Two Nicklaus Boys; Others Earn Exemptions for BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs Golf Tournament
Professional golfers Tim Conley, Jay Delsing, Ben Duncan, John Engler, P.H. Horgan, Tom Kalinowski, David Mobley, Payton Osborn, Bob Sowards and Stan Utley have been awarded exemptions to participate in this year’s BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament. The tournament will be played April 28-May 1, 2005, at Cliffs Valley, The Cliffs at Walnut Cove and The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards.
Two of Jack Nicklaus’ sons – Jackie II and Michael – have also been granted exemptions to play in the tournament. Nicklaus’ son, Steve, will compete as a celebrity. Neither Jack Nicklaus, nor his son Gary, will compete in this year’s tournament.
Conley turned pro in 1981. He was a member of the PGA TOUR in 1993 and 1998, and played on the Nationwide Tour last year and from 1994-2000. He has two wins on the Nationwide Tour – the 1993 Knoxville Open and the 1996 Gateway Classic. His best finish on the PGA TOUR came in 1998 when he finished fifth in the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Delsing turned pro in 1984 after graduating from UCLA. He has earned two Nationwide Tour victories (the Fort Smith Classic in 2001 and the Omaha Classic in 2002) and has tied for second in two PGA TOUR events (the New England Classic in 1993 and the FedEx St. Jude Classic in 1995).
Duncan is a local fan favorite who played high school golf at Travelers Rest High School and collegiate golf at Clemson University. He finished 17th in last year’s BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs.
One of the great stories of the 2005 Nationwide Tour, John Engler will stir emotions when he tees off. A three-time All-American at Clemson University, Engler was a rising star on Tour until a tragic car accident took two lives and almost cost him his life in June of 2003. The wreck left Engler with a very serious ankle injury and many said he would not be able to play competitive golf again. Since turning pro in 2001, Engler has played in 22 Nationwide Tour events, with his best finish being tied for 12th at the Bank of America Classic. At Clemson, Engler set 10 school records and he won the individual ACC championship as a senior. He was also voted team MVP two of his four years at Clemson.
P.H. Horgan competed on the PGA TOUR from 1989-94 and 1997-2000. His best finish on tour was fifth place in the 1997 Greater Vancouver Open. He was a member of the Nationwide Tour in 1991, 1994-96, and 2003-04, where he won three tournaments (the Yuma Open and the Macon Open in 1991 and the Alabama Classic in 1996).
Tom Kalinowski plays out of Whisper Rock Country Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. Born in South Dakota, Kalinowski graduated from the University of Colorado. During his career he has won three Dakota Tour events and the Nevada Open. In 2000, he ranked in the top 10 in four categories on the Nationwide Tour – total birdies (third), consecutive cuts made (third), and top-10 finishes (sixth).
David Mobley is the world’s No. 1 ranked long-distance driver. He won the 2004 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship with a drive of 377 yards, and is also a five-time semi-finalist of the event. His personal best long drive: 470 yards.
A baseball player first, Payton Osborn took up golf in 1998 after undergoing elbow surgery. His only start on either the Nationwide Tour or the PGA TOUR came in 2004 when he missed the cut at the U.S Open. Osborn has played on the Gateway Tour and has two wins on the Emerald Coast Tour.
Bob Sowards was the 2004 National Club Pro Champion. A member of the Nationwide Tour in 1998 and 2004, Sowards has been named Southern Ohio Player of the Year five times. He has also recorded three holes in one during his career.
Utley, who splits time between the PGA TOUR and the Nationwide Tour, tied for third place in the 2002 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament. He has one PGA TOUR victory and three Nationwide Tour wins to his credit. A two-time All-American at Missouri, Utley hosts an annual “Go for the Gold” skins game that benefits a safe house for children. He also has his own golf consulting business and is a respected short-game teacher to many PGA TOUR players.
The 2005 tournament will be played April 28-May 1, 2005 at Cliffs Valley, The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards and The Cliffs at Walnut Cove. All four rounds will be televised live by The Golf Channel.
The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs is the only tournament on the Nationwide PGA Tour where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with Nationwide PGA Tour professionals in a three-day better-ball competition. Amateurs, celebrities and pros will rotate between each of the three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the 14 lowest scoring pro-amateur/pro-celebrity teams advancing to play Sunday’s final round at Cliffs Valley. Celebrities will play once at each course on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Cliffs Valley will serve as the host course. The professional winner of the overall 72-hole event will take home $112,500 from the total purse of $625,000, which is one of the largest purses on the Nationwide Tour. Amateurs and celebrities will compete for individual prizes and cash donations to the charity of their choice out of the beneficiaries selected by South Carolina Charities, Inc.
Last spring’s events raised a record $763,646 for 31 Upstate and Western North Carolina charities. The first four tournaments have raised more than $2.4 million for area charities.
General Admission tickets for the 2005 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs can be purchased for $25 through one of the 28 selected charities or by calling (864) 297-1660. Children 14 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Corporate sponsorships and ticket packages that include VIP and Clubhouse tickets can also be purchased by calling (864) 297-1660.
For more information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament or sponsorship opportunities call (864) 297-1660 or visit the tournament’s website at www.bmwcharitygolf.com.
Owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Nationwide Tour is in its 16th season in 2005. Nationwide, one of the world’s largest insurance and financial services providers, is in its third year as the umbrella sponsor of the Tour. The 2005 season will consist of 31 events played in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Panama and 22 U.S. states. Purses will top $16 million this year. The Top 20 money winners on the season will automatically earn playing privileges on the 2006 PGA TOUR. The PGA TOUR is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, and its website is www.pgatour.com.