The APGA Tour’s landmark 2021 season continues September 21-22 with the first event of the Farmers Insurance Fall Series, APGA Tour Valley Forge, featuring most of the circuit’s top players – plus several Philadelphia region standouts - competing for $25,000 at Bluestone Country Club in the suburbs west of Philadelphia.
It is the first visit to the northeastern United States for the APGA Tour, which has become a force in driving diversity in the sport of golf over the past two years, doubling in size and forging dynamic partnerships with the PGA TOUR and sponsors including Farmers Insurance and the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB), which is hosting the two-day, 36-hole competition. The week begins Monday with a pro-am tournament at the par-71, 6,455-yard Bluestone Country Club layout, one of 50-plus golf courses that are part of VFTCB’s Montco Golf tourism initiative in Montgomery County.
Four 2021 APGA Tour tournament winners are in the field, headed by Kamaiu Johnson of Orlando, winner of APGA Tour Las Vegas, who played in two PGA TOUR events earlier this year, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Honda Classic. Jabir Bilal of Atlanta, who won the Georgia PGA Championship on September 1, Michael Herrera (APGA Tour Crossings at Carlsbad), Rovonta Young (APGA Tour at World Golf Village), Jarred Garcia (APGA Tour Black History Month Classic) and Tim O’Neal (The John Shippen) are other 2021 champions in the field of 40-plus players.
O’Neal’s win in The John Shippen earned him a start in the Rocket Mortgage Classic PGA TOUR event this past July. Bilal’s victory earned him a berth in the 2022 PGA Championship, one of professional golf’s four majors, this coming April at Southern Hills Golf Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“I’m looking to build off the momentum I have after capturing the Georgia PGA Championship,” Bilal stated in a pre-tournament Zoom session with media Thursday. “I believe that this event at Bluestone Country Club is a great opportunity to do so.”
The field also includes a host of the Philadelphia region’s top professional and amateur golfers. Louis Kelly, the assistant pro at Metedeconk National Golf Club in Jackson Township, New Jersey, is the leading professional in the field. The two top amateurs are Matt Vital, the 15 year-old standout who broke the legendary Sam Snead’s course record earlier this year at Reading Country Club; and Zach Juhasz, who advanced through local competition to play in the regional U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament. Both Vital and Juhasz are from Bethlehem, PA, and Juhasz is turning pro at this week’s competition.
The field also includes Jon Ortiz, a native of Kensington now living in Lansdale, who was a national Drive, Chip and Putt champion at age nine; Nicholas Biondi of Moosic, PA; and Tiger Hubbard of Lower Burrell, PA.
Prominent APGA Tour players Willie Mack III and Kevin Hall are among several tour standouts competing this week in Korn Ferry Tour qualifying tournaments in pursuit of playing privileges on the professional circuit that feeds into the PGA TOUR.
The Farmers Insurance Fall Series continues Oct.17-19 with the APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Atlanta Championship ($25,000 purse) at White Oak Golf Club at the Clubs of Peachtree City, near Atlanta, GA. The final event of the series and the 2021 season is Nov. 7-9, the APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Fall Series Finale ($30,000 purse) at Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles. In addition to tournament prize money, Farmers Insurance Fall Series players compete for a $15,000 bonus pool that pays an additional $7,500 to the player who is awarded the most points from each of the three events.
Pending health/safety protocols, all Fall Series events include an Advocates Foundation Farmers Insurance Youth Program targeting kids from economically-challenged backgrounds for an introduction to the sport as well as health/wellness and career discussions. Additionally, the events partner with First Tee Chapters to provide golf clinics and instruction to youth participants who are more experienced in golf.
The Montco Golf initiative is designed to promote Montgomery County’s 50-plus golf courses as the region moves to emerge from the global pandemic. Golf participation across the United States is up substantially because the sport’s outdoor and social distancing characteristics have attracted otherwise constrained Americans. Further information available at https://www.valleyforge.org/golf/
APGA Tour Valley Forge will be conducted under social-distancing and health/safety guidelines in conjunction with regional authorities.
Same day scoring detail for APGA Tour Championship is available at www.bluegolf.com.