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Archive for June 17th, 2020

NASCAR announces Landmark Award and 2021 Hall of Fame Class

Earnhardt Jr., Farmer, Stefanik make up first three-person class

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 16, 2020) – NASCAR announced today the inductees who will comprise the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2021. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Red Farmer and Mike Stefanik make up the Hall of Fame’s 12th class, and first with three members. In addition, Ralph Seagraves was named as the recipient of the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.

 

As a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met virtually to debate and vote upon the 15 nominees for the induction class of 2021 and the five nominees for the Landmark Award. The group also became the first to vote on two different Hall of Fame ballots.

 

Ten nominees appeared on the Modern Era ballot, which was selected by the traditional Nominating Committee. The same committee selected the five Landmark Award nominees. The Pioneer ballot, which included five nominees whose careers began in 1961 or earlier, was selected by a new Honors Committee. Beginning with the Class of 2021, each Hall of Fame class will feature two inductees from the Modern Era ballot and one from the Pioneer ballot.

 

Earnhardt Jr. received 76% of the Modern Era ballot votes, Stefanik received 49%. Ricky Rudd finished third, followed by Neil Bonnett. Red Farmer received 71% of the Pioneer ballot votes. Hershel McGriff finished second.

 

Each class is selected by the Voting Panel, which expanded to 65 members this year. They include representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders, the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion (Kyle Busch) and a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com. Seven new voters from the Honors Committee – Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick, Ron Hornaday Jr., Dale Jarrett, Roger Penske, Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace – participated for the first time. In all, 63 votes were cast. The accounting firm of EY presided over the tabulation of the votes.

 

Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote were Neil Bonnett, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Red Farmer.

 

In addition to Earnhardt Jr. and Stefanik, the other Modern Era ballot nominees included Neil Bonnett, Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Harry Gant, Harry Hyde, Larry Phillips, Ricky Rudd and Kirk Shelmerdine. The other Pioneer ballot nominees were Jake Elder, Banjo Matthews, Hershel McGriff and Ralph Moody.

 

Nominees for the Landmark Award included Janet Guthrie, Alvin Hawkins, Mike Helton and Dr. Joe Mattiolli.

Class of 2021 Inductees:

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., a third-generation NASCAR champion in a family synonymous with the sport, is perhaps the most popular driver in NASCAR history. The son of “The Intimidator,” Earnhardt Jr. made his own path and served as the face of NASCAR as 15-time Most Popular Driver. He began his career at family-owned Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) winning back-to-back Xfinity Series titles and 13 races in two full-time seasons. He quickly moved to the Cup Series where he won in his 12th career start. Like his father, Earnhardt Jr. was a master of the draft and thrived in restrictor plate racing. Ten of his 26 Cup victories came at Daytona and Talladega, including Daytona 500 wins in 2004 and 2014. In 2006, Earnhardt founded JR Motorsports, adding team owner to his resume. The team has three Xfinity Series championships and 47 wins. Earnhardt currently serves as an analyst for NBC Sports and hosts the popular podcast ‘Dale Jr Download.’

Red Farmer

Red Farmer’s career is one long series of immeasurable accolades. For instance, it’s entirely unknown just how many wins Farmer has. One thing is for sure: it’s a lot … somewhere north of 700. His passion for the sport is likewise immeasurable. After all, he continues to race, even as he approaches 90 years of age. But the record books do have a few things that are black-and-white and proof positive about this member of the Alabama Gang. He collected three consecutive championships in NASCAR’s Late Model Sportsman division from 1969-71, long after he won the Modified title in 1956. Though he preferred racing in the Late Model Sportsman division, Farmer did run 36 Cup Series races, with a best finish of fourth (twice). In 1998, Farmer’s many successes – clearly too many to officially count – landed him on the list of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.

 

Mike Stefanik

At the very top of the list of all-time NASCAR championships sit two men: NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans … and Mike Stefanik. Each tallied nine in their exemplary careers, with Stefanik’s coming in both the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR East Series. Seven of his titles came in his primary racing series – the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. In 2003, he was named one of the Tour’s 10 Greatest Drivers, an obvious choice if there ever was one – Stefanik holds the all-time series record in championships, wins, poles, top fives and top 10s. Stefanik won two championships consecutively in the NASCAR East Series, in 1997-98. That, along with a win total that ties for ninth on the all-time series wins list, earned him a spot on the Top 10 Drivers of the First 25 Years of the NASCAR East Series list in 2011. In addition, Stefanik spent one full-time season in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor & RV Truck Series – and it was a successful one. He captured the Rookie of the Year Award in 1999.

Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR:

Ralph Seagraves

Ralph Seagraves’ life – and NASCAR’s world – changed the moment he met NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson. In the late 1960s, Seagraves, an official with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, had been searching for a means to market cigarettes after the federal government banned RJR’s products from advertising on television and radio. Johnson, ever the entrepreneur, had an idea. How about RJR sponsor his cars? Seagraves had a bigger idea: Why not sponsor NASCAR’s top series? And so, in 1971, for the first time since its inception in 1949, NASCAR’s premier series had major corporate backing. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series was born. The partnership helped NASCAR launch into the national spotlight, and created a bedrock of stability for the next three decades. RJR’s Winston brand sponsored NASCAR’s top series for more than 30 years, ending in 2003. Under Seagraves leadership, RJR helped a number of race track operators refurbish their facilities, many of which were short tracks that ran developmental NASCAR Winston Racing Series races.

About NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, Americrown Service and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).

About the NASCAR Hall of Fame

Located in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive, entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The high-tech venue, designed to educate and entertain race fans and non-fans alike, includes artifacts, hands-on exhibits, a 278-person state-of-the-art theater, Hall of Honor, Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, NASCAR Hall of Fame Gear Shop and NASCAR Productions-operated broadcast studio. Opened on May 11, 2010, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is owned by the City of Charlotte, licensed by NASCAR and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. For more information, visit nascarhall.com.

NASCAR Hall of Fame Museum 2012 photo by Groupuscule - Own work via wikipedia commons

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF NASCAR INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS

 

