Napa, Calif. (September 28, 2016) – Two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry and 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala will play in the Safeway Open Pro-Am at Silverado Resort and Spa on Wednesday, October 12th, the tournament announced today. Both Curry and Iguodala will tee off in the morning wave of the Official Pro-Am and their professional partners will be announced the week of the event.
“We are very excited to have Curry and Iguodala play in the Safeway Open Wednesday Pro-Am. It’s going to be an exciting day for our fans and sponsors to get to see two NBA superstars and local heroes tee it up with many of the best players on the PGA TOUR,” said Jeff Sanders, Lagardère Sports Executive Vice President of Golf Events. “And from what I hear they have game on the grass too!”
Curry and Iguodala are both major golf enthusiasts and often play together, most notably earlier this year at Augusta National Golf Club – a round that was promised to them in 2015 by Steve Kerr if they won the NBA Finals. Curry, who is a near scratch golfer, also played in the American Century Championship this summer (T27) and has enjoyed rounds with President Obama the last two years.
The Safeway Open Official Pro-Am will take place on Wednesday, October 12th at Silverado Resort and Spa featuring many of the top players in the field including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Those interested in attending can purchase tickets at www.safewayopen.com.
Napa, CA (September 26, 2016) – Cal Sophomore Collin Morikawa has received a sponsor’s invitation to play in the Safeway Open, October 12-16, at Silverado Resort and Spa. He is the third player to receive an invitation, along with Aaron Wise (University of Oregon) and Jon Rahm (Arizona State University) that competed in 2015 in the PAC-12.
The Safeway Open will be Morikawa’s second PGA TOUR sanctioned event of 2016, as he lost in a playoff at the Web.com Tour’s Air Capital Classic, shooting 63 in his final two rounds. Morikawa, a standout player at Cal this year, will remain an amateur so he can keep his collegiate eligibility. He is currently ranked #25 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
“I am very grateful to Bob Miller, Safeway, Jeff Sanders and Lagardere Sports for the opportunity to compete at the Safeway Open,” said Morikawa. “Playing on the PGA TOUR is my dream and this is a great opportunity for me to test my game against the best players in the world.”
Though Morikawa cannot collect any winnings from the Safeway Open, if he finishes in the top 10 at the Safeway Open, he will automatically receive a spot in the PGA TOUR event following the Safeway Open. Players can receive up to 7 sponsor invitations in a season.
“We are excited to watch Collin compete against the best players on the PGA TOUR as well as some of his recent PAC-12 rivals,” said Executive Director Jeff Sanders. “We were very impressed to see Collin nearly win a Web.com Tour event as an amateur and shoot a number of rounds in the low 60s this year. We believe in giving the area’s best young players a chance to compete and fulfill their dream to play on the PGA TOUR."
The Safeway Open is managed by the Golf Event Management Division of Lagardère Sports and Entertainment. For more information on the Safeway Open or to purchase tickets, please visit www.safewayopen.com.
San Francisco Chronicle article
September 7, 2016 • By Ron Kroichick
Tiger Woods announced Wednesday that he plans to return to competitive golf next month at the PGA TOUR’s Safeway Open in Napa.
Woods broke the news with a tweet and story on his website. He said he “can’t wait to compete again” and hopes to follow the event at Silverado Resort by playing in tournaments in Turkey and the Bahamas this fall.
Woods, 40, has not played in a tour event since Aug. 23, 2015, when he shot 70 in the final round of the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C. (and tied for 10th). He had microdiscectomy surgery on his back less than a month later.
Wednesday’s news counts as a coup for the Safeway event, which often struggles to attract the world’s top players. This year’s tournament posed a particular challenge in the wake of the Ryder Cup, which wraps up 11 days before the opening round at Silverado on Oct. 13.
Phil Mickelson previously was the biggest name in the field, but Mickelson moved down one spot on the marquee to make way for his old adversary, Woods.
“Nobody moves the needle like Tiger, especially since he hasn’t played for so long,” tournament host Johnny Miller said in a phone interview. “Everybody in the whole golf world will wonder what he’s going to do at Silverado, what kind of game he has.”
Woods left himself an out, saying his participation ultimately hinged on the state of his back.
“My rehabilitation is to the point where I’m comfortable making plans, but I still have work to do,” he said on his website. “Whether I can play depends on my continued progress and recovery. My hope is to have my game ready to go.…
“It was difficult missing tournaments that are important to me, but this time I was smart about my recovery and didn’t rush it. It was great spending time with my children Sam and Charlie, and also working on a lot of projects … but I missed competing.”
Woods was obligated to play in the Napa event at some point, as required by an agreement with the PGA Tour. He and seven other notable players skipped the 2012 Frys.com Open (since renamed the Safeway Open) for a lucrative exhibition event in Turkey.
