Celebrity foursome plays to a tie at American Family Insurance Championship

MADISON, Wis. — The American Family Children’s Hospital will receive a $50,000 donation due to a tie in the celebrity foursome held at University Ridge during the American Family Insurance Championship. The pairings this year were Andy North and Darius Rucker versus Brett Favre and Derek Jeter.

Pre-Round Events

Prior to the start of the celebrity foursome teeing off for the nine-hole charity event, the group took time during their warm-up on the driving range to sign autographs for fans. A heavy contention of Jeter fans crowded the five-time All-Star.

Rucker was getting into his swing after Friday night’s concert at Breese Stevens Field in downtown Madison. He was warming up next to Brett Favre, a fan favorite who drew some 200 people to the driving range.

The Competition

The foursome started on hole No. 10, a 456-foot par four. The team of Favre and Jeter birdied that hole thanks to the long drive of the former Yankee. Rucker and North settled for par.

Favre and Jeter continued to show early domination, picking each other up when the other was off. Jeter converted a 35-foot putt which Favre had missed on the previous attempt.

Favre and Jeter wouldn’t show any signs of weakness until the chipping game allowed Rucker and North to catch up on hole 13.

Media Availability

All four celebrities were in good spirits, despite playing to a tie. They understood the outing was more about giving back to the community than winning individual accolades.

“The most important thing is raising money and awareness for children’s cancer [research],” Favre told reporters. “Wisconsin, I’m telling you…they support their people like no other and this is an obvious reflection of that.”

Favre noted that his reception by fans never gets old and that the Packers have only gotten bigger over the years. He mentioned the growth of the annual Family Night scrimmage, which this year takes place on Saturday, Aug. 5.

Stricker three shots out of the lead entering final round

MADISON, Wis. — Madison resident Steve Stricker put himself in position to win the second annual American Family Insurance Championship with a three-under-par 69 on Saturday.

It was the second of three rounds of the charitable PGA Champions Tour event, with Stricker entering Sunday’s final round of competition tied for fourth place, three shots behind leader Paul Broadhurst at an overall -12.

Stricker’s day started off on the right foot, playing to birdie on holes No.1 and No. 2. He settled for par the remainder of the front nine to end the first leg with a two-under-par 34. The back nine didn’t do Stricker any favors, finishing with a bogey on hole No. 12, a 200-yard par three. He saved his day with birdies on 15 and 16 to finish with a 69 on the day.

“Yeah, just keep plugging,” Stricker said of his mindset after the bogey. “…I kept telling myself ‘this next hole we’ll get one’ and I was patient. I hung in there, I’m still three [strokes] back and a lot of golf to play.”

Broadhurst followed up his first round 63 with a second round 69 to lead the field at -12. His six birdies made up for three bogeys on the day.

“I pulled a tee shot off the last, but it wasn’t a wild one,” Broadhurst said of his bogey on 18. “It was probably five yards left of the ideal, but with the world on the right, any place you can it is left and it cost me a bogey.”

Steve Stricker Update

Wisconsin’s own Steve Stricker finished up his first round at Erin Hills for this year’s U.S. Open Thursday evening. He was part of one of the last half dozen  groups to walk off the course yesterday after a round he shot 73. Stricker had an up and down front nine and a consistent par heavy back nine.

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

He started his Thursday round teeing off at 3:20 pm starting on the first hole. Stricker started his round off strong, as he birdied his first two holes  to start the day at two under. He then ran into trouble holes three and four and ended up bogeying both to bring him back to even par. Stricker finished his last five holes of the front nine adding four pars and yet another bogey.

He made the turn at hole number 10 and parred ever single hole on the back nine. Stricker finished the day at +1 and shot a 73, good enough to put him in a tie for 61st place. He tallied two birdies, 13 pars, and three bogeys in his first round of the U.S. Open.  For fans who had hopes of Stricker taking home his first PGA Major Championship, there is still a chance for the home state hero . So far this season, Stricker has been starting out slow. He has an overall score over par for his first round in tournaments. After the first round, Stricker seems to find his groove as he has an overall score under par for all of the final three rounds in tournament play this year.

Stricker teed off this morning at 9:35. He is in a group that features tour veteran Stewart Cink and
Roberto Diaz. Stricker is currently through five holes and is -1 on the day and is sitting at even par for the tournament.

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Steve Stricker earns spot in U.S. Open after winning qualifier

MEMPHIS — A rain delay and the pressure of trying to earn a spot to play in the U.S. Open in his home state couldn’t deter Madison’s Steve Stricker from winning a qualifying round Monday evening.

The 50-year-old shot a 4-under par 67 in round one and a 6-under 65 round two to win the qualifier with an overall 132. Five players finished a stroke behind Stricker, with the top nine finishers earning a spot at Erin Hills June 12-18.

