Miller eager for Silverado to return as PGA Tour host

By: Ron Kroichick of the SF Gate.

Wednesday, September 10 at 12:15pm

Silverado Resort’s previous fling as a PGA Tour host produced an eye-catching list of winners, from Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson to Johnny Miller and Ben Crenshaw.

Not a bad foursome right there.

The tour returns to Silverado next month for the Frys.com Open (Oct. 9-12), the opening event of the 2014-15 season. The game’s biggest names will not be there — Rory McIlroy bailed on his verbal commitment, and any chance of Tiger Woods showing up vanished with his injury-driven sabbatical.

But McIlroy and Woods were on Miller’s mind during a conference call today to promote the tournament. Miller, part of Silverado’s ownership group since 2010, is the tournament host and oversaw recent renovations to the North Course.

“It’s the kind of course a great player like Rory or Tiger, when they play it someday soon, they’re going to really love it,” Miller said. “It’s a very fair course, like Torrey Pines or Doral. The best players usually win here, because there’s really no trickery.”

McIlroy and Woods are expected to play in the Frys next year. They were among the eight players who skipped the event in 2012 to participate in a cash-grab exhibition event in Turkey; the PGA Tour granted the so-called “Turkey Eight” a release but required them to come to the Frys at least once by 2015.

Two of those eight, Lee Westwood and Hunter Mahan, have said they will play in this year’s event. Tournament president Duke Butler expects 75 to 80 of the top 125 players, including defending champion Jimmy Walker, to be in the field.

Silverado hosted PGA Tour events from 1968 through 1980 — the Kaiser International Open Invitational (1968-1976) and the Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic (1977-1980). The resort later hosted a Champions Tour event from 1989 to 2002.

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BROOKS KOEPKA RETURNING TO FRYS.COM OPEN

FedEx St. Jude Classic - Round Three

BROOKS KOEPKA RETURNING TO FRYS.COM OPEN

Napa, California, August 20, 2014 – Brooks Koepka has committed to play in the Frys.com Open PGA TOUR event at Napa Valley’s Silverado Resort and Spa October 6-12, 2014, according to tournament officials.

Currently the No. 72 ranked player in the world, the 24 year-old recently locked up his PGA TOUR card for the 2014-2015 season after finishing T-4 in the U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst Resort and T-15 in the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.

Koepka received a sponsor exemption to compete in the 2013 Frys.com Open, ultimately finishing T-3. He held the lead on the back nine before being overtaken by Champion Jimmy Walker and runner-up Vijay Singh.

Walker and Singh are also returning to the Frys.com Open at Silverado.

About Frys.com Open
The Frys.com Open is the lead tournament on the PGA TOUR’S FedExCup schedule. The tournament will be played October 6-12, 2014 at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, CA. Launched in 2006, the Frys.com Open is an official PGA TOUR tournament benefiting many local and national charities that are working to improve the lives of others. Title sponsor Fry’s Electronics is a privately owned retailer with 34 nationwide locations headquartered in San Jose, California. More information is available on www.FrysOpenGolf.com.

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McIlroy to Delay Playing in Frys.com Open Until 2015

McIlroy to Delay Playing in Frys.com Open Until 2015

Napa, California, August 12, 2014 – Rory McIlroy, winner of the Open Championship, World Golf Championship Bridgestone and PGA Championship as he regained the No. 1 spot in the World Rankings, will now delay playing in the Frys.com Open until next year. The season opening tournament of the PGA TOUR is set to be played the week of October 6-12 at the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, California.

McIlroy, among eight top-ranked players who participated in an event in Turkey the same week as the Frys.com Open in 2012 and agreed to play in Fry’s at least once through the 2015 event, has a busier schedule due to his recent success.

Sean O’Flaherty, McIlroy’s manager, contacted Frys.com Open President Duke Butler late last week to state that McIlroy would likely delay playing. McIlroy has since written a letter stating his plans to play in the October, 2015 tournament.

“Fry’s congratulates Rory on his victories and looks forward to him playing next year,” Butler said. “We are going to have an outstanding tournament this year with many well-known professionals competing at Silverado.”

Defending Champion Jimmy Walker is No. 2 the FedExCup standings. He and Ryder Cup teammate Patrick Reed made early commitments to play in Fry’s.

American Hunter Mahan and England’s Lee Westwood, who also played in Turkey, have committed to play. There may be others from the “Turkey 8” who participate this year, according to Butler. Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson, Justin Rose and Charl Schwartzel are the other players who have agreed to play this year or next in the Frys.com Open.

