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BizSPORTS continued from page 17 Every year, Tucson one ups itself. And Accenture and the PGA take notice.

Favorite Memories from the Links

PGA TOUR in Tucson Since 1945

By Steve Rivera “It was the year Tiger Woods went to a playoff (in 2008) and The Gallery Golf Club at Dove Mountain isn’t suited for galleries. He made a putt to tie the match after being down three with three to play. He made a putt at 18 to extend the match. “It was late in the day and just beautiful. I was helping with the marshals and crowd control. When we had to move to the No. 1 hole after being at 18 there was a huge crowd that Tiger brings with him. It was a crowd of chaos and bliss at the same time. “Controlling the crowd was amazing. It gave you the feel of a big-time golf event and the things you see at the British Open and these huge events. It was a memorable moment.” – Heath Bolin, 2014 Tournament Chairman, Tucson Conquistadores

“It had to be 2009 and all the First Tee kids were out there watching practice. There must have been 35 kids and we were walking down the 18th fairway. Tiger Woods was practicing on the other side. All the kids yelled, “Tiger.” He waved (he couldn’t stop because he was headed to talk to the media). “We then walked to the 17th green and Sergio Garcia was there with Adam Scott and Luke Donald. They were practicing. Scott and Donald signed a bunch of autographs and Sergio Garcia signed an autograph for every kid. Oh, my gosh – the kids will remember that.” – Judy McDermott, Executive Director, Tucson Conquistadores

“Just watching Tiger Woods practice is exciting. This is one of the most famous people in the world. I walked one year following Geoff Ogilvy and Steve Stricker, and any time you can watch people who are the best at what they do, it’s is amazing. Hey, if these shots aren’t five feet from the hole on a par three, they are mad. These guys are phenomenal. It’s a pleasure to watch them.” – Ed Honea, Mayor, Town of Marana

“One of the more compelling matches I’ve had a chance to see was between Hunter Mahan and Rory McIlroy (in 2012). Rory was No. 1 in the world and watching Hunter match him shot for shot, and seeing him overtake him was remarkable. Golf fans enjoyed watching that duel.” – Brent DeRaad, President & CEO, Visit Tucson

“I always take a moment during Wednesday’s opening round of the Accenture Match Play Championship to stop and take in the atmosphere at the first tee. It is one of the most underrated days on golf’s calendar, in my opinion. We have 64 of the world’s best, broken up into 32 matches going head to head. “I love the win-or-go-home feeling in the air that day, both at the beginning as players make their way to the opening tee or later in the day as matches start to conclude. It’s something that only happens at our event.” – Gerald Goodman, Executive Director, Accenture Match Play Championship

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Winter 2014

“Tucson and Southern Arizona have long supported PGA TOUR events dating back to 1945 with the start of the Tucson Open,” said Peter Kent, VP of championship management business affairs at the PGA TOUR. “Through tournament changes and even a few snowstorms, the fans, volunteers, Conquistadores and corporate sponsors in Tucson have shown great support of the World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play Championship,” he added. So, of course Tucson wants Accenture to stay. Always has and always will. “The one thing you can hang your hat on is that Tucson gets the best of the best when it comes to golf, having the top 64 players come here,” said Heath Bolin, 2014 tournament chairman for the Conquistadores. “Phoenix has the Cardinals and the NFL. They’ve had a World Series. They have the Suns and have had an All-Star game. “We have our No. 1 Cats. But when it comes to pro sports, the Accenture Match Play is something special. Phoenix doesn’t get the top 64. This is truly special and important to the community. It’s something we have to hold on to. We’ve had great support in the past and what people need to do is buy tickets.” Blessed With Eight Years

It’s been a great, wild ride from the moment they made the announcement they’d be coming to where the greens are smooth and the fairways are generous. “That’s the whole thing,” said Judy McDermott, executive director of the Tucson Conquistadores. “We thought we’d get them for four years and that would be it. We’ve been blessed to have them eight. “In our wildest dreams did we ever think we’d get Match Play because we were playing opposite them,” McDermott said. “First to land it and have it be extended and then extended again, we never thought that would happen. We’ve always done really well with the event. Whoever thought we’d have all these CEOs flying into Tucson to see the event? It’s been fantastic.” Of course, the Conquistadores, Tucson and everyone involved from that end would love for it to continue. “We’ve been good for Match Play and Accenture – and Match Play has been good to Tucson,” said Neal Weitman, president of the Tucson Conquistadores. “We’ve had great success the past eight years. “To have that quality of field here is great – and it would be equally as great to have the marriage extended. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we certainly hope that it can continue,” he added. continued on page 20 >>> www.BizTucson.com

Biztucsonwinter2014flip  

The Tucson Region's Business Magazine

Biztucsonwinter2014flip  

The Tucson Region's Business Magazine