The adidas Golf Invitational – 'The Best Week of the Year'
Vista Vallarta Golf Club, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – November 10 – 15, 2020
The 2020 adidas Golf Invitational – Michael Block and Team Malaska Champions
The 29th playing of the adidas Golf Invitational will go down in tournament history as miraculous. Amidst worldwide uncertainty, understandable concerns, and the ever-present possibility of intervention or travel bans, an avid, brave, loyal, and trusting group of 145 participants and over 70 guests came together in Puerto Vallarta from November 8th – 15th to enjoy what, this year especially, was undoubtedly ‘The Best Week of the Year!’
It was the participants themselves who kept the 29-year unbroken string of events alive. When the tournament was all but set to postpone for a year, it was the phone calls and emails from professionals and amateurs alike that inspired the decision to ‘carry on as planned’. This advice was echoed by our sponsor adidas Golf, and it resulted in a glorious week of safe comradery, joy, and competition enhanced by perfect weather on golf courses that were in the best condition imaginable.
Special thank-you’s go to those of you who inspired the ultimate decision to proceed despite the challenges, and to adidas Golf for their sponsorship and support in the most difficult of times. We look forward to celebrating the 30th anniversary of the adidas Golf Invitational with everyone next November.
Michael Block, head professional at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California, once again displayed the level of golf which has made him one of the elite players amongst Club Professionals in America. With scores of 69-66-67-66 and a total of 268 (20 under par) bested Travis Johns from Medinah, Illinois, by five shots to become the 2020 Professional Champion. Travis briefly held the lead in the final round, but with an eagle on #8 and birdies on holes 10, 11, and 12 of the Weiskopf Course at Vista Vallarta, Michael surged ahead and never looked back.
Mike Malaska has been an important and valued part of the adidas Golf Invitational for many years. He is a former PGA Teacher of the Year, College All-American, former PGA Tour player, and worked alongside his friend and colleague, Jim Flick, as the ‘tournament professional hosts’ at this event year after year. Since Jim Flick passed away in 2012, Mike has continued in this role of working with pros and amateurs alike on the driving range each day and supporting this event which honors Mr. Flick with the grandiose perennial trophy that bears his name with pride. Jim Flick used to call this event ‘the best week of the year’, and Mike continues to inspire everyone and insure this is achieved each and every year.
This year, Mike teamed up with amateur partners Wiley Seeger, Bo McNeill, Brian Geraty, and Oskar Johansson to win the team competition which proved to be the closest in tournament history. Team Malaska’s score of 502 bested the team headed by professional Mike Zaremba (Don Brown, Rich Gossage, Wes Heusel, Greg Tack) by a single shot. We often have celebrity baseball players in the field, but this year, Team Zaremba's 'closer' was our first Hall of Famer and a true gentleman, Rich 'Goose' Gossage. Team Zaremba finished one shot behind, but you have to know 'Goose' was firing fast balls right up to finish! A further two shots behind was the team captained by professional Matt Sita (Larry Brooks, Brian Malchak, Eric Schneider, Frank Suits).
The Taco Bell Shootout
The Taco Bell Shootout kicked off the event on Tuesday afternoon. Chris Moody and amateur Dan Horner won the alternate-shot affair for the third consecutive year. After Chris’s drive somehow found the narrowest of grassy openings between fairway bunkers on the 18th hole of the Weiskopf Course, Dan hit a beautiful 60-yard wedge to within 5 feet of the hole. Chris holed the putt, and bested the teams of Neil Maurer and amateur Jason Negeli as well as professional Jason Hrynkiw and amateur Jim Carley by a single shot. Cathy Kim (our sole female professional this year) and amateur Frank Cox claimed the fourth spot in the Taco Bell Shootout.
The 2020 PGA Professional of the Year Named
A special congratulations to Ronny Glanton, who was just named PGA Professional of the Year for 2020. Ronny has been the professional at the Sherrill Park GC in Richardson, TX for 35 years. He has been a long-time supporter of this event and we are proud to have him and all of the other distinguished professionals that participate in the adidas Golf Invitational year after year.
Many Special Thanks
There is not enough space to thank everyone who helped to make the 2020 adidas Golf Invitational not only occur amidst the unprecedented challenges the world has been facing, but also the success it turned out to be.
adidas Golf has been involved since the initial years, became the title sponsor in 2018, and stepped up to the plate despite the obvious challenges. Taco Bell was a huge help, sponsoring the SHOOTOUT which has become our ‘newest tradition’. The Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa and the Vista Vallarta Golf Club not only welcomed us with open arms and superb hospitality, they also worked with us through the uncertainties and countless changes that were necessary to make the event a reality. Johnny West, Lonnie Park, Nate Horton and Kevin O’Brien traveled far to entertain us to perfection again, and the two additional ‘band-members’ – Michael Sicoly and Andrew Johns – although not present due to travel restrictions from Canada, were with us in spirit.
And finally, a special thanks to Mark Rigg and his crew from Links Golf St. Andrews. While they weren’t able to make the trip from Scotland, they once again presented a 5-Star golf holiday for a group of four golfers to ‘the home of golf’. And, they did it in style! Making the drawing from the Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole of St. Andrews, via video, the prize was presented to Eric Olson (Team DeMattia) during the final award gala dinner at the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa. It was a great way to conclude the 2020 adidas Golf Invitational – ‘The Best Week of the Year’!
About adidas Golf
adidas Golf works to create the best apparel and footwear products for golfers everywhere. Designed by golfers who love the game, adidas focuses on delivering products for both men and women that are built to perform both on and off the course. Specifically, adidas Golf offers three collections: adidas Performance, adiPure, and adicross. adidas Performance provides golfers with the latest innovations from adidas so that they can perform at their best. adiPure blends premium finishing with relentless attention to detail, fusing craftsmanship and innovation to change the way players see traditional golf style. adicross addresses the on- and off-course life of the modern golfer, focusing on products that are urban inspired and non-traditional.
The world’s best golfers rely on adidas’ products every week. The current roster of adidas athletes includes: The 2020 Masters Champion – Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele, and Tyrrell Hatton. adidas is also represented on the women’s tour with Paula Creamer, Jessica Korda and Danielle Kang. adidas Golf has employees worldwide and is headquartered in Carlsbad, CA. Find out more at adidas.com.