In the News


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – June 25, 2021 - The Section’s second major of the 2021 season, the 46th Southwest PGA Match Play Championship, is scheduled to take place June 28-30 at Verde River Golf & Social Club in Rio Verde, Ariz. The top four seeds for the 46th edition of the Championship are: Jesse Mueller (1), Dennis Downs (2), Chris Dompier (3) and Craig Hocknull (4).

Mueller, PGA Director of Golf at Grand Canyon University Golf Club in Phoenix, leads the 2021 Southwest PGA Player of the Year race. Among his notable events and finishes this season are: competing in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, finishing T29 in the national PGA Professional Championship, a runner-up finish in the Southwest PGA Spring Masters Championship at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Ariz., and a victory in the most recent PING Player Series event at the Gallery Golf Club in Marana, Ariz. After his opening round bye, Mueller will take on the winner of the match between Dave Hosey (32 seed) and Tim Rafferty (33 seed).

The 2-seeded Downs, PGA Director of Instruction at Pebble Creek Golf Resort in Goodyear, Ariz., has his sights set on his first Match Play Championship victory after finishing as the runner-up the last two years.

“I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to play in the last two championship matches, especially with the number of outstanding players in the Southwest PGA,” said Downs. “Our majors are more far more challenging and tend to amplify the players that are playing well, bringing out the best in their competitive ability.  The last couple Match Play Championships did that for me and I’m looking forward to this year.”

Dompier, PGA Head Golf Professional at Skyline Country Club in Tucson, is fifth in player of the year points after top 10 finishes in multiple events this season including a third place finish in the PING Player Series in mid-June and a tie for seventh in the Spring Masters Championship. He begins his quest for his second Match Play title as the 3-seed.

Hocknull, PGA Director of Instruction at Saber Golf, enters the Championship as the 4-seed and is coming off back-to-back victories in his last two Southwest PGA events – the PING Player series at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz., and the first major, the Spring Masters Championship. Having won the inaugural Spring Masters title last year, Hocknull is the only Southwest PGA Professional who has won each of the four Southwest PGA major titles.

Michael Hopper, PGA Assistant Golf Professional at Lookout Mountain Golf Club in Phoenix, enters the Championship as the 7-seed and will attempt to win his fifth Southwest PGA Match Play title, (2011, 2016, 2017, 2019), to match John Jackson with the most wins in the history of the event. 

“Knowing that I could tie John and get my fifth Match Play Championship title is certainly cool, but I am not going to be thinking about that next week,” said Hopper. “I honestly just try and take it one event at a time. The majors are our best events against our best players and nothing revs me up more than competing against the best.”

The 55-player field includes five past champions: Dompier (2010), Hopper, Hocknull (2013, 2018), D.K. Kim, PGA Assistant Golf Professional at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale (2015) and Dean Vomacka, PGA Head Golf Professional at Tucson Country Club (2003).

The 46th Southwest PGA Match Play Championship gets underway with the opening round matches on Monday, June 28 at 7:00 a.m. followed by second round matches at 12:00 p.m. The round of 16 and quarterfinal matches are scheduled for Tuesday, June 29 at 7:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., respectively. The semi-final matches and final match are slated for Wednesday, June 20 at 7:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., respectively.

Jackson, PGA General Manager at Corte Bella Golf Club in Sun City West, Ariz., holds many of the records in the Match Play Championship, including the most victories in the history of the Championship with five (1976, 1978, 1980, 1988, 1993). Hopper, Jackson and PGA Life Member Tom Tatum (1982, 1985, 1992) are the only Southwest PGA Professionals to win three or more Match Play titles.

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