The ninth annual Friendship Cup, "Golf's Fifth Major", was held the weekend of March 5-8, 2015 at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. The 36-hole tournament consisting of 88 teams playing in a two man best-ball format was contested at the world-renowned Ocean Course, site of the 2012 PGA Championship, and the Jack Nicklaus designed Turtle Point.
Traditionally the tournament has been scheduled as straight tee times, but in 2015 the tournament organizers wanted to add some additional fun after the round and give participants some down time before the nightly festivities. Sweetwater Beer sponsored a "shoot out" closest-to-the-pin contest on the range each day and the winners took home $1000 each. Congrats to Friday's winner - Mike Althouse and Saturday's winner - Justin Aarsvold.
Team Michael Iwanicki and Charles Kalenowski, took home first place, with a best ball net of -16. They won by a tie breaker using the back nine Ocean Course score of 31 just beating Team Shannon Spillman and Jonathan Lee with 34 as their back nine score.
Charles Kalenowski was also awarded Individual Low Net with a score of 140. Hugh Morrison took home individual Low Gross with a score of 145. This was the 2nd year of our Senior Division Team Competition and brothers Tony and Gary Odachowski proudly took home custom matching rocking chairs and will be donned with matching Loudmouth jackets at the 2016 Past Champions Dinner. This was the first year we awarded a Team Gross trophy and Team Hugh Morrison and Richard Grindon took home the trophy.
All teams finishing in the top 10 earned the chance to choose from a wide variety of prizes, including golf packages at Kiawah Island Golf Resort and destination trips all across the country. The dreaded "Donkey" award, which recognized the team finishing last, is also handed out at closing awards banquet. This year's "winners" were Team Johnny Vacarro and Joel Payne finished 62 over. In their defense, they chose to play as scratch without established handicaps so maybe they aren't THAT bad.
We MUST recognize our first ever Hole-In-One for The Friendship Cup-John Goodish - who won an Audi valued at $42,000 from McDaniels Audi of Charleston!
Dean from Toronto was a first time attendee and said, "A first class event with countless amenities, incredible amount of thought and planning, amazing value and tireless efforts from all professionals involved in this tournament."
Steven from Atlanta perfectly summarized the overall sentiment from the players, saying, "The Friendship Cup is an event based around great competition and pure entertainment. When you add in the amazing resort and world championship golf courses, it's undoubtedly one of the best amateur golf events in the world".
The tournament includes three night's accommodations with unique dinner events at the resort, an assortment of gifts provided by sponsors, two rounds of golf, and three nights of a hospitality suite which features a golf simulator, putting contests, comedians, and other fun competitions.
This year's sponsors included the Charleston Area Convention & Visitor's Bureau. They are why the Charleston area including Kiawah continues to be recognized as one of the best areas to visit in the country and the world! Titleist & Footjoy provided 7 amenity packages valued at $500 retail for each participant. Boston Beer (aka Sam Adams) & Southern Eagle Distributing (aka Bud family products) as well as Ben Arnold Beverage were our beer, wine and liquor sponsors keeping the mood fun and relaxed. Other partners, included VPAR live scoring, Full Swing Golf Simulators, Harbor Linen, Southwest, McDaniels Audi, Coastal Golf Marketing, Dicks Sporting Goods and Rewind Candles.
The 10th Annual Friendship Cup is scheduled for March 10 - 13, 2016, and is already circled on the calendar for many of the players. "It's a year 10 and it's going to be EPIC!" promises Tournament Founder and Chairman Tom Bewley.
The eighth annual installment of Golf's Fifth Major, the Friendship Cup, was held March 6-9 at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. The 36 hole tournament consisting of 92 teams playing in a two man best-ball format was contested at the world-renowned Ocean Course, site of the 2012 PGA Championship, and Cougar Point, the resort's Gary Player design. While The Ocean Course has remained the constant throughout the first seven years of the event, 2014 marked the first time that Cougar Point was used in the rotation. It did not disappoint, as the players raved about the condition of the golf course and the variety of the layout, adding another group of guests who believe Cougar Point to be the resort's hidden gem.
Tournament organizers continue to make the experience of playing the Ocean Course as Pete Dye intended a priority, so the field was split between the two courses on Friday and Saturday to allow for straight tee times rather than a shotgun start.
