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Limited-field event highlighted by Ernie Els and ten other World Golf Hall of Fame members
KA’UPULEHU-KONA, HAWAII – KA’UPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii – The field is set for next week’s Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, returning to Hualalai Golf Course, January 16-18. This year’s field features 38 of the best PGA TOUR Champions players and will also feature the debut of four-time major champion, Ernie Els. Along with Els, ten other World Golf Hall of Fame members will compete including: Fred Couples, Retief Goosen, Hale Irwin, Bernhard Langer, Davis Love III, Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, Mark O’Meara, Vijay Singh and Tom Watson.
The annual event, which returns to the Big Island for the 24th consecutive year, includes tournament champions from the 2018 and 2019 seasons, winners of PGA TOUR Champions majors since 2015, eight additional invitees based on career PGA TOUR wins and major championship titles, and World Golf Hall of Fame members who played a minimum of eight PGA TOUR Champions events in 2019.
“Once again, the the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai welcomes an elite field of champions and legends with the Aloha spirit,” said Tournament Director Kelly Fliear. “We look forward to greeting each of our 38 players next week and encourage fans to come join us in kicking off the 2020 season and what will undoubtedly be another historic year on PGA TOUR Champions.”
In addition to the eleven World Golf Hall of Fame members in the field are seven players who have won the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai since the event moved to Hualalai Golf Course in 1997: Hale Irwin (2007, 1997), Fred Funk (2008), Tom Watson (2010), Bernhard Langer (2017, 2014, 2009), Miguel Ángel Jiménez (2015), Jerry Kelly (2018) and Tom Lehman (2019).
Throughout the first two rounds of competition at Hualalai in 2019, the front-runner poised to take home the win was Louisiana-native David Toms. Toms entered the third-round with a four-stroke lead ahead of Tom Lehman but slowly lost the advantage as Lehman rallied from behind to win the season-opening event on Saturday. The then 59-year-old Lehman closed with his second straight 7-under 65 for a one-stroke victory.
This year’s field includes three players making their debuts at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. New faces include Doug Barron, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen. Barron entered his rookie season on PGA TOUR Champions in 2019 and went on to win his first title at the DICK’S Sporting Goods Open, just his second start on Tour. Els, who turned 50 in October will make his PGA TOUR Champions debut using one of the eight sponsor exemptions given by Mitsubishi Electric. Goosen joins the field after a break-out season, winning the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS last July and finishing the year ranked No. 3 in the Charles Schwab Cup standings.
Amongst the tournament winners, World Golf Hall of Fame members and newcomers, another category stands out in the field. This year, seven Charles Schwab Cup champions have qualified for the event. The list includes Irwin (2002, ’04), Watson (2003, ’05), Jay Haas (2006, ’08), Langer (2010, ’14, ’15, ’16, ’18), Kenny Perry (2013), Tom Lehman (2011, ’12), Kevin Sutherland (2017) and defending champion, Scott McCarron (2019). The two Charles Schwab Cup champions missing from the field are Loren Roberts and Allen Doyle, who no longer compete regularly on Tour.
The full field of players committed to the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai is listed below:
For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit pgatour.com/mec.
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