The 2015 Bird Golf Invitational

A full field of 52 players participated in what would be a closely contested finish in the 15th edition of the Invitational. Played as always at our flagship site, Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa, the course conditions at Whirlwind were extra ordinary. If you are planning to visit Phoenix over the next few months, we encourage you to experience Cattail and Devil’s Claw.

The opening night cocktail party and the dinner that followed were a great success thanks to the efforts of F & B Director Tim Flannigan and Chef John Farley.

Invit2015.43.Palmer Fisher    Invit2015.53.Group 

Friday’s opening round Scramble was played on Cattail and several groups played extremely well but in the end, one group had separated themselves from the field. Playing with professional Troy Weise, the team of Mike and Tracy Carlile and Cavell Simmonds shot a net 49.7 (is the second lowest score in 15 years of this format.)  Second place was determined by a minute fraction by the team of George and Jackie Yost and Lucy Boguski with their professional Craig Waryan with a score of 53.05. They edged out the team of Les and Michele Stewart and Belinda Keever who came in third with a score of 53.4.  

Invit2015.101.Day 1 Runnerup

Day 1 Runners-Up (L-R: Jackie Yost, Professional Craig Waryan, Lucy Boguski, and George Yost)

Invit2015.107.Day 1 for fun

They didn’t win today but they always have fun!  (L-R: Jerry Dominick, Professional Jim Samsing, Barb and Don Raymond)

Friday afternoon’s putting contest was won in the Ladies division by Jan Harris and in a thrilling 3-man, 9-hole playoff, Jon McMahon claimed a 1-stroke victory over Les Stewart and George Yost  to win his third  Men’s event.

Invit2015.Lock2.FriendshipsOne of the most special things about The Invitational is that people form friendships here that will last their lifetime. An example of those friendships are Pauline Lockard and Lucy Boguski who met at this year’s Invitational.  We have 3 teams that all met here as individuals and now play together every year. One of those teams is the trio of Stephanie Lary, David Schwan and Mike Gelinas who manage to match wearing outfits pictured below. If you are going to dress like this, you better bring your game and as you can see they were all in great form.

Invit2015.141.Gelinas  Invit2015.142.Schwan  Invit2015.144.Lary


One of two All Ladies teams. (L-R: Professional Sandra Palmer, Jennifer Depp, Martha Burmaster, and Michelle Fisher)


The leader board after Round 1


Saturday’s, two Low Net Best Ball, was won with an amazing score of 24-under par by one of two groups made up of all ladies. Led by LPGA legend Sandra Palmer, Jill Cooley, Karen Donofrio and Jan Harris, these ladies were proof positive of the LPGA slogan “These Girls Can Play”! Two teams tied for second with a score of 20-under par, 124. Professional Pam Wright played beautifully with her team of Larry Kirk, Al and Jon McMahon; with Whirlwind GM, Marty Hoeffken led Don and Barb Raymond and Jerry Dominick.

After the first two rounds the Cooley, Donofrio and Harris team were in first place but there were 8 other teams within a dozen shots of the lead so it was anybody’s race to win. 


(L-R Duane Barnett, Professional Marty Hoeffken, Terrie & Tim Harper)



(L-R: Kent Holden, Joe Fidler, Lourdes Enamorado and Professional Tim Peightal)

Sunday’s third and final round in the Low Gross/Low Net format brought with it another thrilling finish. The leaders in the clubhouse were the team of Larry Kirk, Al and Jon McMahon  and their professional, Tim Peightal who closed with a final round score of 13-under par, 131, the low score of the day and a 3-Day total of 309.6.  But, the Cooley, Donofrio and Harris team with professional, Troy Weise, played exceptional golf under the microscope of being in the lead and closed with a 12-under par score for the day and a winning 3-Day score of 306.95 to nudge out the Kirk, McMahon  trio. The day’s third place team of Lary, Schwan, Gelinas and their professional, Justin Lake, tied for second on the day at 12-under par and finished in third place overall at 314.2.

The winner of the professional division was Troy Weise who played superbly all 3 days and recorded a score of 312.7.

The closing dinner at Wild Horse was another sumptuous presentation from the world renowned Chefs at the resort and was an evening filled with comradery and laughter.      


Closing Dinner



The Bird Golf Academy Professionals


The winning teams and their professionals were: (All pictures are listed from Left to Right)


7th Place:  Professionals Jim Samsing and Troy Weise, the team of Shannon Venance and Joe Bannon and Professional Pam Wright (not pictured Steve Perkins)


6th Place:  Professionals Jim Samsing and Pam Wright, the team of Michele and Les Stewart, Belinda Keever, and Professional Shirley Furlong

Professionals Jim Terry and Amy Benz, the team of Paul Pendleton, Michelle Smith and Perry Sprague and Professional Heath Morden


4th Place: The team of Cavell Simmonds, Tracy and Mike Carlile with Professionals Heath Morden, Mary Mills and Troy Weise


3rd Place: Professionals Craig Waryan and Justin Lake, the team of David Schwan, Mike Gelinas and Stephanie Lary, and Professional Mary Mills


Runners-Up: Professional Tim Peightal, Larry Kirk, Professional Jim Terry, with Al and Jon McMahon and Professional Pam Wright


Champions: Professional Troy Weise, the winners: Jan Harris, Jill Cooley and Karen Donofrio with Professionals Sandra Palmer and Heath Morden

We salute and thank all of our wonderful students who make this all possible and for making our 15th celebration of golf such a great success.

Our next Invitational will be January 12-16, 2017 at Wild Horse Pass Resort and we hope you will join us for four fantastic days!  




See all the reasons why Bird Golf Academy is the World’s Top Golf School.

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