Shaw Charity Classic Earns Prestigious President’s Award
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The Champions Tour announced today the best tournaments of the 2014 Champions Tour season.
Four specific categories are recognized – the President’s Award, the Players Award, the Tournament Business Affairs Award and the Outstanding Achievement Award.
Miller Brady, Senior Vice President & Chief of Operations for the Champions Tour, announced the Shaw Charity Classic, staged at Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, as the recipient of the President’s Award, a most prestigious award which captures the criteria of all the awards plus the intangibles that make it stand out from the rest. The Shaw Charity Classic’s charitable giving exceeded $2 million for the second consecutive year. It also marks the first time since the award was established that a tournament staged outside of the United States has won the President’s Award.
“The Shaw Charity Classic was an exceptional event in its first year and elevated its performance and stature on the Champions Tour in its second,” said Brady. “Tournament officials attracted one of the strongest fields of the season; a direct result of players convincing those who skipped the inaugural event that it was a ‘must play’ tournament. Everyone involved should take great pride in how the event has rapidly developed. It’s certainly very deserving of the President’s Award.”
Following the inaugural Shaw Charity Classic, which produced a runaway seven-shot victory by Rocco Mediate, this year’s huge galleries witnessed the most exciting finish of the season. Fan favorite Fred Couples and rookie Billy Andrade both recorded eagles on the final hole of regulation before heading to a playoff, eventually won by Couples with a birdie on the first extra hole.
“Receiving this prestigious award in just our second year shows the commitment of Shaw Communications and the Patron Group, not only to the Shaw Charity Classic, but to the local community and to the Champions Tour as a whole,” said Tournament Director Sean Van Kesteren. “We’re extremely proud to win and we could never achieve this recognition without the efforts of our sponsors, volunteers, staff and fans.”
The Players Award went to the DICK’S Sporting Goods Open. This year, the tournament gained worldwide publicity mainly due to the record-setting 13-under 59 shot by rookie Kevin Sutherland in the second round. Bernhard Langer won the event, one of five titles he claimed in his stellar season. The excellent condition of the En-Joie Golf Course, the engaged community, the friendly tournament staff and sponsors, along with the annual concert, this year featuring “Zac Brown Band”, are all contributing factors to a hugely successful event which players appreciate.
The Champions Tour Tournament Business Affairs Award went to the Boeing Classic for the third year in a row. The T.B.A. team rates and grades every tournament in several different categories that determine what makes a successful event, and the Boeing Classic, played at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge in Seattle, Wash. for the 10th consecutive year earned the highest overall score. New records were set at the tournament with attendance, revenue and charitable giving all at record highs. Rookie Scott Dunlap won his first Champions Tour event in a playoff with veteran Mark Brooks. He was the third of five rookie winners on Tour in 2014.
The Outstanding Achievement Award was won by the Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf presented by Bass Pro Shops which excelled with the historic team-event being partly contested on the nine-hole Top of the Rock Par-3 course in Ridgedale, Mo. The venue was officially announced in January and played in June – surely the shortest lead time for any PGA TOUR-sanctioned event in memory. The community embraced the event with more than 1,000 volunteers contributing to its outstanding success. Fred Funk and Jeff Sluman won the tournament while Jim Colbert and Jim Thorpe claimed the unofficial Legends Division.
The Champions Tour Tournament Advisory Council presents the Bruno Award annually to an individual judged to have made special and outstanding contributions to the Champions Tour. The award is named in honor of Brian ‘Bruno’ Henning, the former Vice President of the Champions Tour and Southern Africa Golf Hall of Fame member. This year, Charles Schwab, whose company is the umbrella sponsor of the Champions Tour’s season-long Charles Schwab Cup competition and an Official Marketing Partner of the PGA TOUR, is the recipient of the Bruno Award. Charles Schwab & Company has had a profound impact on the Champions Tour after introducing the Charles Schwab Cup in 2001 as the first-ever, season-long points competition to identify the leading player on Tour. Each year, the Charles Schwab Cup awards $2.1 million to the top five finishers in the competition, with the champion receiving $1 million.
President’s Award Shaw Charity Classic
Players Award DICK’S Sporting Goods Open John Karedes
Outstanding Achievement Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf Kirk Elmquist
Bruno Award Charles Schwab
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About the Champions Tour
Collectively, the Champions Tour has the most recognizable and accomplished players in the game, with many of its 32 members in the World Golf Hall of Fame competing regularly in its events. The Tour also counts numerous other major championship winners among its members. The Champions Tour is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older. Conceived in 1980 as the Senior PGA Tour, it started with just four events and purses totaling $475,000. The Champions Tour’s primary purpose is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, protect the integrity of the game and generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays. Points earned in official Charles Schwab Cup events in 2014 determined Bernhard Langer as the Charles Schwab Cup champion, the season-long competition designed to recognize the Champions Tour’s leading player. In 2014, tournaments on all five Tours (PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, PGA TOUR Canada) continued to generate millions of dollars for local charitable organizations, adding to the TOUR’s all-time total of charitable contributions of more than $2 billion. The Commissioner of the PGA TOUR is Tim Finchem. Mike Stevens is President of the Champions Tour. Greg McLaughlin assumes that position in 2015 after Stevens retires. The PGA TOUR’s website is pgatour.com, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Follow the Champions Tour atfacebook.com/ChampionsTour and on Twitter @ChampionsTour.