Golfweek Red Sky Classic: Northern Arizona right at home at altitude in Colorado mountains

Even as the winds picked up in Vail, Colorado, Northern Arizona didn't give up a bit of ground.

Golfweek Red Sky Classic: Northern Arizona right at home at altitude in Colorado mountains

VAIL, Colo. — Even as the winds picked up across Red Sky Golf Club’s Fazio Course Monday, Northern Arizona didn’t give up a bit of ground.

Altitude is nothing new for the women from Flagstaff, Arizona, though this kind of mountainous landscape is a bit more extreme.

“If you would have told me we were tied for the lead after one round, I would be thrilled,” Northern Arizona head coach Brad Bedortha said. “Nice to see our team go out and compete.”

NAU played the opening round at Red Sky in 9 under to take an immediate share of the lead at the Golfweek Red Sky Classic. That was thanks in large part to a back-nine 31 from Eliska Kocourkova, who started on No. 10 with a bogey then fired off four birdies in a row before making a hole-in-one at the par-3 17th, a picturesque short hole with a huge elevation drop.

“Definitely exceeded our expectations for today,” said Bedortha. “We got off to a great start. The girls were making birdies right out the gate.”

East Tennessee State is also at 9 under and with star performances of their own. Sara Hasegawa eagled the par-5 18th, her ninth hole of the day, for an opening 70 to go along with rounds of 67 from Tereza Melecka and 69 from Hollie Muse.

“The Fazio Course at Red Sky is an amazing course and it was fun watching the ladies attack it today,” head coach Stefanie Shelton said. “It can be a tricky setup with some of the pin positions, so the next two days will be a challenge I’m sure.”

Both teams lead Brigham Young University, which was the on-paper favorite entering the tournament after back-to-back victories in its first two fall starts at the Dick McGuire Invitational and the Mercedes Benz Collegiate. Two “local” teams fared well on the first day, as well. Denver and Colorado are both part of a tie for fourth, along with Central Arkansas, at 5 under.

Denver’s Anna Zanusso, who competed at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April, is the defending champion but opened with 1-over 73. Teammate Anna Cathrine Krekling fired a 6-under 66 good for a share of the individual lead with BYU’s Kerstin Fotu.

The event at Red Sky is in its 12th playing after not being played in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The traditional conference challenge aspect changed this year to feature a wider field. Interestingly, the defending Division II national champion Dallas Baptist is in the Division I field this week and in a share of the 13th after a 5-over 293 to open the week.

Past winners

2020 – No event
2019 – Ole Miss, 15-under 849
2018 – UCLA, 32-under 832
2017 – Denver, 8-over 872
2016 – San Diego State, 2-over 866
2015 – San Diego State, 6-under 858
2014 – Pepperdine, 2-under 862
2013 – Pepperdine, 5-over 869
2012 – Pepperdine, 4-under 860
2011 – Oklahoma, 35-over 899
2010 – Virginia, 13-over 877
2009 – Pepperdine, 17-over 881
Individual
2020 – No event
2019 – Anna Zanusso, Denver (11-under 205)
2018 – Mariel Galdiano, UCLA (13-under 203)
2017 – Haley Moore, Arizona (7-under 209)
2016 – Marlene Krolboll Hansen, Coastal Carolina (9-under 207)
2015 – Emma Henrikson, San Diego State (10-under 206)
2014 – Marissa Chow, Pepperdine (6-under 210)
2013 – Grace Na, Pepperdine (6-under 210)
2012 – Demi Runas, UC Davis (7-under 209)
2011 – Chirapat Jao-Javanil, Oklahoma (1-over 217)
2010 – Brittany Altomare, Virginia (4-under 212)
2009 – Caroline Hedwall, Oklahoma State (9-under 207)

Source : Golf Week More   

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Up next: Ryder Cup heads to Italy for the first time in 2023

Italy’s presence in the event will grow in 2023 when Marco Simone Golf & Country Club plays host.

Up next: Ryder Cup heads to Italy for the first time in 2023

Italy has made its impactful footprint on the Ryder Cup through the years.

Costantino Rocca took down Tiger Woods in singles in 1997, and the country never had a prouder moment in the event than in 2018, when Francesco Molinari became the first player from Europe to post a perfect 5-0 record in a rousing victory over the United States in Paris.

Italy’s presence in the event will grow in 2023 when it plays host to the Ryder Cup at newly revitalized Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, built only 10 miles outside the city of Rome. It will be the first time the Ryder Cup has been staged in Italy.

The course has undergone an extensive redesign by European Golf Design, performed in cooperation with course architect Tom Fazio II, whose father, Jim Fazio, was the course’s original designer. Marco Simone will become only the third venue in Continental Europe to play host to the historic Ryder Cup matches, joining Valderrama in Sotogrande, Spain (1997), and Le Golf National in Paris (2018). Marco Simone was originally scheduled to host in 2022, but the schedule moved back when the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits was shifted to 2021.

Work on the golf course at Marco Simone, aimed to better capture the drama of match play, began in 2018 and was completed in the spring of 2021. The layout will feature some exciting risk/reward decisions for players in a match-play setting, and will give spectators great views not only of the action on the course but of such historic Italian landmarks as St. Peter’s Basilica and the Castle of Marco Simone.

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club outside Rome, Italy, will be the host site for the 2023 Ryder Cup. Photo by Marco Simone Golf & Country Club

“The assignment of the Ryder Cup to Italy is a source of pride for the entire national sports movement,” said Franco Chimenti, president of the Federazione Italiana Golf. “The incredible setting of Rome will enhance the event, making it unique. The project is what we always imagined, and above all what those who believed in this project imagined.”

The finish at Marco Simone should be exciting for matches that go the distance. The 16th hole can be set up as a drivable par 4, protected by water on the right and a creek that runs across the throat to the green. The 17th is a mid-length par-3 hole of about 180 yards that will yield birdies to great tee shots. The finishing hole is a long par 5 with water down the left side next to the putting surface and a sloping green complex.

Gian Paolo Montali, general director of the Ryder Cup 2023 Project, said those who knew the course from when it played host to the Italian Open in 1994 will find a venue that is “nothing like before.” Said Montali, “The Ryder Cup will be something else. In the beginning, we thought about a light restyling of the course, but it was completely redesigned with eco-sustainability in mind and the benefits of the work will also be enjoyed after the 2023 Ryder Cup.”

According to the European Tour, the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris attracted a record crowd for a Ryder Cup in Europe, with more than 270,000 fans in attendance. The event boosted the economy in France by an estimated 235 million Euros (roughly $275 million U.S.).

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club outside Rome, Italy, will be the host site for the 2023 Ryder Cup. Photo by Marco Simone Golf & Country Club

The 2025 Ryder Cup is scheduled to be played at Bethpage Black on Long Island, New York, which has been host to two U.S. Opens (2002, 2009), a PGA Championship and twice was home course for The Barclays, a PGA Tour event.

The 2027 Ryder Cup will visit Ireland for a second time, played at The Golf Course at Adare Manor in County Limerick. Adare Manor which opened in 1995, staged both the 2007 and 2008 Irish Opens. The Ryder Cup made its first foray into Ireland in 2006, with the Europeans soundly defeating the U.S. side at the Arnold Palmer-designed K Club in County Kildare.

Source : Golf Week More   

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