Oklahoma's tribal gaming company Choctaw Casinos & Resorts announced Tuesday it will now become the presenting sponsor of the PGA TOUR’s inaugural ClubCorp Classic after inking a four-year partnership deal.
The event will take place at ClubCorp’s Las Colinas Country Club in Texas, April 19-24, and will feature the best on the PGA TOUR Champions playing together with sports and entertainment celebrities in separate competitions, as well as an unprecedented amateur match.
As presenting sponsor of the annual PGA TOUR Champions event, Choctaw Casinos & Resorts "brings its status as a premier entertainment venue to the tournament with fan enhancements on-and-off-site promotional activations and dedicated charitable efforts benefitting local organizations," ClubCorp stated.
The ClubCorp Classic will feature 78 PGA TOUR Champions professionals and 50 sports and entertainment stars, who will play 54 holes of stroke play for a purse of $2 million, along with the celebrities in a separate $500,000 competition utilizing a modified Stableford scoring format.
Among the celebrities confirmed is Annika Sorenstam, World Golf Hall of Fame member and 72-time LPGA winner who will be competing against the celebrities. Joining her are 11-time MLB All-Star Pitcher Roger Clemens, Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown, MLB Network Analyst and 12-year MLB standout Kevin Millar, as well as stars of the music and entertainment world with Larry the Cable Guy, Brian Baumgartner, and Colt Ford.
Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas.
A group of amateur ClubCorp members will compete in a qualifying system that includes regional and national events to earn a spot alongside the stars during the official tournament rounds to play in their own modified stableford, low gross and low net format. The celebrities, amateurs and professionals will be paired together all three days of competition with all three rounds to be telecast on GOLF Channel.
The tournament will also highlight ClubCorp’s Gateway Program with First Tee, which opens the doors of ClubCorp private clubs to First Tee junior golf participants with a focus on growing diversity within ClubCorp clubs and throughout the golf industry. The program provides participants with junior golf memberships use of the practice areas and the opportunity to compete in events.
In an official press release, David Pillsbury, CEO of ClubCorp, spoke about this new alliance and said: “The ClubCorp Classic presented by Choctaw Casinos & Resorts will deliver world-class competition, top-tier celebrities and entertainment alongside the best in hospitality, making this partnership a perfect fit. Choctaw Casinos & Resorts is well-known throughout our region for the important role they play in entertainment, their high-end level of hospitality and attention to detail as well as the work they do in the community. They are an ideal partner in the launch and growth of this spectacular event.”
Choctaw Casinos & Resorts are owned and operated by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the third largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 200,000 tribal members and 10,000 employees. Choctaw Casinos & Resorts features a variety of gaming, hotel and resort properties throughout southeastern Oklahoma.
Janie Dillard, Senior Executive Office for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, added: “We are thrilled to partner with the ClubCorp Classic and the PGA TOUR Champions as both organizations share a culture centered around respect, innovation and entertainment. We look forward to connecting with both fans and players in fun and unique ways to not only help grow the event but to maximize the charitable impact for the community.”