About Frys.com Open
The Frys.com Open is the lead tournament on the PGA TOUR’S FedExCup schedule. The tournament will be played October 6-12, 2014 at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, CA. Launched in 2006, the Frys.com Open is an official PGA TOUR tournament benefiting many local and national charities that are working to improve the lives of others. Title sponsor Fry’s Electronics is a privately owned retailer with 34 nationwide locations headquartered in San Jose, California. More information is available on www.FrysOpenGolf.com.

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FRYS.COM OPEN HOST JOHNNY MILLER EARNS PRESTIGIOUS HONOR

FRYS.COM OPEN HOST JOHNNY MILLER EARNS PRESTIGIOUS HONOR Napa, California, August 5, 2014 – World Golf Hall of Fame Member Johnny Miller – one of the owners of Napa Valley’s Silverado Resort and Spa and host of this year’s Frys.com Open – was named the 2014 Ambassador of Golf by Northern Ohio Golf Charities last week at Firestone Country Club. The Ambassador of Golf Award is presented annually to a person who has fostered the ideals of the game on an international level and whose concern for others extends beyond the golf course.

“Johnny Miller has served as a true Ambassador of Golf,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner, Tim Finchem. “He has excelled as a player, broadcaster, golf course designer and successful businessman. As a player, Miller climbed to the pinnacle of golf. On our broadcasts, he provides a splendid mix of golf knowledge, spontaneous honesty and humor to convey the great moments of our sport to the viewers at home.”

Among Miller’s 25 PGA TOUR victories, he won 16 events between 1973 and 1976, including his two career major championships at the 1973 U.S. Open and the 1976 Open Championship. In the 1973 U.S. Open, Miller entered the final day tied for 13th and six shots off the lead. A legendary round of 7-under-par 63 at Oakmont Country Club vaulted Miller up the leader board for his first major title. In 1974, Miller won an amazing eight times on the PGA TOUR.

Since retiring from the game, Miller has applied the same fearlessness in which he fired at pin flags on Sundays of major championships to his career as one of the lead announcers in the NBC Sports broadcast booth.  Miller was named lead analyst on NBC Sports’ golf coverage team in 1990 and quickly made his mark as the sport’s most candid commentator.  His candor and insight have helped him earn critical acclaim.

“It is a great honor to be named the Ambassador of Golf by the Northern Ohio Golf Charities and join so many names that I respect for what they have meant to the game,” said Miller whose dominance in 1974 and 1975 marks one of the most successful stretches in golf’s great history.

“While I am certainly proud of what I accomplished on the golf course during my career, what makes the Ambassador of Golf award truly meaningful is that it recognizes the work done by its recipients to grow the game and give back,” Miller added. “I hope that my work off the course, through the Johnny Miller Junior Golf Association, American Indian Services, or through my broadcast career, have accomplished that goal.”

When the PGA TOUR returns to Silverado Resort and Spa the week of Oct. 6-12, the Frys.com Open will serve as the launch for the 2014-2015 season. The tournament also rekindles a storied history between the TOUR and Silverado, which previously hosted 14 PGA TOUR events from 1968 through 1980 (the Kaiser International and Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic).

“It will be great to host the season opening PGA TOUR tournament on our recently renovated North Course,” Miller said. “The Frys.com Open has a solid reputation with players, sponsors and fans for its charitable giving. It has earned increased stature as the first event on the reconfigured schedule, inclusion in the FedExCup and an invitation to The Masters for its Champion.”

The Frys.com Open will be televised worldwide all four days on the Golf Channel.

 

About Frys.com Open The Frys.com Open is the lead tournament on the PGA TOUR’S FedExCup schedule. The tournament will be played October 6-12, 2014 at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, CA. Launched in 2006, the Frys.com Open is an official PGA TOUR tournament benefiting many local and national charities that are working to improve the lives of others. Title sponsor Fry’s Electronics is a privately owned retailer with 34 nationwide locations headquartered in San Jose, California. More information is available on FrysOpenGolf.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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McIlroy’s win could add sparkle to Frys.com Open

Posted at SFGate.com

Rory McIlroy hit it big with Sunday’s victory at the British Open — but Frys.com Open officials also came away winners.

“Everyone at Fry’s is absolutely elated,” tournament president Duke Butler said today.

McIlroy made a commitment earlier this year to play in the Frys in October. (It’s not binding, but McIlroy personally assured Butler he’s coming.) The event moves to Silverado Resort in Napa this year, and will again serve as the opening tournament in the PGA Tour’s wraparound season.

McIlroy’s presence obviously would help an event in need of star power. And McIlroy’s star power soared with his third major title, giving him fresh cachet only two-plus months from the tour’s return to the Bay Area. He climbed to No. 2 in the world ranking and could supplant Adam Scott at No. 1 before the Frys.

