They call it Mountain Top! A links-style course designed by Gary Player and Johnn Morris – a splash of Scotland in the Ozarks
Legends of Golf Tournament of Bass Pro Shops at Big Cedar
Now in its fifth year of sponsorship, Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops rolled out the greens for another great Legends of Golf Tournament with PGA Tour Champions.
The golfers are paired for competition over 4-days (67-holes) at three Johnny Morris courses: Top of the Rock (9-hole par-3), Mountain Top (13-hole par 3), and Buffalo Ridge (18-holes). Players compete for a prize fund of $2.4 million.
The tournament week begins with a classic pro-am tournament. A Civil War cannon is fired over Table Rock Lake to commence play.
Tournament proceeds contribute to foster clean water and air conservation and fund education for students at College of the Ozarks.
Golfers Tee Up in Sun, Wind, and Rain
Buffalo Ridge had a warming tent at the first tee box for 1st Round Groupings early Thursday morn due to chilly weather. Golfers walked from the tent to the tee box laden with gloves, jackets, and stocking hats.
Langer warmed up with jumping jacks before his first round of golf. Caddie daughter Christina dressed like a fluffy snowman in her jacket, ear muffs, and gloves. Tom Lehman’s daughter Rachael also caddied snug in a stocking hat for Thursday morning opening play at the Ridge.
Billy Andrade & Joe Durant
Paul Broadhurst & Kirk Triplett
Olin Browne & Steve Pate
Mark Brooks & John Huston
Mark Calcavecchia & Woody Austin
Roger Chapman & David Frost
John Daly & Michael Allen
Marco Dawson & Gene Sauers
Dan Forsman & Mike Reid
Carlos Franco & Vijay Singh
Jerry Smith & Jeff Sluman
Paul Goydos & Kevin Sutherland
Jay Haas & Peter Jacobsen
Hale Irwin & Wes Short Jr.
Bruce Fleisher & Tom Jenkins
Lee Janzen & Rocco Mediate
Brandt Jobe & Scott McCarron
Miguel Angel Jiménez & José María Olazábal
Tom Kite & Gil Morgan
Davis Love III & Scott Verplank
Sandy Lyle & Ian Woosnam
Tom Lehman & Bernhard Langer
Larry Mize & Scott Parel
Andy North & Tom Watson
Mark O’Meara & Colin Montgomerie
Jerry Pate & Ben Crenshaw
Corey Pavin & Duffy Waldorf
Tom Pernice & Bob Tway
Wayne Levi & Glen Day
Jim Thorpe & Dana Quigley
Sunday and trophy time: winning duo Triplett and Broadhurst won by a stroke over Lehman and Langer. In a dream shot, Triplett sailed the ball from the bunker to hole it for a birdie on 18.
Snapshots from Legends 2018
Tournament with Top Spin: April 22-28, 2018
Big Cedar and Bass Pro Shops crowned this year’s tournament with a venue of family activities.
Over 8,000 attended the Tiger Woods Kids’ Golf Clinic at Buffalo Ridge. Children chimed out for Tiger to do a “Homer Gilmore”! Who would have thought? And fishing pro Bill Dance taught fishing techniques. Games, activities, and water tanks were set up around the grounds for kids to test their skills.
Sports media superstars Dude Perfect drew a crowd of 4,500 youngsters to Top of The Rock. And Chic Filet handed out free chicken sandwiches to the crowd, a perfect family day.
A little bit of country was on the program Wednesday evening at the Academy: on stage, Chris Janson and Larry the Cable Guy, topped off with a patriotic airshow and fireworks.
Name dropping: a Celebrity Shootout capped Sunday’s play with Jack Nicklaus, Kid Rock, Gary Player, Mark Wahlberg, Lee Trevino, Willie Robertson, Larry Nelson, Austin Dillon, Richard Childress, David Graham, John Paul Morris, Johnny Miller, and Larry the Cable Guy. Celebrity winners: Johnny Miller and Larry the Cable Guy
Tournament highlights for me are the golfers, the people, and the viewpoint of the courses.
GOLFERS – It was fun watching Gary Player golf with Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino at the Mountain Top Course designed by Gary Player.
PEOPLE – I was watching Tom Watson on the greens at hole one when out of the blue, a suit walked down the fairway inside the ropes. It had a chit-chat with Watson and walked back to the Chapel, the temporary media center and command central.
As the suit passed by, I heard Feherty’s voice. I smiled to see David Feherty from the Golf Channel at Top of the Rock, and it reminded me I was watching a high profile PGA tournament on the side of a mountain in the Ozarks.
I met amazing people who travel the world following golf tournaments, and had come to watch the PGA Champions. The conversations were great.
I met fans from my home state of Wisconsin who came to watch fellow Wisconsin natives Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly and I rode the charter with young fans and friends of Dana Quigley.
VIEWPOINT – The mounds of rocks, slices of mountains, flowers, shrubs, trees, ponds, waterfalls, stone bridges, geese … all create a landscape that woos me whenever I am at the Johnny Morris suite of courses. It is not uncommon to see fans simply standing still in the middle of a walkway, gawking at the beauty, snapping photos of the viewpoints — and the golfers.
Tournament Volunteers Party with Johnny Morris
Another great tournament and my favorite year to volunteer.
At the volunteer dinner following the tournament, Johnny Morris and Tournament Director Kirk Elmquist surprised volunteers announcing a thank-you gift of either golfing at the new Crenshaw Ozark Nationals course or a family outing at Fun Mountain. Applause.
Dinner-on-the-lawn overlooked Table Rock Lake and Fun Mountain. It was an evening spent with fellow volunteers, barbecue, awards, music, and Johnny Morris, who shook hands and posed for selfies as we watched the sun set. It was memorable.
We meet again for a good game of golf in 2019.
Mark your calendar – April 23-28, 2019 – the next Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar. Visit their website in October to volunteer.
Play a Round of Golf in the Ozarks!
Golf on one of four Johnny Morris courses at nearby resort locations:
Golf courses nearby Branson:
- Thousand Hills – Branson
- Branson Hills – Branson
- Holiday Hills – Branson
- Ledgestone Country Club – Branson
- Pointe at Pointe Royale – Branson
- Golf Harrison Country Club – Harrison, AR
- Bear Creek Valley Golf – Lake of the Ozarks
- Deer Lake Golf Club – Springfield
- Springfield-Greene County Park – Springfield
- Tan-Tar-A-Resort – Lake of the Ozarks
When you jump on the shuttle and head out from the tournament, put together a round of golf with friends. Personally, I can watch only so much golf before I want to play a round on one of these beautiful courses.