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World Champions Cup set to debut Dec. 7-10 at The Concession Golf Club

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World Champions Cup set to debut Dec. 7-10 at The Concession Golf Club

Bringing major champions, Hall of Famers and legends of the game together for a first-of-its-kind international team golf competition



    Written by Staff @ChampionsTour

    Officially sanctioned by PGA TOUR Champions and airing on ABC and ESPN, the inaugural World Champions Cup will feature captains Ernie Els, Jim Furyk and Darren Clarke leading Team International, Team USA and Team Europe in a new annual event that will renew some of golf’s most storied rivalries

    BRADENTON, Fla. – Golf’s global stage will soon add a new legacy event featuring many of the game’s most accomplished players, as sports media and marketing firm Intersport announced the location and dates for the debut of the World Champions Cup, a first-of-its-kind international team golf competition.

    The inaugural World Champions Cup will be contested Dec. 7-10 at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida.

    Inspired by the passion and tradition of the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, the World Champions Cup is officially sanctioned by PGA TOUR Champions and is set to air on ABC and ESPN. The World Champions Cup will feature Team International, Team USA and Team Europe squaring off over three days of competition that will renew some of the game’s most storied rivalries as the teams battle for international pride and global bragging rights.

    World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els, 2003 U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk and 2011 Open Championship winner Darren Clarke will each serve as playing captains for their respective teams of six competitors, all aged 50 and older and members of the PGA TOUR Champions, in the first playing of the World Champions Cup. Seven-time PGA TOUR winner and popular golf commentator Peter Jacobsen will serve as Chairman of the inaugural event.

    “The World Champions Cup is a tremendous addition to the game of golf and the PGA TOUR Champions schedule,” said Miller Brady, President of PGA TOUR Champions. “This competition will give fans a new and unique opportunity to see the game’s greatest stars compete against one another on a global stage. Ernie, Jim and Darren are worldwide ambassadors for golf, and it will be thrilling to watch them and their teammates compete for the chance to win the inaugural World Champions Cup.”

    The World Champions Cup is an annual three-team, three-day match play competition that will be contested across nine-hole matches featuring team formats and singles play, with points being earned for each hole won in each of the event’s 24 matches. The team with the highest point total across all matches will be crowned the champion.

    Each of the teams competing in the World Champions Cup will consist of six players, including the playing captains, and all will be active PGA TOUR Champions members. Automatic invitations for each team will be extended to the top two point-earners in the WCC’s career-based rankings, with two additional positions going to Chairman’s picks. The final spots for Team USA, Team Europe and Team International will be play-in positions based on the year-end Charles Schwab Cup standings.

    “This is a thrilling day for golf fans around the world. The World Champions Cup will become the fourth global ‘Team Major’ on the worldwide golf calendar, joining the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup and Solheim Cup as one of the game’s most prestigious legacy events,” said Charles N. Besser, Chairman and CEO of Intersport. “The Intersport team has worked tirelessly to create, refine and launch this competition, and we are excited for fans of the game to be able to experience it for years to come. The World Champions Cup embodies Intersport’s core of creating events that last decades and providing one-of-a-kind experiences for fans. We’re looking forward to bringing golf’s greatest rivalries to a global stage this December.”

    The Concession Golf Club was named the Best New Private Course in America by Golf Digest in 2006. The seed of what would become The Concession Golf Club was planted in 1969, with Jack Nicklaus’ famous gesture of conceding the final putt in the Ryder Cup to Tony Jacklin, clinching the first tie in the competition’s history. Decades later, the two golf legends paired up to design and create The Concession Golf Club — a championship, privately-owned golf facility with no houses lining the course. The course has hosted the PGA TOUR’s 2021 World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession, the 2015 men’s and women’s NCAA Division I championships and the biennial Concession Cup.