Prior to Monday’s action, Stricker attempted to earn his way to Erin Hills by asking the USGA for an exemption — a request that was quickly denied.

“It means a lot,” Stricker said. “Not getting an exemption was a motivational factor. Not that I deserved one, but it’s been driving me to achieve this goal. And, I’m just happy that I’m going to get to play. It’s a relief to get to play in the first one in my home state.”

Stricker will be participating in another big golf event in his home state beginning on June 23rd — The American Family Insurance Championship at University Ridge in Madison. It’s part of the PGA Champions Tour for golfers aged 50-plus. Stricker spoke with the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network during Media Day about his chances of earning a spot at Erin Hills after failing to earn the exemption.

Stricker hasn’t played in the Open in three years, but has played the Erin Hills course a handful of times. He says his biggest obstacle will be finding a way to gain an extra 20 yards on his drive because of the sheer size of the course.

Favre, Stricker, North and Tauscher take a swing for charity

MADISON, Wisconsin — This weekend the PGA Champions tour is taking over Univeristy Ridge golf course in Madison, but on Saturday afternoon the spotlight belonged to Brett Favre, Andy North, Steve Stricker and Mark Tauscher. The four teamed up for charity, raising money for the American Family Children’s Hospital and the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation.

Favre, who says he doesn’t play much golf these days, participated in the nine-hole celebrity scramble. The Packers legend and Steve Stricker played on one team, North and Tauscher on the other. Tauscher and North won —  North called it “the Washington Generals beating the Globetrotters.”

After the event, Favre had this to say:

On the charity event: “It was awesome, it really was. Steve and Andy, you’re not going to find two nicer guys. And what we were here for is extremely important. Look at this crowd. Amazing crowd. I’m not surprised a bit.
We want to come back next year. It was competitive, in a funny way. But it was a lot of fun. Hopefully, next year we can do 18 holes.”

Playing golf vs. football in front of people: “Different. As I told Andy and Steve, I would much rather tee off with my helmet on and 70,000 people . Golfers like it quiet. Football players like it a little more rambunctious. I don’t like the silence.”

On getting ready for his Hall of Fame induction: “At some point I have to start preparing a speech, which I’m not good at doing. To be honest with you, it’s closing fast. It seems like just yesterday I was preparing for (his return to) Green Bay. It will be here quick. And I’ll be honest with you: after that I’ll be looking forward to the Wisconsin-LSU game (at Lambeau Field).”

Will he attend the Sept. 3 game? “I’d like to be there. It all depends on my daughter’s volleyball schedule. She’ll be starting her senior year. But I’d love to be there. Who wouldn’t want to watch that game?”

On Stricker dropping a pass Favre threw him on the 17th hole: “Perfect pass. He’s got a really smooth golf swing. His route-running is a little questionable. I didn’t want him to pull a hamstring and miss the rest of his tournaments this year. That would have been terrible.”

Wisconsin’s Skip Kendall Will Play In PGA Champions Event In Madison

MADISON, Wis. (June 3, 2016) — Wisconsin native Skip Kendall will play in the first-ever PGA TOUR Champions American Family Insurance Championship, June 24-26, at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison. Kendall received a sponsor’s exemption from American Family, as did fellow PGA TOUR Champions player Stan Utley.

Kendall was born and raised in the Milwaukee area, before playing collegiate golf at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. He then hit the professional golf ranks, winning four times on the Web.com Tour, and earning 26 top-10 finishes on the PGA TOUR and three top-10 finishes on PGA Tour Champions. Kendall won the Wisconsin State Open in 1988 and 1989.

Stan Utley has competed on PGA TOUR Champions since 2011 after a career on both the Web.com and PGA tours. He won his sole PGA TOUR title at the 1989 Chattanooga Classic, along with three Web.Com wins.

Fans can purchase tickets for the American Family Insurance Championship at the tournament website at www.amfamchampionship.com. Options include $25 general admission tickets valid any day of the championship, in addition to three-day general admission and clubhouse passes with special amenities.

Active duty, reserve and retired military personnel can enjoy a free three-day pass and any child 15 and under also gets free admission to the tournament with an adult admission.

Fans can also follow the tournament’s social media channels: Twitter: @amfamchamp; Facebook: American Family Insurance Championship; and Instagram: AmFamChampionship.
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About the American Family Insurance Championship
The PGA TOUR Champions tour, American Family Insurance and 12-time PGA TOUR winner and Wisconsin native Steve Stricker announced last June this new Wisconsin golf event. The inaugural American Family Insurance Championship will feature an 81-player field competing for a $2 million purse. The no-cut event will include two Pro-Am events on June 22-23 followed by three days of tournament play, June 24-26. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation for distribution to the American Family Children’s Hospital and other charities.