GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA (January 23, 2015) — One of the most popular and historic tournaments of the golfing season, The Cardinal Amateur, will continue this summer at Sedgefield Country Club’s Pete Dye Course in Greensboro, N.C.
Following a December announcement by the Cardinal Am committee that the tournament would cease operation, Sedgefield Country Club owner McConnell Golf stepped forward, announcing it would run the event and will seek assistance from former Cardinal Am committee members and Sedgefield CC members.
The Cardinal Amateur established a scholarship fund in 1983 to which it funds a $2,000 scholarship each year to be renewed through the recipient’s four-year college career. This fund, the Thomas and Bettie O’Briant Scholarship Fund, has provided financial assistance to 29 young people through four years of college. The scholars, drawn from the Guilford County area, are selected primarily on the basis of need.
“Our goal is to continue to support the O’Briant Scholarship Foundation and raise the level of the tournament,” said McConnell’s Director of Golf Brian Kittler. “Both McConnell Golf and The Cardinal Am have strong brands. We are happy to combine them, which we believe should help better market the event in the Southeast.”
Raleigh-based McConnell Golf purchased Cardinal Golf and Country Club in 2006 and Sedgefield Country Club in February 2011. In 2013, The Cardinal became a part of Sedgefield Country Club — making it the only private club in the country with both a Donald Ross designed course along with a Pete Dye creation.
This year the event dates will be July 17-19, a date change that proved successful in 2014, as it meant the tournament would no longer bump against the U.S. Amateur.
The Cardinal Am field consists of 78 players, chosen from college level and mid-amateurs, and the tournament champion receives a crystal trophy and the top 20 places receive prizes as well as the low round each day. Jay Sigel, a winner on the Champions Tour, has been quoted as saying that the Cardinal Am is one of the finest amateur tournaments in the country — and one that he wishes he had won during his amateur career.
Sedgefield CC members — who volunteer throughout the event, house players in their homes, and participate in related social events — embrace the tournament, which boasts a list of impressive former participants like four-time PGA Tour winner Patrick Reed, Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, Stewart Cink, Carl Pettersson, Tim Clark and David Duval. The Cardinal Am list of champions includes current PGA Tour standout William McGirt, Allen Doyle, Steve Jones, Mike Goodes and 2014 champion Scott Harvey — a Sedgefield CC member who went on last year to capture the U.S. Mid-Amateur and will compete this April at the Masters.
Through December 2014, former Cardinal Am participants turned professionals have totaled official earnings from the PGA, Champions and Web.com tours of more than $532 million.
“The Cardinal Amateur has a solid foundation and McConnell Golf is excited to take this event to new heights in the future,” said Sedgefield CC General Manager Beverly Marler. “Our decision to continue supporting the Thomas and Bettie O’Briant Scholarship was an overwhelmingly unanimous decision from all parties and is a compliment to the McConnell Golf model of giving back in the communities in which our clubs reside.”