    “The Concession Golf Club is thrilled to host this legacy-defining, global team competition,” said Bruce Cassidy, President of The Concession Golf Club. “The entire Concession membership, staff and I look forward to welcoming the PGA TOUR Champions, Intersport and World Champion Cup teams and families and cementing this event as a staple in golf’s ecosystem for years to come.”

    This event will add to the rich tradition of professional golf in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, which includes the PGA TOUR Champions' American Express Invitational (1996-2000) and the Korn Ferry Tour’s LECOM Suncoast Classic, being contested this week in Lakewood Ranch for the fifth consecutive year.

    ABC and ESPN will serve as the exclusive television homes of the World Champions Cup. Coverage will air Thursday, Dec. 7, and Friday, Dec. 8, as well as Sunday, Dec. 10, with more details to be confirmed at a later date. The event will also feature a unique pro-am on Saturday, Dec. 9.

    Els, a South African native, will captain Team International. The four-time major champion and former World No. 1 was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011. Els touts an impressive resume that includes 19 PGA TOUR victories, three PGA TOUR Champions trophies and 47 international wins. The most significant of his wins are his two U.S. Open titles (1994 and 1997) and his two wins a full decade apart at The Open (2002, 2012). The Big Easy has been a member of eight Presidents Cup teams and captained the International squad in 2019.

    “International team competitions are some of the fondest memories I have from my golfing career,” Els said. “I’ve had the pleasure of competing in golf’s biggest events around the world throughout my career and embrace my position as an ambassador in continuing to grow the game for fans everywhere. It’s a privilege to be named the captain of Team International for the inaugural World Champions Cup, and I look forward to competing along my teammates this December.”

    Furyk will captain Team USA. During his career, Furyk has represented Team USA in seven Presidents Cups, nine Ryder Cups and served as a Ryder Cup captain in 2018. He is a 17-time winner on the PGA TOUR, highlighted by winning the 2003 U.S. Open, and is a three-time winner on PGA TOUR Champions – including the 2021 U.S. Senior Open. Furyk reached a career-high world ranking of second in 2006 and spent 440 weeks ranked in the top 10 from 1999 – 2016. Furyk is also the owner of the lowest round in PGA TOUR history, having shot 58 in the fourth round of the Travelers Championship in 2016.

    “I am honored to lead Team USA onto the global stage that the World Champions Cup represents.” Furyk said. “It has been such a treat being part of Team USA at different stages throughout my career. I look forward to having the chance to captain Team USA and compete against Ernie and Darren, with whom I walked fairways for more than 20 years.”

    Hailing from Dungannon, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, Clarke will captain Team Europe. He is most famous for his 2011 victory at The Open at Royal St. George’s, where he finished three strokes clear of the field. In 2022 Clarke became the fourth player in history to win both The Open Championship and The Senior Open Championship, defeating Pádraig Harrington by one shot at Gleneagles in Scotland. Clarke has played on five Ryder Cup teams and served as captain in 2016 for Team Europe. Clarke’s resume includes victories at two PGA TOUR World Golf Championships events and four PGA TOUR Champions events, as well as 15 international wins.

    “I am overjoyed to represent Team Europe as captain for the inaugural playing of the World Champions Cup,” Clarke said. “I’ve been blessed to be a part of many team competitions all over the world and it is truly an honor to be selected as a captain along with Jim and Ernie, two of golf’s all-time great players. This is truly a first-of-its-kind global team competition and I cannot wait to compete this December.”

    Jacobsen, the Chairman of the inaugural World Champions Cup, is a seven-time PGA TOUR winner, two-time PGA TOUR Champions winner and the 2004 U.S. Senior Open champion. A popular golf media personality for the past two decades, Jacobsen has established himself as one of the great ambassadors of golf.

    “I have spent nearly all of my life playing, watching, talking and loving the game of golf,” Jacobsen said. “After nearly 40 years on the PGA TOUR, it is the honor of a lifetime to have the opportunity to represent something as significant as the World Champions Cup will one day be for golf.”

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