2020 Western & Southern Open moves from Cincinnati to New York

CINCINNATI (JUNE 17, 2020) – Due to circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Western & Southern Open will be held in New York City at the USTA’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in 2020 and will now take place Aug. 20-28.
The ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 event will be the first combined tournament hosting players from both circuits at a single venue since the tours suspended play in early March. The Western & Southern Open had originally been scheduled to take place Aug. 15-23 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.
Each Western & Southern Open draw will include 56 players in main draw singles, 32 teams in doubles and a qualifying field of 48 players. The entry guidelines and the deadline for player entries will be determined in conjunction with the WTA and ATP Tour in the coming weeks and will be announced at a later date. Spectators will not be permitted at the tournament.
“The international nature of tennis is one of its greatest assets. However, this international aspect also creates challenges in restarting the tour seasons,” said Western & Southern Open COO Katie Haas. “Last year, we hosted players representing 47 nations at the Western & Southern Open. With continued restrictions on international travel and quarantine guidelines, hosting multiple tournaments in a controlled environment with shared testing and medical resources at the National Tennis Center provides us the best chance to safely resume play for a combined event that is the size, scope and stature of the Western & Southern Open.
“While we will miss welcoming our fans and the players to Cincinnati, we are privileged to be the first tournament to bring both tours together for a combined event.”
The Western & Southern Open will utilize Grandstand Court at the National Tennis Center as its primary show court, with match play occurring on other outside courts. The US Open will follow the W&S Open at the facility and begin on Aug. 31.
“We will work with our partners at the USTA as well as both tours to stage the tournament in New York this year,” Haas said. “We will then quickly turn our attention to making preparations to welcome all our fans and the players back to Cincinnati for the Western & Southern Open in 2021.”
Patrons holding tickets for the 2020 tournament that were purchased directly from Western & Southern Open or Ticketmaster are eligible for a full refund. In addition, the holders of certain categories of tickets will be given an option to retain their seats for 2021. Full details on our 2020 ticket policy can be found at wsopen.com/2020. ;
This will mark the fifth time since the tournament began in 1899 that it has not been held in the Cincinnati area. Indianapolis hosted the event in 1914, 1917 and 1919, and in 1920 the tournament was held in Fort Wayne, Ind.
The 2021 Western & Southern Open is scheduled to take place Aug. 14-22, 2021 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.
About the Western & Southern Open
The Western & Southern Open takes place at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, 20 miles north of Cincinnati in Mason, Ohio. The tournament is one of the prestigious ATP Masters 1000 events on the men’s tour and a Premier 5 event for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). The W&S Open is the largest annual summer sporting event in the US Midwest, hosting fans from all 50 states and more than 35 countries with more than 50 million global viewers in more than 160 countries. The tournament is also one of the last stops on the US Open Series before the US Open in New York. Since 1974, the tournament has contributed more than $11 million to various beneficiaries including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the Barrett Cancer Center and Tennis for City Youth. For more information, visit www.wsopen.com.
About the US Open Series
Entering its 17th season in 2020, the world’s best players on the WTA and ATP Tour are coming together for the US Open Series. Linking eight summer WTA and ATP Tour tournaments to the US Open, the US Open Series serves as a true “regular season” of summer tennis in North America. Featuring a cohesive schedule, the Series centralizes the way tennis is viewed in North America, across multiple television and digital platforms. Fans will see today’s top champions go head-to-head with tomorrow’s emerging stars, as storylines develop throughout the summer season. Each tournament also engages its local community with a variety of outreach initiatives, including grass-roots youth tennis clinics and activities.
About the WTA
Founded by Billie Jean King in 1973 on the principle of equal opportunity for women in sports, the WTA is the global leader in women’s professional sport with more than 1,650 players representing 84 nations competing for a record $180 million in prize money. In 2019, the WTA was watched by a record-breaking global audience of 700 million. The 2020 WTA season includes 55 events and four Grand Slams in 29 countries and regions. The season culminates with the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, offering a $14 million total prize purse and honoring the season’s top singles and doubles players. Further information on the WTA can be found at www.wtatennis.com.
About the ATP
The ATP is the governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuits – the ATP Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 64 tournaments in 30 countries, the ATP Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the 2020 ATP Tour will battle for prestigious titles and ATP Rankings points at ATP Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, as well as Grand Slams (non ATP events). The 2020 season launched in January with the inaugural ATP Cup and will culminate with only the world’s top 8 qualified singles players and doubles teams competing for the last title of the season at the Nitto ATP Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event will officially crown the 2020 ATP Tour No. 1. For more information, please visit www.ATPTour.com.
Western & Southern Open | 250 East Fifth Street, Suite 1310, Cincinnati, OH 45202
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF WESTERN& SOUTHERN COMMUNICATIONS

2020 Memorial Honorees: Nick Price, the late Gene Littler and Ted Ray

Nick Price, professional golfer, photographed by Mike F. Campbell at the Bell Canadian Open in 1994, Glen Abbey, Oakville, Ontario, Canada', CC BY 2.5, https commons.wikimedia.org

Gene Littler National Open 1st Round Tie Press Photo 1959 photo By Unknown (Associated Press), Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Ted Ray 1920 photo By Agence Rol - Bibliothèque nationale de France, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org

