Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge Heads To Pebble Beach For Year Three

New York (Sept. 15) — Golf Digest, the United States Golf Association and NBC Sports announced today that Pebble Beach Golf Links, site of the 2010 U.S. Open Championship, will host the third Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge. One contest winner will play in a group with celebrities at Pebble Beach Golf Links under the same course conditions and rules that the U.S. Open competitors will face the following week.

As in the previous two years, hopeful participants will be asked to submit an essay to Golf Digest editors. The submission period will run from November 10, 2009, through January 31, 2010. Details about the contest will be announced in the December issue of Golf Digest (on newsstands November 10), on www.golfdigest.com and on www.usga.org. Potential candidates will be narrowed down to a group of finalists in March and the winner will be chosen by the public, through online voting, in April.

“We are delighted to bring back the very successful Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge for its third year,” said Jerry Tarde, Chairman and Editor-In-Chief of Golf Digest. “This contest has set a new standard for reader interaction, presented our brand with an opportunity to build measurable business relationships and, together with the USGA and NBC, allowed us to bring a new level of enthusiasm to the game of golf.”

GiebelhausenChallengeInside 
Arizona police officer Larry Giebelhausen won the right to play Bethpage Black last June with three celebrities. (John Mummert/USGA)

“The Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge has enabled us to bring the excitement and pressure of our national championship to the general public in an innovative and highly engaging way,” said USGA Chief Business Officer Pete Bevacqua. “Pebble Beach has been the site of great drama for four previous U.S. Opens and we are confident that it will be a tremendous venue for the 2010 Challenge.”

NBC Sports will broadcast highlights from the round as a 90-minute television program on June 20 prior to its final-round coverage of the U.S. Open.

“In just two years, along with our partners Golf Digest and the USGA, we've built a very successful franchise with the Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge,” said Jon Miller, Executive Vice President, NBC Sports. “We are very excited about building on that success next year at Pebble Beach, one of the most storied venues in golf.”

“For the fifth time in the Championship’s history, Pebble Beach Golf Links is pleased to host the U.S. Open,” said Bill Perocchi, Pebble Beach Company Chief Executive Officer. “These players will have a unique opportunity to test their golf games under U.S. Open conditions just a few days before the start of the Championship and personally, I can’t wait to see how they perform.”

In 2009, golfers were asked to submit a six-word essay describing why they should get the chance to play the U.S. Open venue, the Black Course at Bethpage State Park. Larry Giebelhausen won the contest with, “I’m a Cop, I’ll Shoot Low,” beating out more than 73,500 other entrants. Ben Roethlisberger, with Rocco Mediate serving as his caddie, led the celebrities with a score of 81. Michael Jordan, with Fred Couples on his bag, shot an 86, while Justin Timberlake, aided by caddie Anthony Kim, shot an 88. Giebelhausen, an Arizona police officer, carded a 101, just missing his goal of breaking 100.

The inaugural 2008 Challenge generated 100-word essays from 56,374 golf fans around the country. Tony Romo and Timberlake led the way with scores of 84 and 98, respectively, while Matt Lauer came in at exactly 100 strokes. Contest winner John Atkinson, who passed away from lung cancer in June 2009, took 114 strokes at Torrey Pines’ South Course.

For information about the Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge and to watch video from the 2009 program, visit www.golfdigest.com. For more information about the USGA and the 110th U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Calif., June 14-20, 2010, visit www.usga.org.  To plan a stay at Pebble Beach Resorts and experience the course prior to the event, visit www.PebbleBeach.com or call 800-654-9300.

Contacts: 

Brian Fisher
Golf Digest
212-286-2639
Brian.Fisher@GolfDigest.com
 

Dave Fanucchi
USGA
908-234-2300
dfanucchi@usga.org 

Brian Walker
NBC Sports
212-664-5533
Brian.Walker@nbcuni.com 

Aven Wright-McIntosh
Pebble Beach Company
831-625-8557
WrightMA@PebbleBeach.com 

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