June 2, 2008

PGA Tour, Kodak launch 'Challenge'

Beautiful holes and memorable moments will be the focus of the Kodak Challenge, a season-long competition to debut on the PGA Tour in 2009. The program will establish a series of "Challenge holes" at various PGA Tour events throughout the year. Players' best scores on those holes will be tabulated, with the tour pro who has the lowest score relative to par at the end of the year winning the Kodak Challenge title and a $1 million first prize.

Jeff Hayzlett, chief business development officer at Eastman Kodak, believes the competition will "add a new dimension to tour events" from both a player and fan perspective as they follow the challenge during the season. An updated weekly leader board will be available online at KodakChallenge.com

Challenge holes will be selected in the coming months by a five-member advisory board that includes architect Rees Jones, TV commentator David Feherty, photographer Jules Alexander and CBS Sports' golf producer Lance Barrow. Criteria for selection includes a hole's aesthetic qualities and its ability to foster memorable moments. The total number of holes included in the competition is still to be determined but will be no fewer than 24 and will include holes from tournaments in the tour's fall finish.

Golfers must play a minimum of 18 of the holes to be eligible for the title and prize money. Anyone could really win this, which is another part of its appeal according to Hayzlett. "Players simply have to do what they do best, play."