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MPCC to Remain AT&T Venue Through 2020

MPCC to Remain AT&T Venue Through 2020

Jan. 13, 2014

1ShoreMonterey Peninsula Country Club will remain an AT&T Pro-Am venue through at least 2020.

Officials from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, the group that runs the AT&T Pro-Am, and the PGA Tour will announce a new contract extension during tournament week.

“It’s a long term deal. We’re very excited,” Foundation CEO Steve John said.

MPCC officials are also happy with the deal.

“We’re very honored and pleased with the extension,” MPCC general manager Michael Bowhay said. “This is an opportunity to give to the community in a very significant way. It’s a gift from our members to the community.”

The current contract between MPCC, the Foundation and the Tour ends after the 2014 tournament.

Redesigned by the late architect Michael Strantz, the Shore Course returned as a tournament venue in 2010 to rave reviews, including Phil Mickelson calling it, “My favorite new course on the Tour.”

MPCC’s Dunes Course to Join AT&T Rotation?

Looking ahead, it’s possible that a remodeled Dunes Course at MPCC could end up being an AT&T venue.

MPCC officials are currently going through the permitting process with Monterey County officials to renovate the Dunes. If all goes as planned, Bowhay said ground breaking on the “new” Dunes Course would begin in 2015 with architect Tom Fazio overseeing the renovation.

MPCC officials have previously stated that the primary reasons for a potential Dunes Course makeover would be to improve drainage and update the course’s irrigation system, which is nearly 20 years old. The last time the Dunes course was remodeled was in 1998 by architect Rees Jones.

Where the Dunes and the AT&T could potentially come together is that embedded in MPCC’s contract with the Foundation and Tour is an agreement that there could be a course rotation between the Shore and Dunes.

“We’re very excited about that potential,” Bowhay said.

Despite playing at only 6,762 yards during last year’s California State Amateur, the Dunes was at times a brute. In the first round of stroke-play qualifying, only four out of 78 players broke par. Winner Cory McElyea of Santa Cruz, who had competed in the U.S. Open at Merion a week before, said the Dunes Course “played every bit as hard as Merion.”

MPCC’s involvement in the Pro-Am dates back to 1947, when tournament founder Bing Crosby first brought his event to the region. The Dunes Course was part of the tournament’s three-course rotation until 1964, when it was replaced for two years by the Shore Course. In 1967, Spyglass Hill replaced MPCC, albeit the Shore Course again made a cameo appearance in 1977 due to renovation work at Spyglass.

-Jerry Stewart

Author: Jerry Stewart

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