Golf Legend to Make Champions Debut at Hualalai
The PGA TOUR Champions will kick off the 2020 season with the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai on Hawai‘i Island.
World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els, who turned 50 this year, will make his debut at the Four Seasons Resort course during the week of the week of Jan. 13 to Jan. 18, 2020. The West Hawai‘i tournament is unique, not only because it opens the PGA TOUR Champions season, but because the final round is held on Saturday instead of Sunday.
The Tour announced the upcoming tournament schedule last week, which will feature 27 events and culminate with the fifth annual Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs. The Tour will contest tournaments in four foreign countries and 18 states, with total prize money of nearly $59 million, a Tour press release stated.
“Our Tour benefits greatly from the numerous legends who compete each week, as well as the ‘rookies’ who make their debuts, and 2020 will be an incredible year for both,” said PGA TOUR Champions President Miller Brady.
The 2020 season will mark the first year of PGA TOUR Champions eligibility for a number of the game’s biggest names. Also eligible for Tour starts this season, along with Els, is 17-time PGA TOUR winner and 2010 FedExCup Champion Jim Furyk, 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir, 2011 PLAYERS Champion KJ Choi and World Golf Hall of Fame member Phil Mickelson. All will turn 50 within the next year.
“I am looking forward to my first start on PGA TOUR Champions in January at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawai‘i,” said Els. “It will be great to reconnect with all of my friends I grew up competing with, and I know the camaraderie and competition will provide a lot of excitement for our fans.”
Tom Lehman is the defending champion of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.