GOLF: Open awards $1 million to charities; tournament director to resign


The Oct. 6-9 Open held at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin has awarded $1 million from tournament proceeds to a number of designated charities, Open Tournament chairperson and Fry’s Electronics executive vice president Kathy Kolder announced Tuesday.

“The 2011 Open was a resounding success,” Kolder said. “The strength of our field combined with the beautiful Northern California weather in October helped us set new tournament records for attendance and charity dollars. I can’t thank the local community and all of our volunteers enough for their support.”

The tournament, part of the PGA Tour’s Fall Series, raised $800,000 last year in its first run at CordeValle, and in its six years has awarded more than $4 million to charity.

The tournament’s main beneficiary is the Palo Alto-based American Institute of Mathematics, whose chief goal is to expand the frontiers of mathematical knowledge by funding focused research projects, conferences and the development of an online mathematics library, according to a press release sent out Tuesday. Other beneficiaries include The First Tee of San Jose, Northern California Golf Association, American Cancer Society and many other local charities.

It was also announced Tuesday that Ian Knight, who served as tournament director in 2007 in Las Vegas and in 2010-11 in San Martin, is resigning. 

According to the press release, Jeff Sanchez, who was the 2011 Open assistant tournament director, is replacing Knight as tournament director. Sanchez, 36, a PGA Class A Member since 1999, was most recently the head golf professional at Silver Creek Valley Country Club in San Jose for the past eight seasons before joining the Open team in late 2011.

“Jeff is respected in the area for his work as a golf professional in the Northern California PGA Section,” tournament president Duke Butler said. “He was a key contributor to the Open as a volunteer in recent years, in addition to working in an official capacity as assistant tournament director in 2011.”

The 2011 Open finished in dramatic fashion as Bryce Molder outlasted Briny Baird in a six-hole playoff to capture his first PGA Tour victory.

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