Team "Pops and Caddie", Jerry and Brendon Czarnecki, took home first place, with a best ball net of -16, four shots better than the two 2nd place teams "Cash-n-Out" and "Lincoln's Beard". The winners shot an impressive score at Cougar Point on the first day and managed to hold off a few late charges by other groups on Saturday with a net eagle on the 18th hole at The Ocean Course. All teams finishing in the top 10 earned the chance to choose from a wide variety of prizes, including golf packages at Kiawah and destination trips all across the country. The dreaded "Donkey" award, which recognized the team finishing in last place, is also handed out at The Sanctuary banquet; this year's winners, "All That Jazz", finished net +26. The good news for them is that they can blame Friday's play for winning this dubious award and they can come back next year to try NOT to defend their title.
Steven from Atlanta perfectly summarized the overall sentiment from the players, saying, "The Friendship Cup is an event based around great competition and pure entertainment. When you add in the amazing resort and world championship golf courses, it's undoubtedly one of the best amateur golf events in the world". The tournament includes three night's accommodations with unique dinner events at the resort, an assortment of gifts provided by sponsors, two rounds of golf, and three nights of a hospitality suite which features a golf simulator, putting contests, casino nights, and other fun competitions. This year's sponsor, Nike Golf, set up a virtual store in The Sanctuary and each player in the event was provided with $500 of Nike cash to use on apparel, golf clubs, and golf balls, ensuring that even the teams placing outside the top ten did not leave empty handed.
The 9th Friendship Cup is scheduled for March 5-8, 2015, and is already circled on the calendar for many of the players. John from Charlotte, playing for the first time, concluded his evaluation with the following statement: "The Friendship Cup is the envy of all other golf tournaments. I cannot wait until next year".
|1st||Pops & Caddie||128||Brendon Czarnecki||Jerry Czarnecki|
|2nd||Cash-N-Out||132||Doug Dohner||Jamie Anderson|
|3rd||Lincoln's Beard||132||Rob Beattie||Bob Westover|
|4th||Jewish Pickles||134||Jason Feinberg||Evan Weinberg|
|5th||Bushwood Ballers||134||Chuck Kalenowski||Michael Iwanicki|
|6th||Bustin' My Balls||135||Rob Gamble||Matt Mixon|
|7th||Farcelona||135||Brett Sterba||Ryan Sterba|
|8th||Dawg Pound||136||Neil Fisher||Bill Haskin|
|9th||Sweet Pin Music||136||Robert Hagen||Mike Walsten|
|10th||Just The Tips||137||Ali Kashkouli||John Morsek|
|1st||Sports Illustrated||140||Tom Perlozzo||Christian Kuhn|
The 7th Annual 2013 Friendship Cup was contested at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort March 1st and 2nd on Pete Dye's world-famous Ocean Course and the Jack Nicklaus designed Turtle Point.
One first year attendee shared, "The Friendship Cup will begin the golf year for my friends and me from now on! I look forward to coming back next year to compete with all the great people I met on our maiden voyage to the "Cup" weekend. You cannot beat the Southern Hospitality you get at this wonderful island showcase."
The tournament boasted a record high attendance of 86 two-man teams this year. Tournament Chairman Tom Bewley says, "We are finally where we want to be with this tournament. Our goal was for it to become one of the country's premier amateur events and it has. We want to keep it intimate and exclusive and plan to limit 2014 to no more than 100 teams." The field of contenders is split between the two courses each day and the tournament is done with tee times rather than a shotgun format so everyone plays the courses as they are meant to be played for the best experience.
While the golf tournament is certainly a key component to the weekend, the "friendship" part of The Friendship Cup really happens off the course each evening. Attendees dine together each night at different themed events and continue the fellowship at the nightly hospitality suite. Hospitality suite favorites are the Full Swing Golf simulator, putting contest, cornhole tournament and foosball.
This year, the Thursday night kick-off dinner was once again at the popular Mingo Point site overlooking the magical Kiawah River. A bonfire, tunes from the Travis Allison Band, and the smell of roasted oysters, fire-grilled steaks and pit BBQ welcomed the crowd. As the night went on, each guest was encouraged to choose a pair of Sundog sunglasses as part of their weekend amenity package and Puros Reynoso was on hand offering samples of their finest Dominican cigars.
The amenity bag is always a big hit and this year did not disappoint with a Ralph Lauren polo, pair of FootJoy custom golf shoes, Ahead hat, plush golf towel from Harbor Linen, 2 sleeves of Titleist golf balls, Back Nine head covers, FootJoy socks, fine Dominican cigars from Puros Reynoso, and lots of spa goodies. The resort partners with many sponsors to make the event an exceptional value. From a four year attendee, "By far the best golf event weekend of the year. Amazing golf, great hospitality and the best value there is in the world of golf."
