Organizers for the Hyundai Team Matches are close to selecting a venue for the 2001 event and a final decision will be made early next week, tournament director Gary Pollard said Wednesday.
The matches, which feature teams from the PGA, LPGA and Senior PGA Tours, have been held at Pelican Hill the last two years but the venue has been criticized as unfriendly to spectators because of steep hills and long walks between holes.
Speculation began immediately following the 2000 matches that they would not return to Pelican Hill. Pollard confirmed that organizers are exploring other courses, though Pelican Hill has not been ruled out.
"It's still up in the air," Pollard said. "We are exploring everything, including the title sponsor."
If the matches move, the Palm Springs area is a likely candidate for a new home. Before moving to Pelican Hill, the matches were played at PGA West in La Quinta.
Pollard said he will make final plans during meetings with event producer Terry Jastrow on Friday and with Hyundai representatives on Monday.
Schedules from each of the three tours list the venue for the unofficial event as TBA, though the dates are set for Dec. 8-9. Last year, Pelican Hill was not selected as the venue until late June, giving Pollard less than six months to prepare.
"We're trying to get this resolved as soon as possible," Pollard said. "We can't afford to have it delayed like we did last year."
DIGGING FOR GOLD
Black Gold Golf Course in Yorba Linda, originally slated for a Spring opening, will open closer to Labor Day because of last-minute redesigns by course architect Arthur Hills, including the addition of a waterfall behind the 18th green.
Hills, who visited the site on Tuesday, said he does not expect any further major design changes.
"It's shaping up quite well," Hills said.
The shaping of the land is nearly complete, grass has been planted on several holes and areas around many of the greens have been sodded, but the course needs several months to mature.
"I think I'll be satisfied when it opens," Hills said.
LONG BEACH TOURNAMENTS
Entries are now available for each of the seven tournaments that comprise the Long Beach Golf Festival.
The tournaments begin May 23 with the Senior Amateur championship and run through July 29 with the Long Beach Open. Included are the match play, women's, men's and junior championships.
Information: (562) 494-2850 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
BOLLINI GOES SOUTH
Nico Bollini of Yorba Linda is playing the Argentine Open, a European PGA Tour event, beginning today at The Jockey Club in Buenos Aries.
Bollini, a senior at Servite High, qualified for the event when he won the Argentine Amateur championship this month.
Vicente Fernandez is defending champion of the event. Other past champions include Jim Furyk, Mark Calcavecchia, Mark O'Meara and Craig Stadler.