The backdrop to all this: McIlroy might not be the only big-name player who ends up in Napa.

As you might recall, the PGA Tour struck a deal in which eight marquee players — including McIlroy and Tiger Woods — are obligated to play in the Frys at least once by 2015. That’s the tour’s payback for granting the players a release in October 2012, allowing them to collect big money (including appearance fees) at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final, which was held the same week as the Frys at CordeValle.

The full list: McIlroy, Woods, Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar, Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson, Lee Westwood and Hunter Mahan. Four of those players (McIlroy, Rose, Kuchar and Woods) are in the top 10 in this week’s world ranking; all eight are among the top 44.

Butler has had several conversations with Mark Steinberg, the agent for Woods, Rose and Kuchar.

“I have optimism about all three of those players, but no confirmations,” Butler said. “I think those three and Hunter Mahan are favorably considering it. I think they’ll all decide after the PGA Championship.”

The year’s final major is scheduled for August 7-10 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville. The Frys will be played October 9-12.

Strawberry fields forever — with some help from mathematicians!

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California berry growers and mathematicians team up for water conservation, and more

The Pajaro Valley in California’s Monterey Bay area is ideally suited for agriculture. In fact, the Pajaro Valley and the nearby Salinas Valley produce nearly half of the strawberries grown in the United States yearly. But, the water source for the valley is a confined underground aquifer that is slowly being depleted.

How can mathematics help solve this problem? In January 2011, the American Institute of Mathematicsheld a Sustainability Problems workshop with the goal of bringing together mathematicians and industry representatives to work on a variety of sustainability problems, including renewable energy, air quality, water management and other environmental issues.

During the week of the workshop and with follow-up activity, a team headed by mathematicians Kathleen Fowler and Lea Jenkins has made significant progress in the creation of a virtual farm model to study alternative crop management strategies and their effect on water usage and profit. The team also investigated a surface water analysis to understand feasible ways to capture rainfall for re-infiltration (or recharging) into the aquifer.

The research in this episode was supported by NSF award #1128242, American Institute of Mathematics Research Conference Center: A Model for Collaborative Research.

Exclusive: Stanford Golf Stars Accept Sponsor Exemptions to 2014 Frys.com Open

Cameron Wilson Stanford Patrick Rodgers

Stanford Senior – Cameron Wilson                                                 Stanford Junior – Patrick Rodgers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2014

Stanford Golf Stars Accept Sponsor Exemptions to 2014 Frys.com Open

NAPA, CA, June 4, 2014 – Stanford University golf stars Patrick Rodgers and Cameron Wilson have accepted sponsor exemptions to play in the Frys.com Open, a PGA TOUR event Oct. 6-12 at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, according to Tournament Director Jeff Sanchez.

In three seasons at Stanford, Rodgers won 12 tournaments, tying the school record set by Tiger Woods from 1994-1996. The junior from Avon, Ind., recently received both the Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus awards that go to the collegiate player of the year.

Wilson, a left-hander from Rowayton, Conn., won the NCAA Individual title last week at Prairie Dunes Golf Club in Hutchinson, Kansas. He will make his professional debut in The Travelers Championship, a PGA TOUR event later this month in his home state of Connecticut. A four-year standout at Stanford, Wilson was an all-Pac-12 Conference selection as a senior.

“Our exemptions have performed well in our tournament in recent years, as six have finished in the top 10 in the past five years,” Sanchez said. “We believe that Patrick and Cameron will continue that trend.”

Awarded sponsor exemptions to last year’s Frys.com Open, Brooks Koepka led after 54 holes, ultimately finishing tied for third, while Max Homa finished tied for ninth.

Rodgers and Wilson completed their careers at Stanford last week at the NCAA Championships. Both also have been invited to play in the John Deere Classic in mid-July.

For tickets and more information about the Frys.com Open, visit www.frysopengolf.com

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About the Frys.com Open

The Frys.com Open is the lead tournament on the PGA TOUR’S FedExCup schedule. The tournament will be played October 6-12, 2014 at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, CA. Launched in 2006, the Frys.com Open is an official PGA TOUR tournament benefiting many local and national charities that are working to improve the lives of others. Title sponsor Fry’s Electronics is a privately owned retailer with 34 nationwide locations headquartered in San Jose, California. More information is available on FrysOpenGolf.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

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PGA Tour’s Frys.com Open headed to Silverado in October

Roger Maltbie KK DB3
L to R – Special Guest – Roger Maltbie, Tournament Chairperson – Kathy Kolder, Tournament President – Duke Bulter III
By Marty James
Napa Valley Register
June 4, 2014

Frys.com Open tournament director Jeff Sanchez began Monday’s Sponsor Appreciation Day Presented by Visit Napa Valley with a question:

“How good does it feel to see the PGA Tour back at Silverado Resort in Napa?” Sanchez asked the group on the facility’s practice tee.

