Nicklaus courses host trifecta of tournaments this week

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Web.com Tour, European Tour and U.S. Junior Amateur visit the Golden Bear’s layouts

Three of the more than 290 golf courses Jack Nicklaus has designed all over the world are host to tournaments this week, including the USGA’s 67th U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, where 156 players age 17 or younger will compete on the award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Tex. The Web.com Tour’s Midwest Classic will be contested at the Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate outside Kansas City, and the eighth edition of the European Tour’s M2M Russian Open is being played outside of Moscow at Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club.

No fewer than 26 Tour-sanctioned events are being played on Nicklaus Design courses in 2014—a record for the company which has designed at least 110 courses that have hosted a combined total of more than 770 professional tournaments or significant amateur championships.

The U.S. Junior Amateur at Carlton Woods began with 36 holes of stroke play on the 7,284-yard, par-72 design, which reduced the field to the low 64 for match play. Starting Wednesday, there will be six rounds of match play. The quarterfinals and semifinals are slated for Friday. The U.S. Junior Champion will be determined with a 36-hole final on Saturday.

The 2013 champion, Scottie Scheffler, turned 18 on June 21, making him ineligible to defend his title. With no other USGA champions in the field, a new name will be added to the roster of players who have won USGA titles. Course designer Jack Nicklaus is himself an eight-time USGA champion, although the U.S. Junior is one title that eluded him.

This week’s U.S. Junior is the second USGA competition to be contested on the Nicklaus Course at The Club at Carlton Woods, which previously hosted the 2007 USGA Women’s State Team Championship. Additionally, the U.S. Open local and sectional qualifying tournaments have been conducted at the Club at Carlton Woods, as well as the Carlton Woods Invitational for mid-amateur and senior players, and the 2004 Texas State Amateur.

The course opened in 2001 as the first of the club’s two 18-hole layouts. It was then named to Golf Digest‘s list of the Best New Private Courses. Today, the course remains a mainstay on various Best In State lists, and this year was named to Golfweek‘s list of the Top-100 Residential Courses.

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The Midwest Classic, the only professional golf tournament in the Kansas City area, tees off Thursday at the Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate—the only Jack Nicklaus-designed layout in Kansas. The Kansas City Crusaders have hosted the Web.com Tour event at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course since 2011, and extended their agreement with the PGA TOUR to host the event through 2016.

This week’s Midwest Classic field features 46 Web.com Tour winners, 14 PGA Tour winners, three major championship winners, and five of the top-10 on the Web.com money list. Ages in the field range from 19-49, and players represent 16 different countries.

“The golf course at Nicklaus Golf Club is outstanding for several reasons, including its beautiful views, rolling fairways and capability to challenge both the amateur and the seasoned golfer,” the Golden Bear said. “The course’s appeal to a wide range of golfers is due in part to the four sets of tees used to vary distance and angle to the green.”

Last year’s Midwest Classic was won by Jamie Lovemark, the 2007 Jack Nicklaus Award winner out of Southern Cal who has made 11 cuts out of his 17 PGA Tour starts this year.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, just outside of Russia’s capital city of Moscow, Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club will host a field chocked full of experience and youth alike in this week’s M2M Russian Open.

The 7,491-yard, par-72 layout hosted the €1 million event for the first time last year, when it received rave reviews from the field including Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey, who won the M2M Russian Open last year.

“A few of the guys who had played it on the Challenge Tour said what a good course it was, and they were right,” said Hoey, who was forced to withdraw from last week’s Open Championship and this week’s M2M Russian Open after picking up a foot injury during the second round at Royal Liverpool. “(Tseleevo) is quite a long course but the fairways are fairly generous, which suits my game because I’m not always the straightest off the tee. I putted really well last year, which I guess you have to if you’re going to win any golf tournament.”

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Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club is the first course in the country designed by 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus, and was named the No. 1 course in Russia on Golf Digest‘s 2012 list of the Best Courses in 203 countries. Earlier this month, the Golden Bear visited his second course to open in Russia, Skolkovo in Moscow.

For more information on these and other Nicklaus Design layouts, visit www.nicklaus.com.