San Antonio’s Senior PGA event in October this year

San Antonio’s SBC Championship, the 9th oldest tournament on the Senior PGA schedule, will be held in the fall for the first time in its 17-year existence. Southwestern Bell is the major brand of San Antonio-based, SBC Communications, Inc. The tournament is presented by Alcatel, a worldwide global optical transporter. The tourney’s schedule of events will run for a full week, from Monday, Oct. 15 with a Pro-Am, to conclusion of the championship competition, on Sunday, Oct. 21. Site of the event is The Dominion Country Club which is located just north of the city on I-10. The par 72 course measures 6,813 yards. Prize money will be $1.4 million with the winner receiving $210,000. This is the most prize money ever offered at the SBC Championship. This year’s affair will be televised on cable channel PAX on Friday from 1-3 p.m. and on CNBC, Saturday and Sunday, 5-7 (tape). The defending champion is Doug Tewell, who captured his first Senior Tour Major in 2000 when he won the PGA Seniors Championship. An Oklahoma native, Tewell won last year’s event in a wild shootout with several other golfers, including the 2000 Player of the Year, Larry Nelson. He took the title with a final-hole birdie. Tewell’s winning score was 212, four under par (70-75-67). The course record for 54 holes is 201 set by Larry Mowry (1989) and tied by Lee Trevino (1992). Among past tournament champs are John Mahaffey, a Kerrville native, who captured the 1978 PGA Championship. Trevino (U.S., British Open, PGA Championship), Tom Weiskopf (British Open), Don January (PGA Championship) and Billy Casper (U.S. Open, Masters). The tournament course record is 63, nine-under par, set by Fred Gibson in last year’s even. The Dominion opened in 1984, setting an unmatched standard for luxury and fabulous facilities. The course, set on 160 acres, was designed by former Texas Open champion, Bill Johnston, one of only six he mapped out following 20 years on the PGA Tour. The clubhouse, which was designed by San Antonio’s Ralph Bender, has won dozens of awards as the most lavish in the state. Bender spent $17 million on the structure. “If this isn’t the Taj Mahal of Gold, it’ll do until someone builds one,” Chi Chi Rodriguez has said. The building is complete with handcarved marble, golden domes and glittering chandeliers, an extensive wine cellar and wood-paneled library. Into Partners, Inc., headed by brothers Kane and Ernest Hui, owns the Dominion, which has more than 1,000 members. Marc DeWall is the head pro and Todd Miller is the golf course superintendent. The 2001 SBC Championship charities include Any Baby Can of San Antonio, the Boy Scouts of America and Respite Care of San Antonio. Ticket prices include Season Grounds $50, Season Daily $20, Seniors, 62 and up, active duty military and children, 6-12 half-price at the gate. Children under 6 are free. For more information on prices, phone 210/698-3582.

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