Els, Couples, Weir join the final field at the American Family Insurance Championship
The 81-player field for the 2021 American Family Insurance Championship is set, with the addition of two World Golf Hall of Famers, Ernie Els and 2017 AmFam Champ winner Fred Couples, and former Masters champion Mike Weir.
The annual PGA TOUR Champions stop at University Ridge golf course begins with first-round play next Friday. The second 18-hole round will be played on Saturday, with the final round on Sunday. Tickets remain available on a per-day basis at www.amfamchampionship.com.
This year’s version of the AmFam Champ will once again feature one of the strongest fields on PGA TOUR Champions.
“The American Family Insurance Championship is back, and we’re primed for another competitive and compelling tournament,” said Nate Pokrass, tournament director.
“We have a field filled with legends of the game and players from across the world, representing 15 countries. And, we have three of the most accomplished PGA TOUR players in Wisconsin history in our player-host Steve Stricker, defending champion Jerry Kelly and Andy North.”
Cejka, Els, Furyk and Weir to make debuts
Els and Weir will play in the event for first time, as will Alex Cejka, who’s won the last two PGA TOUR Champions majors, past U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk and European Ryder Cup veteran Jesper Parnevik. In addition to Stricker and Kelly, other returning players include Couples, Bernhard Langer, who’s leading the season-long Charles Schwab Cup, John Daly, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Vijay Singh. Darren Clarke, who previously entered the field, has withdrawn.
Els, of South Africa, is known worldwide as the “Big Easy” for his seemingly effortless but powerful golf swing. He holds 47 international and 19 PGA TOUR titles, including three majors. He’s also won twice on PGA TOUR Champions since joining the tour last year. He is in second place in the current Charles Schwab Cup race.
Couples thrilled the crowds at the 2017 American Family Championship with his two-stroke win over Scott Verplank. He defended his championship with a third-place finish in 2018. A prominent figure in the game for decades, Couples has won on the PGA TOUR Champions 13 times, along with 15 PGA TOUR victories that include the 1992 Masters and two wins at The PLAYERS Championship.
Weir, of Canada, won his first PGA TOUR Champions title earlier in May at the Insperity Invitational, and ranks 9th in the current Charles Schwab Cup race. His eight PGA TOUR wins include triumphs at the Masters in 2003 and The TOUR Championship in 2001.
Who’s playing in the American Family Insurance Championship?
This year’s field will have all past AmFam Champ winners: Kelly (2019), Scott McCarron (2018), Couples (2017) and Kirk Triplett, who won the inaugural event in 2016. The field will have nine of the top 10 players in this season’s Charles Schwab Cup race, 17 of the top 20 and 36 of the top 40.
The 2021 American Family Insurance Championship field will include:
- Twelve players with PGA TOUR Champions wins during the combined 2020-21 Charles Schwab season (multiple wins are noted parenthesis): Shane Bertsch, Cejka (two), Els (two), Furyk (two), Jimenez (two), Kelly, Langer, Scott Parel, Dicky Pride, Brett Quigley, Stricker and Weir.
- Six members of the World Golf Hall of Fame: Couples, Els, Goosen, Langer, Montgomerie and Singh.
- Sixteen winners of the Masters, U.S. Open, The Open Championship or PGA Championship: Couples, Daly, Els, Furyk, Goosen, Lee Janzen, Langer, Tom Lehman, Shaun Micheel, Larry Mize, Andy North, Corey Pavin, Singh, Jeff Sluman, David Toms and Weir.
- Seven winners of the former Greater Milwaukee Open/U.S. Bank Championship: Jay Haas, Gary Hallberg, Scott Hoch, Billy Mayfair, Pavin, Kenny Perry and Sluman.
- Eight recipients of the Payne Stewart Award, an honor presented annually by the PGA TOUR to a player who best exemplifies Stewart's steadfast values of character, charity and sportsmanship: Els, Furyk, Haas, Langer, Lehman, Perry, Stricker and Toms.
- Twelve players who received invitational sponsor’s exemptions, including North and fellow Wisconsin natives Skip Kendall and Mario Tiziani. Other players receiving exemptions are former Major League Baseball pitcher and Hall of Famer John Smoltz, University of Illinois golf coach Mike Small, Franco, Hallberg, Micheel, Fran Quinn, Jerry Smith, Esteban Toledo, Willie Wood.
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About the American Family Insurance Championship
The American Family Insurance Championship was created in 2016 by American Family Insurance, PGA TOUR Champions and PGA player and Wisconsin native Steve Stricker. Since its inception, the championship and associated events have raised $10.2 million for the American Family Children’s Hospital and other charities. The 2021 championship will be held June 5-13 at the University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information: Web: amfamchampionship.com; Twitter: @AmFamChamp; Facebook: American Family Insurance Championship; Instagram: amfamchampionship #AmFamChamp
About PGA TOUR Champions
PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older, including 34 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Tour’s mission is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back and generate significant charitable and economic impact in tournament communities. Follow PGA TOUR Champions online at www.PGATOUR.com, at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions, on Twitter @ChampionsTour and on Instagram @pgatourchampions.
All events are televised in the United States, with most receiving complete coverage on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable-television partner of PGA TOUR Champions. Tournament programming is available via 25+ TV linear partners in 145+ countries and territories, with 25 channels carrying long-form and/or highlights coverage, and 200+ hours of live coverage distributed in 135+ countries and territories. Programming is also available via the OTT platform GOLFTV powered by PGA TOUR in every market outside of the United States, excluding China and Korea, with live coverage distributed in 130+ countries and territories.
Tournament play begins June 11; tickets still available.