United Airlines, PGA Tour to help HBCU golf programs cover travel costs

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One of the biggest expenses in golf, from the junior ranks to the PGA Tour, is travel.

The PGA Tour and United Airlines are joining forces to help golf programs at more than 50 historically black colleges and universities with travel grants to help teams travel to tournaments across the country.

United will award teams more than $500,000 in grants, split equally among 51 programs. Each team will receive $10,000 in travel credits, which will help approximately 250 student-athletes and their coaches travel to tournament sites that may have previously been out of reach.

Following:Kelsea Ballerini to perform at Players Championship Military Appreciation Day

Following:Players Championship Unveils ‘Foreward Together’ Exhibit and Honors African Americans in Golf

“Removing the barriers preventing HBCU students from having the same opportunities as other college athletes will open the door for countless young black golfers to pursue their dreams and for HBCU golf programs to develop to their full potential” , said the chairman of United. Brett Hart in a report.

Winston-Salem University Golf Coach Charles Penny II, whose schedule was reinstated for the first time in 10 years last year, said the team was only able to play one fall tournament because they didn’t have enough money in his budget for more travel. He said that with United credits the team will be able to play up to four tournaments next fall.

“The United Airlines grant will have a significant impact on our program’s ability to travel,” Penny said in a statement.

The Florida A&M men’s team and the Bethune-Cookman women’s team are among the programs that will receive the travel credits. When Edward Waters’ women’s team start playing in 2023, they will be eligible to apply.

United is the official airline of the PGA Tour and was the inaugural sponsor of the Tour’s HBCU grant program.

“We are committed to helping diversify the landscape of competitive golf and this collaboration between United Airlines and these colleges and universities will be an important step towards leveling the playing field and improving the experience for student-athletes. along the way,” said the Tour commissioner. Jay Monahan said in a statement.

DJ Gregory honored by the tour

DJ Gregory, who was born with cerebral palsy and wrote a book and achieved national fame for logging more than 14,000 miles and 42,000 holes in PGA Tour events since 2008, was named the recipient of the PGA Tour Courage Award.

Gregory, who embarked on his quest to support his Walking For Kids Foundation, was honored in a surprise ceremony at TPC Scottsdale, the site of this week’s WM Phoenix Open.

DJ Gregory walks around with players in 2016 at the Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club in Jackson, Miss.

The PGA TOUR Courage Award is presented to an individual who, through courage and perseverance, has overcome adversity, such as personal tragedy or debilitating injury or illness, to make a significant and significant contribution to the game of golf. Introduced in 2012, Gregory is the fifth recipient and first non-PGA TOUR member of the PGA TOUR Courage Award, joining Erik Compton (2013), Jarrod Lyle (2015), Gene Sauers (2017) and Morgan Hoffman (2020).

“DJ has endeared himself to countless fans, players, staff and tournaments for over a decade on the PGA TOUR and is a tremendous example of perseverance and courage,” said Monahan, who was at TPC Scottsdale to make the presentation to Gregory. “Our players have embraced DJ over the years and continue to be inspired by his dedication to the Walking For Kids Foundation. We couldn’t be more proud of the impact he has had and the many lives he has touched. in a positive way.

Monahan announced at the ceremony that the Tour will donate $25,000 to Walking For Kids. Waste Management Tournament Sponsor and World #1 Ranked Player Jon Rahm matched. Gregory will walk with Rahm in all of his rounds this week.

Gregory’s parents learned shortly after his birth that he would spend his life in a wheelchair. But after numerous surgeries, he learned to walk with a cane.

He became a golf fan at the age of 12 and in 2008 decided to take up the Tour à pied events.

Players began to take notice and many asked Gregory to accompany their rounds. He walked eight times with Sunday’s winner, including Rahm at the US Open last year and Jason Day at the 2015 PGA.

RSM donates to INK!

The St. Johns County Education Foundation Inc., operating as INK! (Investing in Kids) received a donation of $351,721 from RSM Classic’s Birdies Fore Love program.

Zach Johnson gets his chance at the 2020 RSM Classic at the Sea Island Club.

The RSM Classic is the PGA Tour’s fall event at the Sea Island Club on the island of St Simons, Ga. The tournament benefits the Davis love Foundation.

INK! provides curriculum and classroom resources for educators and students in St. Johns County. INK! also received a donation of $303,000 from the RSM Classic in 2021.

The RSM Classic has raised over $20 million since its inception in 2010.

Epson Tour offers record scholarships

The Epson Tour, the LPGA’s development tour, will have a 22-event schedule this year, starting and ending in Florida.

The Tour found its new sponsor two weeks ago. It opens March 4-6 with Florida’s Natural Charity Classic at the Country Club in Winter Haven and concludes October 6-9 with the Epson Tour Championship at the LPGA International in Daytona Beach.

The tournaments will be played in 13 states with a total purse of $4.41 million and an average purse of $210,000. Nine years ago, there were 15 events for $1.6 million and an average purse of $108,000.

The tour will have two more events in Florida, at Alaqua Country Club in Longwood from May 20-22 and at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills the following week.

PGA TOUR

Event: WM Phoenix Open, Thursday-Sunday, TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Up for grabs: $8.2 million in purse ($1,476,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner).

Defending champion: Brooks Koepka.

TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 3pm-7pm; Saturday-Sunday, 1pm-3pm); CBS (Saturday, 3-6:30 p.m.; Sunday, 3-6 p.m.).

Registered local players: Jonathan Byrd, Harris English, Brian Harman, Billy Horschel, Zach Johnson, Patton Kizzire, Russell Knox, Tyler McCumber, Keith Mitchell, JT Poston, Sam Ryder, Hudson Swafford.

Notable: Kopeka’s 65 in the final round edged out Xander Schauffele and KH Lee by one stroke. … So far, the best players from the start of the season are world No. 1 Jon Rahm, FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay, defending players champion Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott and Tony End.

ROAD TO THE PLAYERS

When: March 10-13, Players Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass.

Defending champion: Justin Thomas.

Days to first round: 28.

Events up to Players: Five.

Player Trivia: The lowest score (adding the lowest score on each hole) in the Stadium Course in Players competition is 31. The par-5 ninth is the only hole that has never scored at least two . The highest score is 172, with 10 holes having at least a double-digit score, led by 12 at numbers 4 and 17.

Tickets/info: theplayers.com.

KORN FERRY TOUR

Event: Astara Golf Championship, Thursday-Sunday, Bogota (Col.) Country Club.

At stake: $750,000 prize money ($135,000 to the winner).

Defending champion: Mito Pereira.

Television: None.

Registered zone players: Chris Baker, Chandler Blanchet, AJ Crouch, Taylor Dickson, Luke Guthrie, David Lingmerth.

Notable: Pereira shot 64 in the final round and beat Ben Kohles by two shots. The tournament was canceled last year.

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