Dublin, Ohio – The Captains Club today announced that three-time major championship winner and World Golf Hall of Famer Nick Price has been selected the Honoree for the 45th Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, scheduled for July 13-19, 2020. Fellow Hall of Famer Gene Littler and golf pioneer Ted Ray were selected to be honored posthumously.
Between 1992 and 1994, Price won 16 of the 54 tournaments he played in worldwide, the victories including three major championships and the 1993 PLAYERS Championship. During that zenith, Price won the PGA TOUR and PGA of America Player of the Year Awards twice each, and was the PGA TOUR’s leading money winner two times. In all, he won 18 times on the PGA TOUR to go with 24 international victories.
“For a period of time—six or seven years in the 1990s—Nick Price was the best player in the world,” said Jack Nicklaus, founder and host of the Memorial Tournament. “If you look at just that stretch from 1992 to 1994, what he achieved was fantastic. The 16 wins, three major-championship titles, and over 40 straight weeks ranked No. 1 in the world. Nick’s game was very efficient, and he was long off the tee—long and straight.
“More important, Nick Price always gave of himself, to the game and to people. He was always known for being incredibly kind and congenial, and someone everybody liked. Nick has a great family, has always handled himself beautifully, and he has represented the game and himself well. From promoting the game worldwide to his commitment as a three-time Presidents Cup captain, Nick Price has contributed and given back to the game for a very long time. I am delighted the Captains Club selected Nick as the 2020 Memorial Tournament Honoree, and look forward to having him back to Muirfield Village Golf Club.”
“This is such an incredible honor,” said Price, 62. “When I received the call from Jack I nearly fell on the floor. Obviously, this is a huge thing for me, especially when Jack has been one of my idols for so long. For my generation, Jack was the epitome of what we all wanted to be as golfers, and we just revered and idolized the guy. So, to be the Honoree at his Tournament next year is so special that it’s hard to put into words.”
Born in Durban, South Africa, on Jan. 28, 1957, Price was the youngest of three brothers. The family soon moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where at age 8 Price got his start in the game caddying for his older brother. Soon after, he began hitting plastic balls toward a series of tomato cans that were buried in neighborhood lawns. Price remembers playing as many as 144 holes a day in mock tournaments with his friends for a garden variety version of The Open Championship.
In 1974, at age 17, he won the Optimist Junior World at Torrey Pines in San Diego. “I had no idea what I’d done,” he said. “But I knew right then I wanted to make golf my life.”
In 1978, Price joined the European Tour. Although he would win the 1980 Swiss Open, his largely self-taught swing was not suited to the rigors of professional golf. Searching for an answer, Price in 1982 began working with childhood friend David Leadbetter, who had become a teaching professional in America. Six months later, Price stood on the 13th tee at Troon leading the final round of The Open Championship by three strokes. Although he lost to Tom Watson by one, Price remembers being disappointed but not discouraged.
The very next year he won the World Series of Golf at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. The resulting 10-year exemption gave Price the time to indulge his passion, perfecting the golf swing. Although he nearly won The Open Championship again in 1988, losing by one stroke to Seve Ballesteros, Price was gaining a reputation as a competitive threat in the game, yet not always closing. Eight years passed until he recorded his second PGA TOUR win in the 1991 GTE Byron Nelson Classic.
In 1992, he won his first major title, the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis. THE PLAYERS Championship and three other titles followed in 1993, setting the stage for his greatest year, 1994, when he rose to No. 1 in the world and held the top spot for 44 weeks.
At The Open at Turnberry, in Scotland, Price trailed Jesper Parnevik by three strokes when he birdied the 16th hole and eagled the 17th hole with a downhill 50-foot putt. When Parnevik bogeyed the 72nd hole, Price’s name was engraved on the Claret Jug.
It was Price’s most emotional triumph, but the victory he captured three weeks later at the PGA Championship makes him the proudest. Masterfully negotiating the tight doglegs and confounding targets at Southern Hills, in Tulsa, Okla., Price achieved shot-making virtuosity that ranked with the best of his golf idol, Ben Hogan. He opened with a 67 and was never challenged, eventually winning by six strokes.
“I’d always dreamed of playing that way, and I finally did it at Southern Hills,” Price said. “It was what my journey was all about.”
A three-time captain of the International Team in the Presidents Cup, including 2013 at Muirfield Village Golf Club, Price was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003. The Hobe Sound, Fla., resident currently is in his second year serving on the U.S. Golf Association executive committee.
He and his wife Sue have three children: Gregory, Robyn and Kimberly.
Number of Wins by Tour

  • PGA TOUR: ???18
  • Japan Golf Tour:??? 1
  • PGA TOUR Champions:?? 4
  • Other:???? 20

Best Results in Major Championships

  • Masters Tournament: ?? 5th (1986)
  • S. Open:??? 4th (1992, 1998)
  • The Open Championship:? Won (1994)
  • PGA Championship: ?? Won (1992, 1994)

Achievements and Awards

  • PGA Player of the Year 1993, 1994
  • PGA Tour Player of the Year 1993, 1994
  • PGA Tour leading money winner 1993, 1994
  • Vardon Trophy                                         1993, 1997
  • Byron Nelson Award 1997
  • World Golf Hall of Fame 2003
  • Payne Stewart Award 2002
  • Bob Jones Award 2005
  • Old Tom Morris Award 2011
  • Presidents Cup captain 2013, 2015, 2017

 

Gene Littler and Ted Ray

 

