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Vijay Singh, Bernhard Langer and Steve Stricker have been announced as the first automatic qualifiers to represent Team International, Team Europe and Team USA in the inaugural playing of the World Champions Cup, the tournament revealed today.
The World Champions Cup is a first-of-its-kind international team golf competition set to make its debut December 7-10, 2023 at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida.
Tickets are now on sale at www.WorldChampionsCup.com. Champions Passes, which allow access to the grounds and various grandstands across the course, start at $40 per day, with prices increasing the week before the tournament.
“We are excited to be able to kick off ticket sales while simultaneously announcing a pair of World Golf Hall of Famers and one of the most clutch players in team golf competition as our three initial automatic qualifiers,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Director of the World Champions Cup. “To have Vijay, Bernhard and Steve join playing captains Ernie Els, Darren Clarke and Jim Furyk as the first six players in our 18-player field shows just how impressive this group will be when they tee it up in the inaugural World Champions Cup. We’re less than 80 days away from the first tee shot being struck, and the buzz is building quickly in Bradenton and around the world.”
World Golf Hall of Famer Els, 2011 Open Champion Clarke and 2003 U.S. Open champion Furyk 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.
Each of the three teams competing in the World Champions Cup will consist of six players, including a playing captain, and all will be active PGA TOUR Champions members. Automatic qualifiers for each team are determined by the top two point-earners in the World Champions Cup Historical Rankings, and the second automatic qualifier for each team will be announced in the coming weeks. Two Chairman’s Selections for each team will be announced soon, and the final spots for Team International, Team Europe and Team USA will be play-in positions based on the year-end Charles Schwab Cup standings.
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 Europe and Team USA 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.
Singh owns 34 career PGA TOUR wins, including the 2000 Masters and PGA Championships in 1998 and 2004. Elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006, the native of Fiji has also won 18 times internationally and owns five PGA TOUR Champions trophies. An eight-time Presidents Cup participant, he won nine times during the 2004 season and spent 32 weeks as World Number 1 from 2004-05.
“I’m looking forward to competing alongside Vijay as we look to bring home the inaugural World Champions Cup trophy for Team International,” Els said. “Having played with and against him for the better part of three decades, I know just how competitive he is, and I expect him to be just as fired up as I am to battle against Team Europe and Team USA in this truly exciting new tournament.”
Langer counts the 1985 and 1993 Masters among his three PGA TOUR victories, and over the past 16 years has established himself as one of the most dominant players in PGA TOUR Champions history. Since turning 50, he has won a remarkable 46 times, including 12 senior major championships. A native of Germany, Langer represented Europe in 10 Ryder Cups from 1981 to 2002. Among his other accomplishments, the 2002 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee was the first World Number 1 when the Official World Golf Ranking debuted in 1986, and he has won tournaments on all six continents where golf is played.
“Having a player of Bernhard’s caliber gives Team Europe a significant leg up heading into the inaugural World Champions Cup,” Clarke said. “When you look at Bernhard’s level of play since joining the Champions Tour, there is no other player I’d want to be my teammate going into battle with the International and U.S. teams.”
Stricker captained the victorious United States teams in the 2021 Ryder Cup and 2017 President Cup, played in the bi-annual events eight times between 1996 and 2013, and will serve as U.S. vice captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup. A 12-time PGA TOUR winner, Stricker has finished top-10 in 13 major championships. Since turning 50, the Wisconsin native has won 16 PGA TOUR Champions titles, including seven senior majors. He has won five times this season and currently leads the Charles Schwab Cup Money List by a wide margin.
“Strick has been a friend of mine and a guy who I have relished competing with and against for years,” Furyk said. “Our experiences in Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups have been extremely meaningful, and getting the chance to add a new chapter to our team play experience with the World Champions Cup is something that I know we are both extremely excited for this December.”
The World Champions Cup is an annual three-team, three-day 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.
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.
ABC and ESPN will serve as the exclusive television homes of the World Champions Cup. Coverage will air Thursday, December 7 and Friday, December 8, as well as Sunday, December 10.The event will also feature a unique pro-am on Saturday, December 9.