SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - While the eyes of plenty of Valley sports fans are glued to Talking Stick Resort Arena for the Suns' series with the Lakers, the golfing world has its eyes set on Scottsdale.
"It’s a great two weeks for amateur golf," said Joe Shershenovich, Director of Golf for Greyhawk.
As spectators return to see elite college golfers battling for glory on blades of grass, the NCAA director of the championship said it’s been a long wait.
"We’re a year overdue," said John Baldwin, director for the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships. "We were supposed to be here this time last year a lot of excitement has gone into it, and planning has gone into it. We’re finally here."
Shershenovich says what’s most exciting is what’s yet to come, as this is the first of a three-year contract to host the championship rounds.
That means Greyhawk will be the home to college golf's biggest event for the foreseeable future.
"When the NCAA looked at this event a few years ago, the subject from the committee came up - much like baseball that is at Omaha every year, women’s softball, Oklahoma City, track is at Oregon," said Shershenovich. "Should golf take a look at the same venue? It’s a lot of work to put on these events, so to have this for one year would be great but we’re just kind of sinking our teeth into it. We’re excited to host for the next two years. We understand the needs."
The timing couldn't be better for Phoenix.
Sports fans are rejoicing in the Valley as the Suns battle the Lakeshow while ASU and Arizona compete for the trophy at the golf championship.
Baldwin says this year is just laying the groundwork for the future of this tournament at the Scottsdale course.
"To get two more years after that…is great and is rolling so well," Baldwin said. "You think, ‘How do we grow that and make it that much better for the next couple of years?’ "
Spectators are welcomed at Greyhawk. The women's individual winner will be crowned on May 24, and the women's team champion will be announced May 26.
The men's tournament begins May 28.
More on the NCAA Golf Championships: https://www.ncaa.com/live-updates/golf-women/d1/2021-di-womens-college-golf-championship-scores-schedule-live-updates
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