Friday evening after play, all past champions were honored going back to 2007, and the 2012 champions were presented their coveted navy blazers and welcomed into the Friendship Cup Hall of Fame. Attendees enjoyed a "Taste of Kiawah" themed dinner highlighting the resorts' varied restaurants. Each course was paired with a complimenting beer courtesy of Southern Eagle Distributing.
As the tournament came to a close Saturday afternoon, officials from VPAR live scoring tallied the highly anticipated results. Once again, all gathered in the Grand Ballroom at The Sanctuary Hotel for the final awards dinner. Another first year attendee summed it up by sharing," The Friendship Cup is an epic experience at an exceptional venue. The combination of playing on a "Majors" golf course and sharing good food and drink with great friends locks this in as an annual event!" Past attendees were honored with commemorative plates with The Ocean Course Clubhouse pictured and dined above the crowd on risers at the head tables.
|1st||Bushwood Ballers||130||Michael Iwanicki||Chuck Kalenowski|
|2nd||Hope to Finish||136||Randy Jones||Tom Crosby|
|3rd||Hotty Toddy||138||David Sinclair||Wayne Whitley|
|4th||Cash-N-Out||139||Jamie Anderson||Doug Dohner|
|5th||Agreeably Childish Behavior||140||Brett Sterba||Daron Pope|
|6th||Striking Linkers||141||Richard Grindon||Hugh Morrison|
|7th||I'd Sink That III||142||Bill Thomas||Clay Setzer|
|8th||Lincoln's Beard||142||Rob Beattie||Jim Costello|
|9th||Team Ham & Egg||142||John Haskins||Matthew Loney|
|10th||Red Beans & Rice||143||Jonathan Lee||Shannon Spillman|
|1st||Golf Digest||62||Jason Adel||Rick Hall|
PGA Club professionals* from all across the U.S., along with three of their members, will tee it up during the Annual Kiawah Island Golf Resort National Pro-Am. The 72-hole stroke play event, sponsored by Club Car, will be held on four of Kiawah Island Golf Resort's championship courses: Pete Dye's world-famous Ocean Course, Jack Nicklaus' Turtle Point, Gary Player's Cougar Point and Tom Fazio's Osprey Point.
The tournament format includes four-man best ball gross and net, as well as professional stroke play. Prizes are awarded to the top net and gross amateur teams and professionals also compete for a separate purse. Players will use 75% of their USGA handicap, with a maximum Course Handicap of 18 allowed. PGA Professionals may bring up to six amateurs. The professionals' score will be used for each 3 man team.
Completed entries must be received at Kiawah Island Golf Resort no later than February 1, 2015.
Note:USGA handicaps are required. The Ocean Course is walking only. Caddies available upon request. *Professionals must be PGA members or apprentice in good standing.
From $1,590 per amateur. Professionals are complimentary.
Tournament Package Includes:
• Four nights in a 3 bedroom condo
• Opening Banquet at Mingo Point
• Welcome Amenity Bag
• Breakfast on tournament days (4)
• Four rounds of golf
• Three scoring parties
• One Awards Luncheon
For more information on the Kiawah National Pro-Am, including collateral and registration information, please contact: Candice Chuppa by email: Candice_Chuppa@kiawahresort.com, or call (843)-768-2860.
It was the late June of 2005. The PGA Club Professional Championship (now called the PGA Professional National Championship) was set to begin on Kiawah’s Ocean Course. During a press conference early in the week, then-Governor Mark Sanford, Pete Dye, various officers of the PGA of America and Kiawah Island officials announce that the 2012 PGA Championship would be held on The Ocean Course. At the time, it seemed a million years away.
In mid-2009, Championship Director, Brett Sterba arrived on site to set the framework on bringing a major Championship to coastal South Carolina – working through logistical challenges, developing relationships with local businesses and government officials as well as making initial
contacts with potential hospitality purchasers. Over the following three years course architect, Pete Dye, made subtle changes to the course to better accommodate patron flow and to challenge the world’s greatest players. About three month out from the Championship, a virtual city took root and rose until the second week of August when over 30,000 individuals a day came to inhabit it and enjoy an epic Championship.
Carl Pettersson’s 66 leads first round – On an excellent day for scoring, Pettersson, who won at nearby Hilton Head Island in April at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town, led a number of players under par on Day 1. Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods also got off to good starts.
Calm conditions and a course softened by rain earlier in the week led to a number of under-par rounds including McIlroy with 5-under 67. Woods had an up-and-down round that included three straight birdies but still finished with a 69. Other notable scores included Gary Woodland (67) and John Daly, defending champion Keegan Bradley and Geoff Ogilvy.
