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Payne's Valley opens at Big Cedar

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Payne's Valley is officially open at Big Cedar Lodge following a matchup featuring Tiger Woods.

Big Cedar spokesperson Janet Glaser said today marks the grand opening for the course designed by Woods' TGR Design.

It's a golf course that's more than three years in the making. Woods visited the Ridgedale resort in early 2017 to announce the course at Johnny Morris' Big Cedar. The 18-hole Payne's Valley has a bonus hole set in a geological feature where players walk through a cavern system to return to the clubhouse, according to a news release.

“Tiger Woods and I have been fishing and golfing friends for 20 years and we have long dreamed of designing and building a truly special experience for golf and conservation right here in the Ozarks,” Morris said in the release. “Payne’s Valley fulfills that dream, and doing it with Tiger in honor of our late friend Payne makes it deeply special to me."

The course is named for Springfield native Payne Stewart, a professional golfer who died in 1999.

Woods on Tuesday partnered with fellow American Justin Thomas to compete against European golfers Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose in what was dubbed the Payne’s Valley Cup. Woods and Thomas were victorious in the match, which raised more than $1 million for the Payne Stewart Family Foundation.

In the release, Woods said he would "cherish" working with Morris on the course.

“It’s all about enjoying the people you work with,” Woods said in the release. “Johnny Morris is an incredible visionary and one of the premier conservationists of our time."

Payne's Valley joins Big Cedar's Buffalo Ridge Springs, Ozarks National, Mountain Top and Top of the Rock golf courses.

The Payne’s Valley Cup was announced last month, around the same time Phil Mickelson won in his first PGA Tour Champions circuit tournament, held at Big Cedar, according to past reporting.


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