Field Set for the 75th Arizona Open Championship
The 75th edition of the Arizona Open Championship features one of the strongest fields assembled in the modern era of the Championship. The 156 players begin their quest for the title on Monday, Aug. 13 at Troon Country Club in Scottsdale.
Among the five past champions competing is Brian Cooper (2016), who finished as the runner-up last year to champion Calum Hill from Silver City, N.M. Cooper, 51, from Phoenix, finished with rounds of 69-69-66 (204) in 2017, four strokes behind Hill. Cooper recently competed in the 2018 U.S. Senior Open Championship at The Broadmoor, in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Southwest PGA Professional, and 2013 Arizona Open champion, Craig Hocknull returns to the desert immediately after competing in the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, MO. Playing in his first PGA Championship, Hocknull, 43, PGA Director of Instruction at Saber Sports Trainer, finished with rounds of 72-73, missing the 36-hole cut. Last month he captured the Southwest PGA Match Play Championship title, his second, after defeating defending champion Michael Hopper 1-up the final match held at Ancala Country Club in Scottsdale. Hocknull’s opening round begins at 1:35 p.m. off the first tee.
Last week Hopper, 34, PGA assistant golf professional at Lookout Mountain G.C., captured the Southwest PGA Professional Championship (PPC) by four-strokes with rounds of 69-64-68. In addition to the title, Hopper, the top five finishers and the Southwest PGA Player of the year, advanced to the 52nd PGA Professional National Championship, April 28-May 1, 2019 at Belfair in Bluffton, S.C. The PPC victory was Hopper’s first PPC title and he has now won three of the four Southwest PGA majors only needing a win in the Arizona Open to complete the major slam.
The 2018 starting field contains 34 amateurs and five past champions that include: Cooper (2016), R.J. Wood (2015), Chris Satterlee (2014), Hocknull (2013), and R.W. Eaks (1990).
Notable competitors include: PGA Tour/Champions Tour members Charlie Beljan, Tom Purtzer and Kirk Triplett; PGA Professionals Dennis Downs, Chris Dompier, Jesse Mueller and Matt VanCleave; amateurs Eric Gagne, Tianlang Guan, Blake Hathcoat and Bryan Hoops; and non-PGA professionals Joe Affrunti, Ben Harden, Austyn Karle, Matt McClung and Sam Triplett.
The first and second rounds will be held Monday and Tuesday, August 13 and 14, respectively, at 7:00 a.m. off Nos. 1 and 10. Following 36 holes of play, the field will be cut to the low 50 scorers plus ties for the final round on Wednesday, August 15.
About The Arizona Open Championship
The Arizona Open Championship is a 54-hole, state open golf tournament open to both professional and amateur golfers nationwide. Administered by the Southwest PGA, the Arizona Open and has roots dating back to the inaugural event held in 1937. This historical championship has been held annually since 1953 and boasts an impressive list of past champions including Johnny Bulla, Dale Douglas and Curt Byrum. Place-winners from qualifying events conducted throughout the month of July, along with those players exempt from qualifying, finalized the Championship field of 156 competitors.
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