Capital Region golf fans can watch some of the best players in the world on one of the top courses in the Northeast when the second annual Turning Stone Resort Championship comes back to Verona on Sept. 29-Oct. 5.
In the inaugural event, contested on the famed Tom Fazio-designed Atunyote course, left-hander Steve Flesch fired a one-over-par 73 in the final round to finish at 18-under-par 270. He beat Michael Allen by two shots for his fourth career victory and took home
The win for Flesch also earned him a berth in this year’s U.S. Open because he became a multiple winner since the last Open.
Flesch recorded his fourth career win.
The Atunyote course has drawn rave reviews from national golf publications like Golf Magazine (Top 100 Courses You Can Play), Golfweek (America’s Best 2006 — Top public courses in New York), Robb Report (Best New Golf Courses in the World), Golfweek (America’s Best — Top 40 New Courses) and Travel & Leisure Golf (Ten Best New Public/Resort Courses), but comments from the PGA Tour members who competed last year were even more glowing.
“I was just trying to get it on the green because I was putting well, and the greens were perfect,” Flesch told the media last September. “Actually, they were some of the best greens we played all year.”
Flesch didn’t stop there in his praise of the course and the entire facility.
“Turning Stone is a great facility,” he said. “And I know the players really enjoyed being here. I’m just going to remember, one, the golf course, it was great. The conditions were perfect all week. The greens were some of the best — the whole condition of the golf course was actually some of the best we’ve played in years out here.”
Fellow PGA touring pro Joey Sindelar, from Horseheads, was also a big fan. “This is awesome stuff. It’s an amazing property,” he said after the tournament.
“It’s not just the course. It’s the practice area, and how well done everything is. You know, this is something to be proud of. This is cutting edge. No divot left unrepaired, magnificent.”
Added former World Match Play champion Jeff Maggert, “I heard some good things about the golf course, and certainly the golf course did not disappoint me. It’s in fantastic condition. I’d say this is probably in the top four or five tournaments we’ve played all year as far as course conditions. The greens are excellent. There are just no complaints with anything about this tournament.”
The PGA Tour originally discovered the lure of Turning Stone when the Oneida Indian Nation management team stepped in to bail out the B.C. Open after severe floods hit the tournament’s original site in the Binghamton area. The B.C. Open was moved to Turning Stone in 2006, and that event went so smoothly that the PGA Tour decided to give the Turning Stone Resort its own event for the PGA Fall Series.
Atunyote is a parkland course with spacious fairways, large undulating greens and extremely steep bunkers. A deadwood marsh, several lakes and streams, and a rock formation are other noteworthy features, along with a New England-style clubhouse.
The Atunyote, which also hosted the 2006 PGA of America Professional National Championship, won by Scotia native Ron Philo Jr., measures 7,315 yards from the black tees.
More than 1,200 volunteers helped stage the inaugural event, and many of those came from the Capital Region.
Tickets are currently available at www.turningstonechampionship.com or www.ticketmaster.com. They can also be purchased by telephone at (315) 361-7469 or (877) 833-7469, or at Ticketmaster (800) 446-7649. The Turning Stone Box Office is open daily 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.
General admission tickets are $100 for the entire week, $10 per ticket from Sept. 29-
Oct. 1, $25 per ticket on Oct. 2-3 and $35 per ticket on Oct. 4-5.
The Turning Stone Resort is located 97 miles west of Schenectady. Take 90 West to Exit 33 (Verona) and take a left off the ramp onto Route 365W. The resort is on your left on Patrick Road.