The ACE Group Classic Adds Naples Notables, Hall of Famers to 2012 Field
January 25, 2012
NAPLES, FL (JAN. 24, 2012) - Following last week's commitment of 2011 ACE Group Classic champion Bernhard Langer, eight notable Champions Tour players have joined The ACE Group Classic field. Naples-area residents Peter Jacobsen and Fuzzy Zoeller will join Hall of Famers Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Nick Price, Curtis Strange and Larry Nelson at the 25th anniversary of The ACE Group Classic at The TwinEagles Club in Naples, taking place February 13 - 19. In addition, the tournament received a commitment from Dan Forsman who won the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship on Sunday.
"We are thrilled to announce the additions of some of golf's living legends and greatest personalities to our field," tournament director Lesley Baker said. "The Champions Tour is recognized for its fan friendliness, and these golfers are some of the best of the bunch."
Jacobsen and Zoeller are two of golf's greatest entertainers. Bonita Springs resident Jacobsen is a seven-time winner on the PGA TOUR and two-time major champion on the Champions Tour. He is one of golf's leading ambassadors and currently serves as an ambassador role to The First Tee of Naples/Collier, The ACE Group Classic's host charity.
Zoeller, an honorary member at Naples National, is revered for his determination to make everyone from tournament partners to volunteers and spectators feel noticed and welcomed. Zoeller's attitude does not outweigh his achievements, though. He has won two Champions Tour titles and is a 10-time PGA TOUR winner, including the 1979 Masters and 1984 US Open champion.
Irwin, the 1997 and 2002 ACE Group Classic champion, will compete for the 13th time and is the tournament's all-time leading money earner. He is also the Champion Tour's all-time victory leader with 45 wins. A 1992 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee and three-time U.S. Open champion, Irwin was the Champions Tour's Player of the Year in 1997, 1998 and 2002.
A 2004 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee, Kite owns 19 PGA TOUR titles, 10 Champions Tour victories and the 1972 NCAA Individual Championship trophy while at the University of Texas. This will be his 11th appearance at The ACE Group Classic.
Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003, Price captured three major championships including back-to-back majors at the 1994 British Open and PGA Championship. A native of South Africa, Price has posted four victories on the Champions Tour, most recently at the 2011 Toshiba Classic. In 2011, he finished in the top-10 on both the Champions Tour Money List and the Charles Schwab Cup. Price finished T3 in 2011 at the ACE Group Classic.
Strange captured 16 PGA Tour titles in the 1980s and became the first player to surpass $1 million in a season. He was the first person since Ben Hogan (1950-51) to win back-to-back U.S. Open titles in 1988 and 1989. Strange was inducted to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2007.
Nelson, a two-time PGA Championship winner (1981, 1987) and the 1983 U.S. Open champion, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006. Since joining the Champions Tour in 1997, Nelson has won 19 events.
Forsman overcame windy conditions during the final round in Hawaii to beat Jay Don Blake by two strokes and earn his third career Champions Tour title.
For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.acegroupclassic.com or call (239) 593-3900.