SAS Championship Making Changes in 16th Year

Cary, NC – Since the beginning of the 21st Century, the SAS Championship has been a fixture in Cary and this year, the international golf championship will be making a few changes to keep things new and fresh.


Changing Up Games

While the SAS Championship is best known as an event that brings PGA players from around the world to compete here in Cary, they are always trying to grow and expand the event. Chris Vurnakes, senior account executive with Octagon, the athletics marketing firm for the championship, said while the 18 holes are usually split between the sets at Prestonwood County Club, this year they will focus on the updated highlands course.

“It’s the best quality of greens so we’ll be doing all 18 holes there,” Vurnakes said.

The other change is the SAS Championship will allow players to make it into the playoffs for the Charles Schwab Cup.

“Anyone who finishes in the top 10 in our event will have the chance to get into the playoffs,” Vurnakes said.

This “wild card weekend” will allow anyone who has not already qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup in the regular season a chance to make it.

“In terms of football, you can think of it as any team that wins the last game of the season can get into the playoffs regardless of their record,” Vurnakes said.

Tom Lehman, the 2015 SAS Championship winner, just as he sank his winning putt

Tom Lehman, the 2015 SAS Championship winner, just as he sank his winning putt

Helping Community

The SAS Championship raises money for local charities in Cary, with more than $4 million projected to be raised this year.

“It’s a huge emphasis for us,” Vurnakes said.

The donations go to the Y Learning Program, an afterschool program put on by the Cary YMCA to help children who are falling behind in school get tutoring.

“Every year, our donations from the tournament are the largest ones they get,” Vurnakes said.

And as a Cary-based game, the SAS Championships also brings international golf champs and fans right to the area.

“It’s a huge community event for SAS and they love to show off Cary,” Vurnakes said.

The SAS Championship extends from Monday, October 10 with practice and qualifiers to Sunday, October 16, 2016 for the final round. During the week, there will be events such as a food truck round-up on Friday, October 14 and a 5K race and a family health clinic on Saturday, October 15.

“Our week is full of events,” Vurnakes said. “We’re a golf championship but we’ve been trying to expand it. We want to encourage participation from everyone.”

Event Details

Tuesday, October 11 – Pro-Am Qualifiers and Executive Women’s Day

Wednesday, October 12 – Pro-Am Day One

Thursday, October 13 – Pro-Am Day Two and Y Learning Visit

Friday, October 14 – SAS Championship Round One and Food Trucks

Saturday, October 15 – SAS Championship Round Two, 5K and Family Health Clinic

Sunday, October 16 – SAS Championship Final Round.

Check SAS’ website for full events and times.


Story by Michael Papich. Photos by Gabe Roux.