The next big golf tournaments on the horizon look to be very exciting and will get most golfers on the edge of their seats. With the emergence of golfing phenom Jordan Spieth, currently only 21 years of age, and other young players, Rory MclLroy ~ (24), Keegan Bradley ~ (27), Ricky Fowler ~ (25), Dustin Johnson ~ (29), Jason Day ~ (27), Brooks Koepka ~ (24), Hideki Matsuyama ~ (23), and others the golfing world is anxiously awaiting an exciting and ferocious battle to ensue.
WGC – Cadillac Match Play
The first of these events will begin April 29th at the World Golf Championship – Cadillac Match Play event in TPC Harding Park, San Francisco.
Harding Park is a municipal golf course created by Willie Watson and Sam Whiting, who also designed the Olympic Club, in 1925. This venue has hosted numerous events including the WGC – American Express Championship in 2005, The Presidents Cup in 2009 and earlier the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in 1937 and again in 1956. Famed golfers Johnny Miller and Ken Venturi played here frequently as juniors.
The field will contain the top 64 ranked golfers from around the world based on their Official World Golf Ranking. Each of the sixteen groups will be headed by the 16 top golfers by their current OWGR. The following 3 players in each group will be determined by a blind draw on April 27th from the remaining 3 pools of players.
The Players Championship
This is the second distinguished event coming up which is played each year at the same venue. The Players Championship is held at the TPC Sawgrass Golf Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and will begin on May 7th. This event is sometimes considered the 5th major because of the strength and caliber of the field.
The Players Championship brings the top players from around the world to go head to head on arguably one of the toughest and most unique golf courses on the planet. Designed by Pete Dye in 1987 this course is both infamous as well as famous. The course is known for its railroad tie abridgements around sand and water hazards, its ultra-fast and undulating greens, and its pinpoint accuracy fairways that are circuitous and reminiscent of a winding snake. The 17th green is its signature hole surrounded by water on all sides except for a narrow walk way that golfers use to enter and exit. Suffice it to say that this course is a true test of the world’s greatest golfers and should be nothing less than a memorable event.
To qualify you must have won an official PGA Tour event since the Players Championship from the preceding year’s event, been within the top 30 players from the previous year’s FedEx Cup point standings, been within the top 125 money winners on the PGA Tour’s money list, win a major championship or been a Players Champion from the previous 5 years and others.
U.S. Open Championship
Finally the U.S. Open Championship will begin on June 15th, 2015 and will be played at Chambers Bay Golf Club in University Place, Washington southwest of Tacoma and along the Puget Sound underneath the Olympic Mountains. What a unique venue for a U.S. Open.
This is a public course and was designed by Robert Trent Jones in 2007. It will be the first time the U.S. Open has been held in the Pacific Northwest region of the country and was designed to be a tribute to the links courses of ancient Scotland. The distinctive nature of this 7,585 yard course is characterized by massive dunes, rolling fairways, undulating greens and unpredictable coastal winds. This should prove to be a real test for the world’s greats.
To be in this field of 156 elite golfers you must go through local and then sectional qualifying to advance to the event. The previous U.S. Amateur and runner-up also are exempt. Professional players can get an exemption from qualifying by:
~ Winning the U.S. Open in any of the previous 10 years
~ Be a Masters, British Open or PGA Champion from the previous 5 years
~ Be a Players Champion from the previous 3 years
~ Be a current year’s BMW PGA Champion
~ Be a current year U.S. Senior Champion
~ Be a top 10 finisher at the previous year’s U.S. Open
~ Qualifiers from the previous year’s Tour Championship
~ Be in the top 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking as of two weeks before the start of the tournament
~ Special exemptions selected by the USGA
After the outstanding win by young Jordan Spieth at the Masters last week and the excitement from players like Rory MclLroy et al the golfing arena is becoming jam-packed with eligible players to vie for and eliminate the competition in these upcoming big golf tounaments. This is truly a great time for the game of golf and one in which we can all participate even if it is from a spectator point of view.