Industry News

Grand Canyon’s Mueller wins Southwest PGA

Maricopa, Ariz. (September 18, 2017) – Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club recently hosted the 60th Annual PING Southwest PGA Championship – a battle of the top PGA golf professionals in the Southwest Section. Grand Canyon University Golf Course Director of Golf Jesse Mueller, who was playing in his first Southwest PGA Championship, captured the title by two strokes (-15, 201) over Dennis Downs of Reid/West Golf Academy (-13, 203).  

“I rate this as a 10 out of 10,” said Mueller. “My first Section Championship and I get a win, which you don’t get to win that often in golf. It’s something I don’t take for granted, especially since I don’t play that much anymore. I’ll cherish this forever because you don’t know when you’re going to get a chance to win a big tournament like this. It was an awesome experience all the way around.”

For winning the Southwest PGA Championship title Mueller earned $7,000 and an exemption into the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open, scheduled to take place February 1-4 at TPC Scottsdale. 

“The victory and the Phoenix Open exemption hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Mueller. “I can’t wait to play in it as it’s such an awesome event and with me growing up here in the Valley I have been there a ton of times over the years. Being able to play in it is going to be an awesome experience.”

The Waste Management Phoenix Open won’t be the first large event Mueller has competed in. He qualified for the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif., where he finished tied for 51st place. As a new member of the Southwest PGA, Mueller looks forward to playing with some of the top players in the country in member events.

Downs’ final-round 64 was tied as the low round for the Championship with Preston Otte, 37, PGA Head Golf Professional at the Highlands at Dove Mountain, who also carded a 64 in the final round that included six birdies and an eagle on the par-4 14th hole. Otte finished tied for seventh place.

“Ak-Chin Southern Dunes is proud to host many championship level events,” said Brady Wilson, general manager, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club. “From U.S. Open qualifying and collegiate events, to Tour qualifying and the PING Southwest PGA Section Championship, we’re honored to continue the tradition. Congratulations to Jesse and to the Southwest Section of the PGA for an exciting event and tremendous display of scoring.”

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, a Troon Golf-managed facility, hosts and hosted numerous high-profile amateur and professional tournaments, including The Saguaro Amateur Championship in early January, the Southwest Section PGA Championship, Arizona Golf Association Amateur Championships, and U.S. Open qualifying events.

For more information on Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, call 480-367-8949 or visit

About Ak-Chin Southern Dunes

The Ak-Chin Indian Community, which owns the nearby Harrah's Ak-Chin Casi no and the UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle, has brought together championship-style golf and world-class gaming and entertainment. Gaming and golf packages are now available through Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, creating a truly exciting and multi-faceted destination, pleasing to a wide range of visitors. The course sits on 320 acres of land that was once a part of the Ak-Chin's original May 1912 reservation before it was removed by Presidential Executive Order in late 1912. Nearly 100 years later in 2010, the Community recovered its sacred land when they purchased Ak-Chin Southern Dunes after it was originally developed as a private club. The course currently boasts several coveted accolades that include Golfweek’s list of the “Top 100 Resort Courses,” “Best Courses You Can Play,” and “Top Casino Courses,” as well as Golf Magazine’s list of “Top 100 Courses You Can Play.”

About Troon 

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon is the world’s largest golf management company, with more than 270 golf courses in its portfolio. Troon also specializes in homeowner association management, private residence clubs, estate management and associated hospitality venues. Troon’s award-winning food and beverage division operates and manages more than 150 restaurants located at golf resorts, private clubs, daily fee golf courses and recreational facilities around the world. The company oversees operations at Troon Golf, Honours Golf, Troon Privé (the private club operating division of Troon) and Troon International with properties located in 36 states and 31 countries. Additionally, there are 57 Troon affiliated properties featuring 79 courses that have been recipients of a “Top 100” ranking by national and international publications. Troon properties include Lake of Isles Golf Club in North Stonington, Connecticut; Kapalua on Maui, Hawaii; Mauna Lani Resort on the Kohala Coast on Hawaii; The Centurion Club in London, England; Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples in Florida; Els Club Desaru Coast in Malaysia; and Palmilla Golf Club in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. For additional news and information, visit

About The Southwest Section PGA

The Southwest Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in Arizona and Southern Nevada who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Southwest PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, junior golf programs and events, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With 1239 members and apprentices, the Southwest PGA is the fifth largest of the 41 regional entities or Sections that comprise the PGA of America.  For more information about the Southwest PGA, please visit