(9/18/16) … It’s amazing how much quality golf one can squeeze into a short 72-hour period. In the case of Golfest-Scottsdale, that would be 90 holes at five different premium Arizona courses. Ten Golfestian’s participated in the modified-Stableford format tournament for the coveted GolfestUSA championship belt on September 8-11th. The newly remodeled Camelback Mountain Golf Club served as the opener and proved to be a very tough challenge. It’s not your standard desert layout as much as it was a demand on accuracy as the course was surrounded by totally non-negotiable deep rough. Todd Baltzley had no problem conquering the course and the field jumping out to an easily lead, racking up 24 points and a healthy five-point lead over Juan Carlos Serrano.
The Talon Course at Grayhawk had everyone fired up as the views of the course were awesome and Baltzley now had the proverbial target his back. This is an absolutely beautiful course that rewarded great shots and severely penalized wayward one’s. The point standings tightened up dramatically with Jim Allen taking the lead, but only four points separated the top five golfers. Allen had 31, Lou Dominguez 30, Spanky Hayes, 29, Todd Baltzley 28, and Serrano 27. This competition was wide open with round three scheduled at the Troon North Monument course next on the docket.
Hayes was the hottest golfer on Saturday morning at the Monument, racking up 23 points in an attempt to track Allen down. But Allen scored 22 points to maintain a slim one-point lead. After some serious calorie intake, most of the golfers regrouped for another 18 on the Troon North Pinnacle course. This one was for fun and did not count for the Golfest championship as much as it was another course played that has a Top 100 rating (Golf Magazine rates it the top course in Arizona).
This set the stage for the big finale at TPC Scottsdale on Sunday morning. The final group included Allen, Hayes and Serrano for the championship. However, TPC Scottsdale, home of the PGA’s Waste Management Open, proved to be the toughest challenge of all the venues played. Only one golfer managed double-digits in points (Baltzley 14), and neither of the long-hitting players in the final group could manage a sustained run of pars to catch Allen.
A more in depth review and course reviews will be added to this site in about three weeks when we roll our our new website.