Bass Pro Legends of Golf at Big Cedar

Golf legends Daly, Allen, Chapman, Frost, and caddies at Bass Pro's Mountain Top
Sail it away! Mountain Top drive at tee box 13  with Daly, Allen, Chapman, Frost, and caddies

They call it Mountain Top! A links-style course designed by Gary Player and Johnny Morris – a splash of Scotland in the Ozarks

Bass Pro Shops tourney with Jesper Parnevik at Mountain Top
Jesper Parnevik at Mountain Top, one of three venues for  Legends of Golf 2018

Legends of Golf Tournament of Bass Pro Shops at Big Cedar

Now in year five of its sponsorship, Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops rolled out the greens for another great Legends of Golf Tournament with PGA Tour Champions.

Seventy-two golfers in teams of two compete for a prize purse of $1.8 million 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).

The tournament week begins with a classic pro-am tournament. A Civil War cannon is fired over Table Rock Lake to commence play.

Golfers Tee Up in Sun, Wind, and Rain

Legend John Daly tees off in a ribbed stocking hat and flamingo pants in chilly morning temps
“Long John” Daly tees off in a stocking hat and flamingo pants

Buffalo Ridge had a warming tent at the first tee box for 1st Round Legends Groupings early Thursday morn due to chilly weather. Golfers walked from the tent to the tee box bundled in gloves, jackets, and stocking hats.

Bernhard Langer broke out into a few jumping jacks
Bernhard Langer warms up with jumping jacks

Bernhard 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 ear muffs and knit hat for Thursday morning opening play at the Ridge.

Iron work decorates the stonework at Top Of The Rock
Top of the Rock: View from a terrace to the driving range and sink hole, AKA, Cathedral of Nature

Golf Legends Pairing 

Billy Andrade & Joe Durant
Paul Broadhurst & Kirk Triplett
Mark Brooks & John Huston
Olin Browne & Steve Pate
Mark Calcavecchia & Woody Austin
Roger Chapman & David Frost
Russ Cochram & Kenny Perry
John Daly & Michael Allen
Marco Dawson & Gene Sauers
Brad Faxon & Joey Sindelar
Dan Forsman & Mike Reid
Carlos Franco & Vijay Singh
Bob Gilder & Craig Stadler
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 Ángel Jiménez & José María Olazábal
Tom Kite & Gil Morgan
Tom Lehman & Bernhard Langer
Wayne Levi & Glen Day
Davis Love III & Scott Verplank
Sandy Lyle & Ian Woosnam
Jeff Maggert & Jesper Parnevik
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
Jerry Smith & Jeff Sluman
Steve Stricker & Jerry Kelly
Jim Thorpe & Dana Quigley
David Toms & Steve Flesch

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.

Bronze trophy for Legends of Golf is displayed at Mountain Top Golf Course in Branson
Triplett and Broadhurst names inscribed on the Legends of Golf tournament trophy

Snapshots from Legends 2018

Legends Tourney with Top Spin: April 22-28, 2018

Big Cedar and Bass Pro Shops crowned this year’s Legends tournament with a venue of family activities.

Over 8,000 attended a 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 fish tanks were scattered around the grounds for kids to test their skills.

Dude Perfect media event, Buffalo Ridge
Dude Perfect media event, Buffalo Ridge

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

Kid Rock, Top of the Rock, Skins Game
Kid Rock sighting, Top of the Rock Pro Shop
Tournament Highlights

Tournament highlights for me are the golfers, the people, and the viewpoints of the grounds.
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, reminding 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 came to watch the PGA Champions. The conversations were great.
I met fans from my home state of Wisconsin who follow 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 views— and the golfers.

Volunteers Party with Johnny Morris

Fresh flowers on tables at volunteer party
Another great Legends tournament and my favorite year as a 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 Top of the Rock, Mountain Top, Buffalo Ridge, or 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 to volunteer.

Play a Round of Golf in the Ozarks!
Ben Crenshaw eating a sandwich at Buffalo Ridge
Ben Crenshaw fueling up on a sandwich at hole 10 as he played through Buffalo Ridge.

Golf at one of four Johnny Morris courses, in proximity as the crow flies – see eye-candy images of courses on Instagram:

More golf in Branson and the Branson area:

When you jump on the shuttle and head out from the tournament, put together a round of golf with friends at one of these beautiful courses. In reality, golfers can watch only so much golf before it’s time to play like Legends.

RESOURCES:
Legends of Golf Tournament
Bass Pro Shops Shooting Academy
The Cathedral of Nature at Top of the Rock, aka, the Sinkhole
Chapel of the Ozarks
College of the Ozarks
Tournament Fan Fare

PS

Don’t forget to take in a Branson show. A trip to Branson is not official without a minimum of one.

Clay Cooper's Country Express shuttles tourists to Legends of Golf Tournament 2018
Clay Cooper’s Country Express shuttles tourists to Legends of Golf Tournament 2018 at Mountain Top
Winning History at Legends of Golf
    • 2018-Kirk Triplett & Paul Broadhurst – Final round PGA Leaderboard
    • 2017-Carlos Franco & Vijay Singh
    • 2016-Bruce Fleisher & Larry Nelson, Legends Division
    • 2016-Michael Allen & Woody Austin, Champions Division
    • 2015-Bruce Fleisher & Larry Nelson, Legends Division
    • 2015-Billy Andrade & Joe Durant, Champions Division
    • 2014-Fred Funk & Jeff Sluman

    Tournament proceeds from Legends of Golf are directed to fund education and conservation work at Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium and College of the Ozarks.

2018 Bass Pro Shops Legends Prize Cash Awards – Show Me The Money

Payne Stewart monogram in plaids
Payne Stewart icon in honor of Payne’s love of plaid

Congratulations to Bernhard Langer, recipient of the 2018 Payne Stewart Award!

Published by

Patricia Wiskur

My love for art comes from years in the studio of Wiskur Productions, with my husband, Darrell Wiskur, a designer and photographer. Also, I was an editor and photographer in the real world for 17 years ... all the while, thankful for an artful life and cherished memories. Photos are ©2018 Darrell D. Wiskur