This week punctuates a year that has underlined Jack Nicklaus’ legacy of creating some of the world’s top tournament venues. As the tournament year winds to a close, the PGA Tour will be showcased on two Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses. The Chevron World Challenge, the annual event hosted by Tiger Woods, gets under way today at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., while the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., plays host to the pressure cooker known as the six-day PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament Finals.
With his keen eye for design strategy and shot values, there is no active designer who has created more world-class tournament venues than Jack Nicklaus. To date, no fewer than 90 Nicklaus Design courses have hosted close to 650 professional tournaments worldwide. In 2011 alone, Nicklaus courses will have hosted 15 PGA Tour-sanctioned events—eight on the PGA Tour, five on the Champions Tour, and two on the Nationwide Tour. Another three played host to events on the LPGA Tour; two hosted European Tour events; two more on the Asian Tour; and another hosted the South African Open last week. In fact, over an 11-week period, beginning July 14 and ending September 25, there were 10 different Tour events, sanctioned by six different professional tours, played on Jack Nicklaus-designed courses located in five different countries.
This stretch concluded with the playing of the Solheim Cup, the most prestigious international team event in women’s professional golf, at Killeen Castle near Dublin, Ireland. Four major championships have been played on Nicklaus courses, as well as almost 50 senior major championships (Champions Tour). In 2011, two senior majors were played on Nicklaus courses. Next year, two more Nicklaus courses will host senior majors, as well as the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup on the Champions Tour. Also, Muirfield Village Golf Club—Jack Nicklaus’ home club in Ohio and the host of the prestigious Memorial Tournament since 1976—will play host to The Presidents Cup in 2013 and become the only facility in the world to have hosted a Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup and The Presidents Cup.
See more details below for the events taking place this week:
Chevron World Challenge
Site: Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Course: Sherwood Country Club (7,052 yards, par 72).
Purse: $5 million. Winner’s share: $1.2 million.
Television: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m.) and NBC (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.).
Field: Keegan Bradley, Paul Casey, K.J. Choi, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Bill Haas, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Martin Laird, Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson, Steve Stricker, Bo Van Pelt, Nick Watney, Bubba Watson, Gary Woodland, Tiger Woods.
Last year: Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell holed a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole to force a playoff, then made another birdie putt from a little longer away to deny Woods a victory in his own event.
Notes: Woods, the 2001, ’04, ’06 and ’07, received an exemption into the unofficial event. He was 49th in the world ranking at the cutoff, two spots from failing to qualify. … Kuchar and Woodland won the World Cup on Sunday in China, giving the United States its first victory since 2000. … World ranking points are awarded in the tournament. … Solo last place in the 18-player event is worth $140,000. … Jack Nicklaus-designed Sherwood is at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains. Douglas Fairbanks’ 1922 silent “Robin Hood” was shot on the scenic property, leading to the Sherwood name.
PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament
Site: La Quinta, Calif.
Courses: PGA West, Nicklaus Tournament Course (7,204 yards, par 72), TPC Stadium Course (7,300 yards, par 72).
Television: Golf Channel (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.; Monday, 3:30-7 p.m.).