Joost Luiten of the Netherlands was threatening the tournament’s 18-hole scoring record at 8 under through 14 holes, but bogeyed his last four holes to end up also with a 68.
While many of the early rounds started low, scores crept back up as the wind kicked up and The Ocean Course demonstrated why it has been called America’s Toughest Course.
On the toughest scoring day in PGA Championship history, winds blew at a steady 25 mph with a gust reaching 38 mph.
On days like this, par is a very, very good number. Three-time major champions, Vijay Singh scratched out five birdies in a remarkable round of 3-under 69. Only four other players managed to break par including Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland at 70 and Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter at 71.
Carl Pettersson stayed in the lead as long as he could until a few errant shots at the end of the round and settled for a 74.
Poulter was tied for the lead until a bogie on his last hole. “The golf shots this course asks you to hit time and time and time again … you really have to hit phenomenal golf shots,” Poulter said. “The room for error is so tiny, and when you get it wrong, you can be 15 feet below the level of the green in a bad lie with not much of a shot.”
The scoring average for Friday was 78.11. The previous record for the PGA Championship was 76.8 set back in 1958. There were 44 players under par after Thursday. Going into the weekend, there were only 10.
Rory McIlroy didn’t make a birdie until his 14th hole. His 75 left him at 2-under, just two behind the leaders.
Joost Luiten, already having a bad day, opted not to play the 18th on Friday. It was getting dark and play was technically suspended for darkness. His playing partners went ahead and finished up their rounds, but Luiten opted not to.
Luiten was already 5-over for the day by the time he got to 18, so maybe he was hoping to wakeup and try and birdie the hole on Saturday – Which he proceeded to do.
McIlroy opened with three birdies and two par saves, none bigger than on the third hole when his tee shot lodged in a branch about 7 feet off the ground. He reached up to remove the ball, took an unplayable lie, and then got up and down for an unbelievable par.
Tiger moved in the other direction. While Woods made everything Friday to take a share of the 36-hole lead, he made nothing on Saturday. He was already five shots behind and facing a 6-foot par putt on the eighth hole when the siren sounded to stop play. He was 1 under.
Bo Van Pelt and Steve Stricker each climbed the leaderboard with a pair of 67s.
Twenty-six players did not finish their round on Saturday due to weather and needed to return on Sunday morning to finish their third round. The final round was played in threesomes off both tees, a rarity in a major championship.
In stark contrast to the day before, Sunday’s weather was spectacular – sunny, warm with a 10-15mph breeze, which is next to nothing on The Ocean Course. The 26 players who didn’t finish their Saturday rounds teed off early so as to allow them to get done in time to play their Sunday rounds.
At the beginning of the day, Rory McIlroy and Vijay Singh were tied for the lead. After a seesaw battle amongst the leaders, Rory took the lead on the 15th of the 3rd round and never looked back, finishing with back-to-back birdies for a 67. By the end of the third round, McIlroy leads at 7-under, and Pettersson is in second place at 4-under. Three are tied in third (Van Pelt, Immelman & Scott) at 3-under with four tied for 6th place (Stricker, Hanson, Singh and Woods) at 2-under.
Around 11:45am the final round starts with threesomes going off double tees (1 & 10). However, just like last year’s U.S. Open, this one was never seriously in doubt. No one got closer than two shots the rest of the way, and McIlroy closed out a remarkable week by playing bogey-free over the final 23 holes.
David Lynn, a 38-yar-old from England who was playing in America for the first time, was runner up after closing with a 68.
Woods never recovered from his ignominious start on Saturday, finishing the final round with a 72 leaving him at 2-under, 11 shots off McIlroy’s pace. Woods was gracious in the loss. “He’s very good. We all know the talent he has,” Woods said. Referring to his five missed cuts in a row earlier in the year, he said, “He went through a little spell this year, and I think that was good for him. We all go through those spells in our careers. He’s got all the talent in the world to do what he’s doing. And this is the way that Rory can play. When he gets it going, it’s pretty impressive to watch.”
Ian Poulter put up the stiffest challenge, though not for long. Poulter, who started the final round six shots behind, made six birdies through seven holes to get within two shots. He then made three straight bogeys on the back nine and had to settle for a 69. He tied for third at 4-under 284, along with Justin Rose (66) and defending champion Keegan Bradley (68).
The entire staff of Kiawah Island Golf Resort is proud to have Rory McIlroy as champion of Kiawah’s first major.
"It means an awful lot to look at the names on that trophy, and to put my name alongside them is very special."