NEWPORT BEACH, CA The Hoag Classic begins Friday at Newport Beach Country Club, a year after the PGA Tour Champions tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Coming here to Newport Beach Country Club and the area, seeing things return to normal, it’s wonderful,” said Ernie Els, the 2020 tournament champion.
Els is one of eight members of the World Golf Hall of Fame in the 80-player group, along with Fred Couples, Retief Goosen, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, Jose Maria Olazabal and Vijay Singh.
Miguel Angel Jiménez won two of the first three tournaments of the season on the circuit for players 50 and over, including the Cologuard Classic, which ended Sunday in Tucson, Arizona. The 58-year-old Spaniard is the first player since Loren Roberts in 2006 to win two of the first three PGA Tour Champions events of the season.
Langer is the other tour winner this season, winning the Chubb Classic which ended Feb. 20 in Naples, Florida.
Tickets are $30 and children 11 and under get free admission. All ticket sales are made online at HoagClassic.com/tickets.
Saturday is Military Appreciation Day, with all active duty, military reserve, National Guard, military retirees and veterans and one guest each receiving free admission with food and drink.
After the game at 4 p.m., six names will be added to the Colonel Norman G. Ewers Military Wall of Honor, named after the late Marine Corps Airman who served in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Sunday is student day with free admission for participants 18 and under.
The tournament will be televised by Golf Channel from 3-5 p.m. Friday, 2-4 p.m. Saturday and 1:30-4 p.m. Sunday.
The tournament purse increased to $2 million from $1.8 million in 2020. The winner will receive $300,000, $30,000 more than the $270,000 Els received for winning in 2020.
Net proceeds from the tournament will benefit the programs and services of Hoag, an Orange County nonprofit regional healthcare delivery network, including the Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center, as well as several military charities. .
The tournament has raised over $20 million for Hoag’s program and services, as well as other local charities in its history. It has been played every year since 1995, except for 2017 and 2021.
city news service