Supporting Southern Arizona Sports for 60 Years.
If the late Roy P. Drachman – Tucson Conquistadores founding father – could see the fruits of his labor, no doubt, he would be overjoyed. As a humble recipient of their generosity for decades, we’re especially grateful twice a year when the JGAA passes through the Old Pueblo.
The 2022 Tucson Conquistadores Spring Classic teed off for the 28th time in early April at Silverbell and El Rio Golf Courses, and the Tucson City Junior is right around the corner in early June.
“Our goal of serving junior golfers across the state is both shared and enhanced by the Tucson Conquistadores,” said Scott McNevin, executive director of the JGAA. “I look back at all of their support – even in the relatively short time I’ve been with the JGAA – and I realize they’ve been doing this since 1962. We’re all amazed and deeply grateful for everything they do.”
From the beginning, Drachman wanted their involvement to be anything but ceremonial: “we’ll definitely be a working organization, not honorary,” he said, according to Arizona Daily Star reporting at the time. With 41 local business professionals in tow, they set out to provide “extra-curricular support of deserving athletes as well as other community sporting events.”
In 1966 the Conquistadores launched the Tucson Open, a PGA TOUR event that continued raising millions for youth programs through 2006. The Conquistadores led the host team for the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, held at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain 2007 through 2014. They seized on this opportunity – featuring top 64 golfers in the world – to raise record levels of funds for Southern Arizona youth. Televised in 140 countries, the tournament also enhanced Tucson’s profile as a premier golf destination.
Today, the Conquistadores host the Cologuard Classic, which features 80 player competing for a $1.8 million purse, with $270,000 and 255 Charles Schwab Cup points on the line. This PGA TOUR Champions tournament includes three days of competition (Friday-Sunday) with tournament proceeds benefitting youth athletic programs in Southern Arizona, including The First Tee – Tucson, as well as colorectal cancer research and advocacy. Since their inception in 1962, the Conquistadores have contributed nearly $37 million to local and national charities.
After 60 years, there’s no sign of slowing down for the Tucson Conquistadores. Instead, it appear these stalwart supporters of Arizona golf will be “tending the flag” in the Old Pueblo for decades to come.