Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club, Grand Blanc, MI — September 13, 2019
The 2019 Ally Challenge presented by McLaren kicks off today. Practice rounds and pro-am tournaments highlighted the festivities leading up to the PGA Tour Champions teeing it up at 9:30 am to vie for the trophy and title.
Here are some storylines to follow during tournament play this weekend and fan updates with helpful information. Whether you are walking the course, hanging out at the party hole #17, or watching the action on the Golf Channel from 6-8pm Fri-Sun.
Storms Soak the Course
A passing thunderstorm interrupted pro-am play at the course Wednesday afternoon and overnight rains soaked the Grand Blanc area. “The course is in great shape, no standing water, and the pro-am today will have carts restricted to outside of the ropes keeping the fairways pristine for the tournament weekend.” Reported Warwick Hills PGA Professional Darren Husse.
Rain is in the forecast for Friday, so come prepared to possibly dodge a shower. Tee times were moved from 10:30 to 9:30 to get ahead of the storms. Saturday and Sunday forecasts promise beautiful weather for the final two days of the tournament.
Follow Play with The Lasco Press “Hole by Hole” Tournament Preview
Published earlier this week, The Lasco Press Hole-by-Hole Preview is a great guide for following the action on the course. Warwick Hills PGA Professional Darren Husse gave us the inside scoop on how the professionals will attack each hole working through their round. Open the link on your phone or print a copy at home before heading out to the course.
Scott McCarron Leads the Charles Schwab Cup Standings
The season-long competition for the PGA Tour Champions is the Charles Schwab Cup. Every player covets the title and the million-dollar prize that goes with it. Scott McCarron leads the current standings (based on YTD earnings) at $2,318,965, almost $800,000 ahead of second-place Jerry Kelly
Fan Favorites and Buick Open Veterans
Vijay Singh a former winner of the Buick Open and a fan favorite is competing at this week’s Ally Challenge. He is part of a strong field of veterans returning to Warwick Hills with fond memories of playing here previously in the PGA Tour event.
Video Courtesy of Roy Akers / Michigan Golf Scene
Some of professional golf’s most notable names and famous faces are in town this week. Miguel Angel Jiminez, Retief Goosen, Colin Montgomerie, Larry Mize, Defending Champion Paul Broadhurst, Bernhard Langer, and Fred Couples just to name a few.
Pro-Am Celebrities and Sponsors
The pro-am contests brought out some non-golf celebrities and sponsors joined in the fun as well. Michigan State Basketball Coach Tom Izzo played Thursday afternoon.
Izzo warmed up on the practice tees not far from Fred Couples. The two had an interesting exchange for their first encounter. Each being impressed with the opportunity to meet a fellow celebrity.
Videos Courtesy of Roy Akers / Michigan Golf Scene
Andrea Brimmer, Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer for Ally Financial, was walking around Warwick Hills enjoying the great atmosphere the club brings to the tournament. “When we were working to put this tournament together we never considered any other club than Warwick Hills to serve as host.” Brimmer went on to say, “The members, volunteers, and the community have been so supportive, they are what makes this a great event.”
The Grand Blanc / Flint area has also benefited from Ally’s sponsorship and bringing professional golf back to the area. The Ally Challenge last year raised over $800,000 for its two primary beneficiaries, Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan – serving children in Flint/Genesee County and Community Foundation of Greater Flint.
This year’s tournament benefits Genesee County Habitat for Humanity and the United Way of Genesee County. Tournament officials are optimistic that charity donations will top the $1 million mark in 2019.
That kind of success plus the economic impact the tournament provides to the community is not possible without the support of a number of businesses and individuals. Presenting Sponsor McLaren is a key player in making the Ally Challenge a financial success. President and CEO of McLaren Health Care Systems, Phil Incarnati enjoyed an afternoon of golf during Thursday’s pro-am, playing with professional Jerry Kelly.
Where to Watch the Action Live at the Course
Public seating bleachers will be available on hole #1 tee box and #18 green. The following public venues are also available:
Miller Lite Beer Garden and Tito’s Lounge
Check out the Miller Lite Beer Garden and Tito’s Lounge, then relax at the available picnic tables and Adirondack chairs while you watch the action on the 17th hole.
The Ally Lounge is located greenside on Hole No. 17 and is open to the public. This new venue will offer fans a place to cool down, grab a drink and enjoy the action on the famed 17th. Guests will be able to learn more about Ally and enjoy a special treat, compliments of the tournament’s title sponsor.
Faygo & Absopure Porch Bar
The Faygo & Absopure Porch Bar is an elevated venue open to the public with views of the 9th and 18th holes at The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren. Relax and watch golf at this new destination with access to full concessions, drink rails, and high-top cabaret tables.
Avis Public Lounge
The Avis Public Lounge is located on the 18th green at Warwick Hills. Watch as the action unfolds from the available tip-up seating and enjoy a beverage from the bar. Open to the public by downloading the Avis App.
Check back for Daily Updates from The Lasco Press all weekend at The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren.