DETROIT – With the prize at stake in the PGA Tour soccer match, it should come as no surprise that someone with more touring experience than anyone else came out on top. 1st John Shippen…
Forty eight years Tim O’NeillA full decade older than any other player in the field, in his last 68th round at the Detroit Golf Club, he won twice in a new invite featuring America’s finest black golfers.
“Age is nothing but a number, right?” he joked with the press to remind them that only a few weeks were left until August 3, his 49th birthday. But before that, he now has time to play the Rocket Mortgage Classic this week, his eighth career tour starting and his first since the 2015 US Open in Chambers Bay.
To show you how long O’Neill has been doing this, just know that his first start on the Korn Ferry Tour took place long before it was the Korn Ferry Tour. And there was a Web.com tour long before that. It used to be a national tour or a Buy.com tour. He returned for the 1998 Nike Tour.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” O’Neill said. “For me at 48, being able to compete and play means a lot to me. Hopefully this will inspire the guys to keep going and keep working. “
O’Neill has spent the last few years jumping among the minor professional golf tours, including a full season PGA Tour Latinoamerica – doing much of his recent work on the Advocates Pro Golf Association Tour, dedicated to minority golfers. O’Neill was the most stable player throughout the 2020 pandemic season and was willing to attend the event by invitation only. His 71 result on Sunday was the best result of the day, and his 68 on Monday was again the best result. Shortly after his victory, he happily posed for a photographer with Cameron Champ, Harold Warner III and Joseph Bramlett, three of four black golfers currently on the PGA Tour.
A total of 21 men and 12 women were invited to compete in the John Shippen Tournament, ranging from O’Neill to Amari Avery, a 17-year-old amateur golf enthusiast at a college in Southern California … when she graduated from high school. All expenses and travel expenses are covered by the organizers, similar to what Joe Louis did at Rackham Golf Club, located just six miles north. back in the 1940s at the Joe Louis Open…
In the women’s tournament – a two-player team event – Shasta Averichardt and Anita Uwadia won two each, qualifying for the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational later this month here in Michigan. After hitting off five other couples on Monday, their next competition is literally Korda’s sisters – Nelly and Jessica – and other LPGA Tour stars.
Finally, it was Avery, one of the best female juniors in the country, who survived the playoff test during the Cognizant Shootout. Over six players believed the winner took it all on three holes in the midst of a sweaty, windless day in sweltering Detroit. After winning the playoffs, Avery secured the final release of the day, a solo spot in the Cognizant Founders Cup, played in October as part of the LPGA Tour.