CALGARY -- Three names etched on the coveted Claret Jug – Mark O’Meara, Tom Lehman and Mark Calcavecchia – have all booked their tickets to Calgary to compete in the inaugural Shaw Charity Classic, the newest Champions Tour event confirmed on Wednesday.
O’Meara won the Open in 1998 at Royal Birkdale, Lehman hoisted the Claret Jug in 1996 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, while Calcavecchia celebrated his only major championship title at Royal Troon in 1989. All three players competed last week at Murfield with O’Meara and Lehman making the cut. The trio of Champions Tour stars will tee it up again this week at the Senior British Open at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club. Fred Couples, who also confirmed his intent to play in Calgary this summer, is the defending champion of the Senior British Open.
“The Shaw Charity Classic is committed to attracting the biggest names on the Champions Tour to Calgary, and these three players certainly support that mission,” said Sean Van Kesteren, tournament director, Shaw Charity Classic. “Not only do Mark, Tom and Mark bring four major championship titles with them to Calgary, but they are also among the most respected players both on and off the course. As they proved last week, they can still play at a very high level. We are thrilled to be able to host them in Calgary this summer.”
A two-time major winner (1998 Masters Tournament and 1998 British Open), O’Meara pulled golf fans off their seats last week after firing an opening-round 67, and put his name near the top of the leaderboard. One of the most popular figures in international golf, O’Meara is a winner of 16 victories on the PGA TOUR including five times at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the 1995 Canadian Open, O’Meara has won twice since joining the Champions Tour in 2007, including one major in 2010 – the Senior Players Championship.
“I’ve been to Calgary before. I remember doing an exhibition there years ago. It’s a wonderful place, an incredible city. I love the Rockies. It’s got similarities to Denver, but even nicer than Denver,” said O’Meara. “I know all the players are excited to have the opportunity to come there and play. We know the fans there will come out and support us there in Calgary. The weather there is always good and it’s a beautiful place.”
The only player to win Player-of-the-Year on all three PGA Tours: Web.com; PGA TOUR; and Champions Tour, Lehman won five times on the PGA TOUR. The highlight of his career came in 1996 when he followed up his British Open victory with a win at the TOUR Championship. Ranked number one on the official World Golf Rankings for a brief stint in 1997, Lehman has continued to find his way into the winner’s circle since joining the Champions Tour. He has won seven times on the senior circuit including his three majors coming in 2010 at the Senior Players Championship, and 2011 and 2012 Regions Tradition wins.
“I am thrilled to be playing in Calgary this year. I haven’t spent much time there, but everything I know about the city is that it’s an amazing place,” said Lehman following a practice round at the Senior British Open. “People there are wonderful and everyone already knows that even though it’s a first-year tournament, it will be one of the best events of the year.”
One of the most colorful characters on the Champions Tour, Calcavecchia won 13 times on the PGA TOUR. A four-time member of the U.S.A. Ryder Cup Team, Calcavecchia has a special place in his heart for Canada. In addition to winning the 2005 Canadian Open and the 1997 Greater Vancouver Open, one of his two Champions Tour victories came in 2012 at the Montreal Championship.
“I’ve never been to Calgary before so I’m looking forward to it. Canada’s been a good country for me over the years. I know all of our players are really excited about going there,” added Calcavecchia.
The three major winners join a star-studded field taking shape in Calgary that also includes: Fred Couples, Kenny Perry, Steve Elkington, John Cook, and Canadian golf icon Dave Barr.
Tickets for the Shaw Charity Classic are available online at www.shawcharityclassic.com. Youth 17 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult.