ORLANDO, Fla. -- Golf Channel announced a record field of 1,207 players scheduled to compete in the 2013 Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships, Sept. 21-Oct. 1, at famed PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., the largest field in Am Tour history. Tournament competitors range in age from 15 to 81 and will represent 47 U.S. States, Puerto Rico and Canada.
The Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships will be divided into two events – the Open National Championship, Sept. 22-25, and the Senior National Championship (age 50+), Sept. 27-Oct. 1. PGA WEST returns as host venue for the national championships, with the Palmer Private Course – home to the PGA TOUR’s Humana Challenge – joining the tournament’s roster of courses for the first time. PGA WEST’s TPC Stadium Course, Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course and Greg Norman Course return to round out the list of host courses for the national championships. La Quinta Resort and Club will serve as the tournament headquarters and host resort.
California has the most participants entered at 258, followed by Texas (113) and Florida (110). Twelve participants in six flights – six from the senior (50+ division) and six from the open division – will be crowned national champions on Sept. 25 and Oct. 1 in official awards ceremonies immediately following the conclusion of their respective tournaments.
Notable competitors in the national championships are three former Major League Baseball pitchers -- former St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics pitcher Mark Mulder (third national championships); four-time World Series championship pitcher Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez (third national championships); and two-time All-Star and 1997 World Series MVP pitcher Livan Hernandez (national championships debut).
Golf Channel’s David Feherty, Kelly Tilghman, Terry Gannon, Roger Maltbie and Win McMurry will be on-hand at the national championships, attending welcome dinners and mingling with competitors. GolfChannel.com’s Brandon Tucker and Jason Deegan will post daily blogs and features on-site.
Twenty-seven past champions are returning for the national championships, including five defending champions:
Kenneth Ambrosio, White Plains, N.Y. (Sarazen Flight)
Paul Nault, Victoria, British Columbia (Snead Flight)
Mark Palmer, Winthrop Harbor, Ill. (Senior Championship Flight)
Ed Dyer, Carmel, Ind. (Senior Hogan Flight)
Tony Ott, West Palm Beach, Fla. (Senior Snead Flight)
Also included in the roster of past champions are eight golfers from the 2011 Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships contested at PGA West:
Paul Erdman, Erie Colo. (Championship)
Patrick Polzin, Glen Ellyn, Ill. (Palmer)
Tim Williams, McKinney, Texas (Hogan)
Brad Bishop, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (Sarazen)
Clifford Conover, Roosevelt, Utah (Senior Palmer)
Jeff Couch, Haymarket, Va. (Senior Hogan)
Dave Verhulst, Ballwin, Mo. (Senior Sarazen)
Mark Millard, Simi Valley, Calif. (Senior Jones)
As the largest amateur golf tour in North America with more than 7,000 members, the Golf Channel Am Tour is open to the public and provides the most professional tournament experience for players of all ages and abilities, as well as offering unparalleled access to some of the most renowned and challenging golf courses across the country. Divided into 60 local chapters throughout North America, the Golf Channel Am Tour in 2013 conducted more than 700 local championships and 31, two-day “Major” Championships throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information about the Golf Channel Am Tour and the national championships, visit www.gcamtour.com.
About Golf Channel:
As the fastest-growing network on television, Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. The Golf Channel cable network, co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes worldwide through cable, satellite and wireless companies. As part of the NBC Sports Group, professional golf coverage on NBC is branded “Golf Channel on NBC,” further extending the Golf Channel brand to NBC’s broadcast audiences. Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, added to a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s best news, instruction and original programming. Golf Channel’s digital platform of businesses is led by www.GolfChannel.com, a leading golf destination on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that help the recreational player with how to play, what to play and where to play golf.