Applause followed.

The PGA Tour is returning to Napa for the first time since 1980.

The Frys.com Open, the season-opening event on the tour’s 2014-15 schedule, is Oct. 6-12. It’s only a few months away.

“So many people have been involved in making this happen,” said Sanchez.

Launched in 2006, the Frys.com Open is a $5 million full FedExCup points event, benefiting local and national charities. Title sponsor Fry’s Electronics, headquartered in San Jose, is a privately owned retailer with 34 nationwide locations.

Golf Channel will televise each of the four rounds, with Roger Maltbie serving as lead analyst in the booth with Terry Gannon.

“I love it up here and I can’t wait for the event this year,” said Maltbie, who is on the NBC Sports golf announcing team. “I just think it will be spectacular. October is the perfect time to play golf in Napa. I loved playing here.”

There will be 144 players in the field. The winner receives $900,000.

The tournament has options for similar dates in 2015 and 2016 at Silverado.

Many of the golfers headed to the Napa Valley have never played Silverado before. Johnny Miller, a World Golf Hall of Fame member and one of Silverado’s owners, redesigned the North Course, a par-72 layout which plays 7,226 yards from the tournament tees. The course features water crossings, elevation changes, and routing through oak, pine and redwood trees.

Silverado hosted PGA Tour tournaments from 1968 through 1980. The Kaiser International Open Invitational was played from 1968-1976 and the Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic was held from 1977-1980.

“The golf course is wonderful,” said Maltbie, an on-course analyst for NBC Sports, who has five PGA Tour wins. “I think with today’s equipment and the distances the players hit it, this golf course will be short by their standards, and I would expect good scoring. But there’s nothing wrong with good scoring.

“They’re going to see ideal conditions. I’m sure the golf course will be pristine. I think it’s going to be an exciting event.”

It was in the mid-1970s when Duke Butler, a former Tour player, saw Silverado for the first time. Butler is now the Frys.com Open president and a former senior vice president for the PGA Tour.

“I thought at the time that Silverado Resort was the most beautiful place I had ever seen. Nothing has changed my mind in 40 years,” said Butler.

Maltbie’s history at Silverado goes back to the ‘70s. He turned pro in 1973, joined the PGA Tour in 1974, and played on the Tour full-time from 1975 to 1996. In his second year on tour, Maltbie won the inaugural Memorial Tournament by defeating Hale Irwin on the fourth hole of a sudden death playoff.

Silverado will not be the toughest golf course the tour will play, but that’s not the issue, said Maltbie.

“It will be a great event,” he said. “This can be a little confining in places. It’s not wide. It’s narrow.

“I think it’s ripe for good scoring, but you’re going to have to get the ball in the fairway.”

Don Shindle represented Visit Napa Valley at Monday’s Sponsor Appreciation Day, which was a golf outing.

“The exposure not just for Silverado Resort, but the exposure for the whole community and the whole Napa Valley will be phenomenal,” said Schindle. “The television exposure alone will be outstanding for us.”

Frys.com Open tournament chairperson Kathy Kolder presented a check for $5,000 to Mark Kuhnhausen, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Napa Valley, on Monday. It will help the club kick start its Tech Showcase fundraising campaign.

In 10 years, the tournament has given $6 million to charities.

Beneficiaries include Queen of the Valley Medical Center Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Napa Valley, the American Institute of Mathematics, and the Northern California Golf Association Foundation Youth on Course program.

“It’s thanks to the 1,200 volunteers that we get out here and all of you sponsors,” said Kolder.

Masters News

Jonas Blixt Masters 2014

2014 Masters – Congratulations to Bubba Watson, winning his second green jacket in three years.

Masters’ rookies in contention –  Frys.com Open Champions Jonas Blixt (2012)  finished tied for second and defending Frys.com Open Champion, Jimmy Walker finished tied for 8th.

Jonas was just one of four players to shoot under-par in each day of competition in their first appearance at the Master’s. His joint second place finish was the highest for a Swedish National in a Major and will secure his invitation for the 2015 Master’s. Along with his second Master’s invitation, Blixt has greatly increased his shot to play in the Ryder Cup. According to Europe’s Ryder Cup Captain, Paul McGinley, Blixt is “maybe nailed-on” to play in for Europe in the Ryder Cup in September.

