62nd annual Goldwater Cup returns to Phoenix Country Club this weekend
Sep 22, 2023, 6:15 PM
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Ryder Cup is just around the corner. You can find one of its distant cousins on the course this weekend in Arizona.
The 62nd annual Goldwater Cup commences Sunday at Phoenix Country Club with a Pro-Am, followed by a special appearance from two-time PGA Tour winner Kevin Streelman. The tournament takes place on Monday, with Four-ball competition in the morning and singles matches in the afternoon.
The Goldwater Cup pits 12 players from the Arizona Golf Association against 12 players from the Southwest Section of the PGA. In other words, Arizona’s best amateurs against our best working pros. There’s a real vibe and sibling rivalry to the tournament, and for the past 15 years, the event has also featured a senior division.
“It’s a friendly heat, I’ll give you that,” Ken Kellaney, 10-time AGA Player of the Year and member of the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame (2009), said. “But the amateurs take it very seriously. It’s something of a feather in their hat if they can beat the guys who have ‘professional’ behind their name.”
The Goldwater Cup is a bridge to our sporting past, played on a course that has hosted Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson. The putter used by Nicklaus to win most of his major tournaments was taken from the pro shop at Phoenix Country Club. The event is one of many networking ventures created by the late Bob Goldwater, little brother of Barry and widely considered the father of the WM Phoenix Open.
Nobody did more to bring golfers together under one big, sun-resistant umbrella.
“The Thunderbirds have supported championship golf in the Valley of the Sun for more than 90 years,” Pat Williams, president of The Thunderbirds and tournament chairman for the 2023 WM Phoenix Open, said.
“The tournament gets its name from Bob Goldwater, one of the founding members of The Thunderbirds, so it is only fitting we play a role in continuing the Goldwater Cup tradition at the Phoenix Country Club, the original home of the Phoenix Open.”