Those other seven — Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood, Webb Simpson, Hunter Mahan and Charl Schwartzel — all played in Napa in 2014 or ’15.
Woods, meantime, will have gone 59 weeks and two days between his last official shot in North Carolina and his next one in Northern California.
“It’s great to have Tiger back on the PGA TOUR playing golf, especially in Northern California, where he has such a following,” said Jeff Sanders, the tournament’s executive director. “It’s a great place for him to start.”
This year’s Safeway Open is scheduled for Oct. 13-16 on Silverado’s North Course.
Ron Kroichick is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.
Ever since I made my first visit to the Waste Management Open in Scottsdale, I have wondered why more PGA TOUR stops didn’t grasp the philosophy of basically having a golf tournament at an event.
I mean when you can draw close to 600,000 people for the four-day tournament why wouldn’t other stops try to replicate the experience?
Of course, the purest would demand that it has to be a golf tournament, first and foremost and that loud gatherings of revelers are not what they are seeking. Then again, the Waste Management has proved time and time again, that a socially enthused event can co-exist with a professional golf tournament.
This year the crew running the Safeway Open (formerly known as the Frys.com) at Silverado that takes place October 12-16, is embracing everything social to coincide with the tournament.
“Let’s have an event,” said Executive Director Jeff Sanders. “Let’s make it a festival for everyone.”
And they have.
Sanders is an executive with Lagardere Sports, a leading sports and entertainment agency with a global presence in a number of sports. It is working for the first time on the tournament. The firm represents more than 50 players on the PGA TOUR, including Phil Mickelson. And how about that, Mickelson committed to playing in the tournament back in June.
Apparently, they also know how to party. The Safeway Open is being built around six pillars and in this order – Beer, Wine, Spirits, Food, Music and oh yeah, Golf.
Here are the highlights of what tournament goers can expect:
**The Safeway Food and Wine Pavilion is being built right in the middle of the golf property. Check this out – 20,000 square feet of fun featuring three restaurants, a sports bar, wine, spirits and craft beer stations. The food? Do the names Thomas Keller, Masaharu Morimoto and Charlie Palmer right a bell? They will be running the food show. The beverages will be world class as well. The kicker – it is free (with your tournament admission) to get into the Pavilion. The promise is to keep the prices good as well.
**Beers for Birdies will be located at the 16th green. The Par 5 hole will be home for the fan favorite that features beer discounts for every birdie or eagle. The hole plays as one of the easiest on the course, so expect the party to be raging.
**The Spirits Lounge is a greenside lounge on the 17th hole, you can get specialty cocktails from with up to 10 popular spirit brands.
**The Brew Loft will be by the green on the par 3, 11th hole, the signature hole on the course. Choose from dozens of beers on tap.
**Thursday, Friday and Saturday after golf there will be a free concert on the lawn area in front of the Silverado Mansion. Thursday night features X Ambassadors to kick things off. Friday night the party keeps going with Charles Kelley, the front man for Lady Antebellum. Saturday night, the final show of the tournament will see the Bay Area’s Third Eye Blind rocking the stage.
**The admission prices are incredibly low for such an event. The rates are $40 a day in advance and $50 at the gate. For a five-day pass, the charge is $100 advance and $125 at the gate. Visit www.safeway.com to get a special promo code and you can chop the prices to $30 for a day and $75 for the five-day!
**Perhaps the most amazing aspect of the tournament, at least to those familiar with TOUR stops, is that volunteers, the backbone of any event, can work the tournament for free! Every other tournament I have seen charges the volunteers, basically covering the cost of their uniforms (typically $75-100 ). The Safeway Open is asking for nothing! Each volunteer gets two Nike polo shirts, one Nike Jacket, one Nike hat, one volunteer credential, two five-day guest passes, one volunteer party invite and free meals while working. That’s at least $500 worth of gear for free.
Basically what the Safeway and Lagardere Sports is taken all the best the Napa Valley has to offer and thrown in a PGA TOUR event with some of the world’s best players taking part.
This is where I have felt golf has needed to go because competition for the sports/entertainment dollar is fierce, especially in Northern California. People have options on where to spend their entertainment money and golf needed to create an experience as opposed to just having a golf tournament.
The seasoned golf fan would make it work to see some of the top players, but the fringe sports fans, or even non-sports fans, may want to come because of the events and options for the Safeway Open.
Some big congratulations for the tournament connections for putting out something for everyone.
Perhaps no one sums it up better than tournament host and part owner of Silverado Johnny Miller.
“This is going to be a lot of fun,” said Miller, who was on hand for Media Day. “We are going in the right direction with a little bit of a turbo charger.”
For more information on the tournament and all that comes with it, go to www.safewayopen.com
By Dennis Miller