is my third time with a chance to win; I pulled it off this time.”

The following March, Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard for his first TOUR win since the 2009 BMW Championship. It was his first of three 2012 TOUR wins, before winning five times in 2013.

Trinity Forest Lands Pair of USGA Junior Championships

By: USGA

Trinity Forest Golf Club, in Dallas, Texas, has been chosen by the USGA as the host site for the 2025 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and the 2031 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. Scheduled for July 21-26, 2025, the 77th U.S. Junior Amateur will be the club’s first USGA championship. The U.S. Girls’ Junior will be staged July 14-19, 2031.

“We are very proud to welcome Trinity Forest as a USGA championship host,” said Mark Hill, USGA managing director, Championships. “The U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Girls’ Junior have not only become two of our fastest-growing championships, but they have served as pathways to great achievement in the game, and we look forward to bringing the world’s best juniors to this terrific course for the first time.”

Trinity Forest was designed by Bill Coore and Texas native Ben Crenshaw and opened for play in 2016. Surrounded by thousands of Great Trinity Forest hardwood trees, the course itself is treeless. It resembles the terrain of many classic links-style courses in Great Britain or the Northeastern U.S. as it weaves through an open meadow with rolling hills of sand and tall native grasses.

Located 10 miles southeast of downtown Dallas, Trinity Forest has hosted several prestigious events for both amateurs and professionals in its short history. It was the site of the PGA Tour’s AT&T Byron Nelson in 2018 (won by Aaron Wise) and 2019 (won by Sung Kang) and has twice hosted U.S. Amateur qualifying. The club is also home to the Southern Methodist University men’s and women’s golf teams and has held an annual NCAA invitational tournament since 2017. In 2023, Trinity Forest will host the Jackson T. Stephens Cup.

“The club and our membership are thrilled to welcome the USGA to Trinity Forest,” said Jonas Woods, co-founder of Trinity Forest Golf Club. “Hosting these prestigious amateur championships is an exciting next step in our efforts to support the growth of youth golf and enhance the game in the Dallas area. We look forward to showcasing the top junior golfers as they take on Coore & Crenshaw’s fun design.”

Trinity Forest was built on a former landfill and uses Trinity Zoysia, a turfgrass known for its sustainable attributes, requiring very little water or fertilizer. In 2018, the club was presented with Golf Digest’s Green Star Award for outstanding environmental practices and its efforts in reclaiming what was once an unauthorized dumpsite.

The 2025 U.S. Junior Amateur will be the 33rd USGA championship held in the state of Texas. The Lone Star State most recently hosted the 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at Maridoe Golf Club, in Carrollton, won by Savannah Barber and Alexa Saldana. It has previously held three U.S. Junior Amateurs, including the 2014 championship won by Will Zalatoris, and two U.S. Girls’ Juniors, most recently in 2004 won by Julieta Granada.

Established in 1948 by the USGA, the U.S. Junior Amateur is open to amateur golfers who have not reached their 19th birthday by the conclusion of the championship and who have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 4.4. The U.S. Junior Amateur champion earns an exemption into the following year’s U.S. Open Championship. Among the notable U.S. Junior Amateur champions are three-time winner Tiger Woods, two-time winner Jordan Spieth, Johnny Miller, David Duval, Hunter Mahan, Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris.

Future U.S. Junior Amateur Sites

2023: Daniel Island Club, Charleston, S.C.
2024: Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
2025: Trinity Forest Golf Club, Dallas, Texas
2045: 
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Bandon, Ore.

The U.S. Girls’ Junior was first conducted in 1949 and is open to female amateurs who have not reached their 19th birthday by the conclusion of the championship and have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 9.4. The champion of the U.S. Girls’ Junior earns an exemption into the following year’s U.S. Women’s Open Presented by ProMedica. Notable U.S. Girls’ Junior champions include Mickey Wright, JoAnne Gunderson Carner, Hollis Stacy, Nancy Lopez, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson and Minjee Lee.

Future U.S. Girls’ Junior Sites

2023: U.S. Air Force Academy Eisenhower Golf Club (Blue Course), Colorado Springs, Colo.
2024: El Caballero Country Club, Tarzana, Calif.
2025: Atlanta Athletic Club (Riverside Course), Johns Creek, Ga.
2026: Old Chatham Golf Club, Durham, N.C.
2027: Canterbury Golf Club, Cleveland, Ohio
2028: Oakland Hills Country Club (South Course), Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
2031: Trinity Forest Golf Club, Dallas, Texas
2035, 2045: 
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Bandon, Ore.

Tiger Woods/Rory McIlroy to take on Jordan Spieth/Justin Thomas in ‘The Match’

By: PGA

The next iteration of “The Match,” the popular made-for-TV series on Turner Sports, will pit new business partners Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy against friends and Presidents Cup teammates Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas on Dec. 10.

The seventh iteration of the exhibition series will start at 6 p.m. under the lights at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida, a suburb of St. Petersburg.

This will be the third appearance in “The Match” for Woods, who helped launch the concept when he took on Phil Mickelson in 2018. Woods and Peyton Manning defeated Mickelson and Tom Brady in “The Match” in 2020, when the world was reeling from the Covid crisis and fans had few other options when it came to televised live sports.

Woods and McIlroy have combined for 105 PGA TOUR victories, 19 majors and five FedExCup titles, and are business partners in TMRW Sports, which is focused on “building technology-focused ventures that feature progressive approaches to sports, media, and entertainment.”

In August, they announced a new tech-infused golf league in tandem with the PGA TOUR.

Spieth and Thomas have been friends since their junior golf days and are coming off a 4-0-0 performance as teammates at the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow, where the U.S. Team won. Each won once last season, with Thomas picking up his second PGA Championship title.

Neither has played in “The Match,” although Thomas was an on-course commentator in 2020.

McIlroy got his 23rd and most recent victory at THE CJ CUP in South Carolina last month, part of a banner 2022 that has seen him return to world No. 1. He also won a record third FedExCup title in August despite starting six strokes back and opening with a triple-bogey.

Woods, 46, is still recovering from injuries sustained in a car crash in early 2021. In limited action, he made the cut and finished 47th at the Masters Tournament, then made the cut against at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills. Alas, after a third-round 79 he was in too much pain to continue and withdrew. He missed the cut at the Open Championship at St. Andrews.

But while it’s been a quiet year, competitively, it’s not over yet.

The winner of 82 PGA TOUR titles, including 15 majors, Woods will host the unofficial Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in early December but has not said if he will play. He also could tee it up again with son Charlie at next month’s PNC Championship.

McGill Adds a Thrilling Chapter to U.S. Senior Women’s Open Lore

By: USGA

The brief history of the U.S. Senior Women’s Open is already loaded with stories for the ages authored by champions Laura Davies, Helen Alfredsson and Annika Sorenstam. And what took place this year at NCR Country Club was a brilliant addition to the legacy of this championship, as Jill McGill joined the elite group that has won three different USGA events.

The inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in 2018 at Chicago Golf Club was the story of the dominance of Davies as she powered her way to a 16-under-par performance, winning by 10 strokes.

The championship in 2019 at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club celebrated the persistence and passion of Alfredsson as she finally got the USGA championship that had eluded her, grinding out a two-stroke victory.

After a COVID cancellation in 2020, last year’s USSWO at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, Conn., saw the stunning return of Sorenstam after 13 years away from USGA championships as she played with the same precision that marked her World Golf Hall of Fame career and won by eight strokes.

This year, the 6-foot McGill, who won the 1993 U.S. Women’s Amateur and the 1994 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links – and pretty much nothing since – stood tall during the final round as the South Course at NCR Country Club claimed victim after victim. McGill’s even-par 73, on a day when no one broke par, will only get better with age.

By winning, McGill joined Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, JoAnne Carner and Carol Semple Thompson as the only players with titles in three different USGA events. Very quickly, the U.S. Senior Women’s Open has established itself as a place where history is made.

Carner’s Decades of Greatness Add Up to a Legendary Lifetime

By: USGA

U.S. Senior Women’s Open Home

About 10 years ago, in a Legends Tour pro-am, one of JoAnne Carner’s playing partners mentioned to her that she, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Carol Semple Thompson are the only players to win three different USGA events. “Yeah,” Carner said with that mischievous glint in her eye, “and if they had a U.S. Senior Women’s Open I’d be the only one with four.”

That’s JoAnne: Relentlessly honest, refreshingly funny and intensely competitive.

By the time the first U.S. Senior Women’s Open was played at Chicago Golf Club in 2018, Carner was 79 years old. But that didn’t stop her from making history. She had the honor of hitting the opening tee shot and then played the final five holes of the first round one under par to shoot her age on the number – 79.

Last year, at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, Conn., she matched her age in the opening round – 82 – and shattered it in the second round with a 79. She’s back again this year at NCR Country Club in Kettering, Ohio, and she still has goals.

“I’d like to be able to hit it 50 yards farther,” said Carner at NCR with that same glint in her eye, and then added: “And I’d love to make the cut.”

She is already the oldest to make the cut in an LPGA Tour event – surviving to the weekend in the 2004 Kraft Nabisco Championship, an LPGA major now renamed the Chevron, at the age of 65. The fact that she’s either matched or broken her age in three of the six rounds she’s played in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open has only added to her mystique.