Jimmy Walker secured his invitation to the Masters win his win in the 2013 Frys.com Open. With his eight place finish, Walker secured his return trip to the 2015 Masters and maintains his lead the FedEx Cup.

Jimmy Walker Trophy Masters

Exclusive: Rory McIlroy to play Napa Frys.com Open in October

_Rory

Exclusive: Rory McIlroy to play Napa Frys.com Open in October

TWO-TIME MAJOR CHAMPION IS NO. 7 IN THE OFFICIAL WORLD GOLF RANKING

Written by: Marty James – Napa Valley Register

He’s one of the bright, young stars on the PGA Tour. He’s just 24 years old and already has two major wins, the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., and 2012 PGA Championship at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, S.C.

He’s No. 7 in the official World Golf Ranking. He’s known for his prodigious length off the tee, pounding drives into a different area code, a different ZIP code.

He left school at age 16 to concentrate on amateur golf. He turned professional on Sept. 18, 2007, at the age of 18 after a stellar amateur career where he was the world’s top-ranked amateur.

He’s played on two Ryder Cup teams, in 2010 and 2012.

He’s Rory McIlroy, and later this year he’ll be playing golf in Napa.

McIlroy will play in the Frys.com Open, a $5 million full FedExCup points event, which takes place Oct. 6-12 on the North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa. Frys.com Open president Duke Butler has received a commitment from McIlroy, who has six PGA Tour wins and is one of the favorites going into the Masters, the first major of the year, which begins Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.

“I can state overwhelmingly that this will be the best Frys tournament to date,” Butler said. “This tournament in Napa is going to be significantly better than the previous Frys.com Opens, and we expect to exceed everyone’s expectations in Napa Valley.”

McIlroy, 51st among PGA Tour FedExCup leaders, informed Butler in late February of his decision to play at the Frys.com Open. It was during the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., that McIlroy committed to playing Frys.

“We are announcing at this point that Rory McIlroy has (verbally) committed to play and intends to be present for the Frys.com Open at Silverado,” said Butler, a former senior vice president for the PGA Tour.

The Frys.com Open is the season-opening tournament for the 2014-15 season. Launched in 2006, the Frys.com Open is an official PGA Tour event benefiting local and national charities. Title sponsor Fry’s Electronics, headquartered in San Jose, is a privately owned retailer with 34 nationwide locations. Golf Channel will televise each of the four rounds.

There will be 144 players in the field. The winner receives $900,000.

The tournament has options for similar dates in 2015 and 2016 at Silverado.

“I appreciate Rory joining us at Silverado,” said Johnny Miller, a World Golf Hall of Fame member and one of Silverado’s owners. “We look forward to introducing my redesign of the North Course to Rory and welcoming him to the new Napa Valley Silverado Country Club and Resort. The Frys tournament will be a great opportunity for Northern California golf fans to see Rory in person.

“I am sure the players and their families will fall in love with the Silverado experience like I have.”

McIlroy, with 10 wins worldwide, has two top-10 and four top-25 finishes in the four events that he has played this year. He has a 69.413 scoring average and is driving the ball an average of 303.1 yards.

“His most outstanding trait is he drives the ball very long and very aggressively,” said Butler. “He hits his driver a lot. He drives it straight.”

McIlroy won late last year at the Australian Open. He began the 2013 season No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

He was named PGA Tour Player of the Year in 2012 after finishing No. 2 in the final FedExCup standings. He led both the PGA Tour money list and the European Tour money list.

McIlroy’s rookie season of 2010 was highlighted by his first PGA Tour victory, at the Quail Hollow Championship.

He placed in the top 125 on the PGA Tour non-member money list in 2009. McIlroy, who is from Northern Ireland, made 11 starts on the PGA Tour that year and won his first professional title, at the Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour.

“I’ve been in contention quite a bit already this season and haven’t quite finished the job,” McIlroy said on ASAPSports.com from the Shell Houston Open in Humble, Texas, last week. “But you know, as long as I keep playing well and playing the way I have been, hopefully those opportunities will come along and I’ll be able to take a few of them.

“It’s been a good start to the season. It’s a good problem to have, being in contention, because at least you’re putting yourself in a position to win. I feel good about my game.”

McIlroy was one of eight prominent players who went to Turkey to play in a new event in 2012. It was the same week as the Frys. Besides McIlroy, the others were Tiger Woods, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and Charl Schwartzel.

“We were able to negotiate that each of those eight would play in the Frys.com Open at least once in the next three years,” said Butler.

None of them played last year at Frys.

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