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Golf Gods Bless Tucson

Is There More to Come? By Steve Rivera

Paul Weitman

Neal Weitman

Weitman Double Take By Steve Rivera

It was Feb. 26, 2006 – the day PGA Biggest Names in Golf officials announced that the World Golf Goodman said “it took a little time for Championships – Accenture Match Play fans to realize the differences in the field Championship would move from La Cosstrength and the format of the event – but ta, Calif., to Tucson. we’ve all done a good job adapting to the The roar could be heard throughchanges. I think the fans now know that out Southern Arizona. It like was Tiger this is a very special, elite tournament Woods nailing a clutch 10-foot putt at the with the biggest names in golf each and Masters. every year.” The top 64 players in the golf world The Golf Club at Dove Mountain prowould be coming to the Tucson area to vides a spectacular setting for a golf tourshow – and strut – their stuff. From long nament with the backdrop of the saguaros drives to short putts, and the Santa Catalina Tucson would be the Mountains, all the more place to see the world’s so when the snow comes best work their magic – and it has. from tee to green. It’s perfect setting for It would be a boon a Tiger. And the No. for Tucson tourism, 1 player in the world the greater local comhasn’t disappointed, munity and the Tucson winning the second year Conquistadores, the orit was held here and ganization that would playing every year with run the event. After all, the exception of 2010, when it comes to golf, when he was recovering the Conquistadores from knee surgery. have been synonymous We will see what will with the sport since happen to the tourna1966, serving as hosts ment beyond 2014, as well as marketing and when a new contract ticket agents. has to be signed to Clubhouse at The Golf Club The PGA saw what keep it in Tucson. Then at Dove Mountain was very apparent – again, it has had a (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR) Southern Arizona fans chance to leave before – love their golf. And they have come – rain and, well, it hasn’t. Who knows? Maybe or shine. And, well, snow too. it’ll stick around. “The fans, the volunteers, the media, “It’s most important for us to work our the Conquistadores and the corporate tails off to put together the very best event community all deeply care about this possible in 2014,” Goodman said. “We event,” said Gerald Goodman, the tourneed support from the fans, sponsors, volnament’s executive director. “When I go unteers and the community. If we can do out into the community in Tucson and the that, I think 2014 will be the best Accensurrounding areas, everyone wants to talk ture Match Play Championship we have golf with me. It’s great. There is such passeen so far.” sion for our sport.” continued on page 18 >>>

Neal Weitman never sought out to be president of the Tucson Conquistadores – but there he is in the top spot. Like father, like son. “It’s rewarding,” said Weitman, GM at Lexus of Tucson. “All of us in the group work for a living and have families. It’s all volunteer. I feel we do a lot of good for the community and it’s rewarding to give back money and see kids benefit. “It’s also rewarding because of the friendships you make in the community and within the Conquistadores. It’s work, but fun. We have a good group of guys. It’s a quality organization,” he added. In its more than 50 years of existence, the Conquistadores have donated more than $27 million to local charity organizations to help fund teams, projects and programs. For many youth teams and young players, it’s where dreams come true. Neal has a long history with the Conquistadores. He has been a member for nearly 10 years, and his father, Paul Weitman, was president from 1986 to 1987. “It wasn’t planned out that way,” the younger Weitman said. “I’m not the president because my dad was.” Instead, it’s his desire to help lead an organization that makes Tucson a stronger community through youth sports. “I feel good that my son is the president of the Conquistadores,” Paul Weitman said. Some of the fundamentals of the job haven’t changed – it’s about raising money and helping out, the elder Weitman said. Biz Winter 2014 > > > BizTucson 17

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The Tucson Region's Business Magazine

Biztucsonwinter2014flip  

The Tucson Region's Business Magazine