Once the most feared woman in amateur golf, then one of the most dominant professionals on the LPGA Tour, Carner is now one of the most inspirational people in the game.  When a photo of her driving off No. 10 tee in a practice round at NCR was posted on social media, the response was overwhelming.

“The best,” commented Amy Alcott, the winner of the 1973 U.S. Girls’ Junior and the 1980 U.S. Women’s Open.

“God bless her,” wrote 1988 and ’89 U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange. “She loves this game.”

“Big mama truly amazing and not to forget her sister Helen, 93, who walked all 18 holes with her!” said Helen Alfredsson, who won the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

“Love this!” 2009 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Martha Leach said about the photo.

Former LPGA player Anne Marie Palli, who’s competing this week at NCR, summed up the love and respect for Carner: “My idol!! An inspiration. Go Big Mama Go!”

JoAnne Gunderson was born on April 4, 1939, in Kirkland, Wash., and says she developed such great feel on the golf course by playing “moonlight golf” after her shift at the golf course where she worked. “We couldn’t see where the ball went,” she said. “We had to feel it.”

The first of her eight USGA championship titles was the U.S. Girls’ Junior in 1956. She added the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1957, ’60, ’62, ’66 and ’68 and the U.S Women’s Open in 1971 and ’76. The eight USGA championships she has won ties her for second all-time with Jack Nicklaus, behind the nine by Bob Jones and Tiger Woods.

After graduating from Arizona State University, The Great Gundy married Don Carner in 1963 and did not turn pro until she was 30. In fact, she was 31 by the time she won the 1970 LPGA Rookie of the Year award. Despite that late start, Carner racked up 43 LPGA wins, was Player of the Year three times and won the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average five times. In 1981, Carner received the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor of the USGA, and the next year was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

“When you talk about JoAnne you are talking about crossing generations,” said Annika Sorenstam, winner of the U.S. Women’s Open in 1995, ’95 and “06 and the U.S. Senior Women’s Open last year. “Three generations, maybe four. The words that come to mind are ‘legend’ and ‘longevity.’”

While Carner worked relentlessly on her game – she still is one of the last to leave the range at the end of the day – she was far from a physical fitness freak. She still indulges in the occasional cigarette and adult beverage.

“I remember once when I was first on tour, I was in the physical trailer getting my back worked on and JoAnne came in,” recalled Sorenstam. “The therapist asked how he could help and JoAnne said, ‘two Advil’ then walked out.”

In her prime, Carner played with a technical style that awed students of the golf swing, yet also possessed a flair that entertained fans and intimidated her opponents.

“I was always most afraid of JoAnne when she was in the trees,” two-time U.S. Women’s Open champion and three-time U.S. Women’s Amateur winner Juli Inkster said Wednesday. “I knew the ball would fly out of those trees and end up on the green. She was a tremendous troubleshooter. A challenge got her attention.”

On Thursday, at 9:13 a.m., Carner will tee it up on No. 1 at the South Course of NCR alongside former Curtis Cup captain Noreen Mohler and Cathy Patton-Lewis. While winning is not a reasonable goal for JoAnne, she does have objectives in mind – to shoot her age once again, and to make the cut.

Wouldn’t that be simply remarkable: To make it to the weekend in a USGA championship at the age of 83. For eight decades, beginning in the 1950s, Carner has set records. Who’s to say there isn’t one more entry into the history of golf that could bear the name JoAnne Gunderson Carner – truly a legend for golfers of all ages.

Ron Sirak is a Massachusetts-based writer who frequently contributes to USGA websites and publications.

“Stephen Curry supports ‘Underrated’ Young Golfers”

By: Kurtis Alston and Angela Jones

NBA superstar Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, the current 2021-2022 NBA Champions, is turning his attention to the greener pastures of golf. Curry is holding a five-city tour giving kids ages 12-18 a chance to showcase their inner Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Jordan Speith.

In 2019 Stephen Curry helped Howard University be able to compete on the D-1 level by funding the golf team for the next six years. Since this donation by Curry, this is the first time Howard has had a golf team since the 1970s and the first on the division one level in school history. The men’s golf team has only participated for two years and won the 2022 MEAC championship.

Curry is changing the lane in the basketball world and the golfing world too. His organization, Underrated, allows junior golfers, competitive golfers, and golfers from different communities to play and hopefully make it to the championship in San Francisco, which is invite-only. If a golfer doesn’t make it to the title round, this tour is an excellent opportunity to network and build their career.

Many will participate, but only 24 boys and girls on the underrated tour will be able to compete for the Curry Cup. The first Tour stop is in Chicago, Ill, June-21-23; and it continues in Phoenix, Ariz, June 29-July 1; Houston, Texas, July 17-19; Tampa, Fla, August 8-10; and the championship in San Francisco, Calif August 28-30.

Golfers can register or learn more about the tour at https://www.stayunderrated.com/tour-g