Gene Littler

A World Golf Hall of Fame inductee in 1990, Littler captured 29 PGA TOUR titles, including the 1961 U.S. Open, was a stalwart in the Ryder Cup across two decades, and was a dominant force in the early years of the PGA TOUR Champions. Only once during the quarter century from 1954 to 1979 did he finish out of the top 60 on the money list on the PGA TOUR, and that was in 1972 when he was sidelined by surgery to remove a cancerous lymph node. Littler bounced back to win three tournaments and finish fifth on the money list in 1975 at the age of 45, and two years later he won again at 47.
Littler was born in San Diego, Calif., in 1930 and first attracted national notice at the age of 23, when he sank an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th green at the Oklahoma Country Club to win the U.S. Amateur Championship, 1 up, over Dale Morey. Four months later, Littler won the San Diego Open as an amateur, and two days after that, he turned pro. The following year he won four times, earning the nickname “Gene the Machine” for his remarkably consistent ball striking. In 1980, Littler became eligible for the PGA TOUR Champions and proceeded to win three of his first five tournaments.

 

Born: July 21, 1930 (San Diego, Calif.)

Died:  February 15, 2019 (San Diego; age 88)
Number of Wins by Tour

  • PGA TOUR: 29
  • Japan Golf Tour: 2
  • PGA TOUR Champions: 8
  • Other: 13

Best Results in Major Championships

  • Masters Tournament: 2nd (1970)
  • S. Open: Won (1961)
  • The Open Championship: T-18th (1974)
  • PGA Championship: 2nd (1977)

Achievements and Awards

  • S. Amateur champion 1953
  • Bob Jones Award 1973
  • World Golf Hall of Fame 1990

 

Ted Ray

With a career in golf that began at the age of 17 as club maker, England’s Ted Ray went on to enjoy a remarkable tournament career highlighted by his outstanding performance in golf’s major championships.  He won the    Open Championship at Muirfield in 1912, leading after every round, finishing four strokes ahead of Harry Vardon and eight clear of James Braid. He was also runner-up, in 1913 and 1925, and had nine other Open finishes in the top-10. His last top-10 finish was in 1925 when, at the age of 48, he finished second, one shot behind Jim Barnes.  In all, Ray competed in a remarkable 29 consecutive Open Championships from 1899 and 1932.  Ray’s last appearance was in 1937, just after his 60th birthday.
A fine club maker who turned professional at age 17 in 1894, Ray also competed in three U.S. Opens, and is best known for being in a playoff for the U.S. Open in 1913 with Harry Vardon and American amateur Francis Ouimet, who completed a remarkable upset over the two established major champions.  Ray joined Vardon on an extensive tour of North America in 1913 and 1920, partnering in exhibition matches against the top players in each area they visited to promote growth and interest in the game.
Ray won the U.S. Open at Inverness in 1920, his second appearances in the championship. That victory, at 43 years, 129 days, made Ray the oldest U.S. Open champion, a record he held until Raymond Floyd, a few months older, won in 1986. At age 50 he was selected to compete for Great Britain in the inaugural Ryder Cup in 1927 in Worcester, Mass. When captain Abe Mitchell fell ill and was unable to travel, Ray served as playing captain.

 

Born: April 6, 1877 (Bailiwick of Jersey, England)

Died:  August 26,1943 (Watford, England; age 66)
Professional Wins: 46
Best Results in Major Championships

  • Masters: DNP
  • S. Open: Won (1920) Inverness Club (Toledo, Ohio)
  • The Open Championship: Won (1912) Muirfield (Gullane, Scotland); runner-up (1913, 1925)
  • PGA Championship:DNP

Achievements and Awards

  • Captain of the British team in the inaugural Ryder Cup in 1927 at Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts.
  • Won the U.S. Open at Inverness in 1920 and held the record as the oldest U.S. Open champion for 66 years (aged 43 years, 129 days).
  • Selected for the England team every year in the England-Scotland Professional Match, the most important professional team competition prior to World War I.

 

 

About the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide

The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide is held annually at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. The Tournament, founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus, is conducted each year with three goals in mind: to honor the memory of individuals living and deceased who have distinguished themselves in the game of golf; to showcase the world’s best golfers competing on one of the most challenging venues in the world for the enjoyment of spectators; and to benefit many Greater Columbus Charities in alliance with the Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and numerous other local organizations. For more information, visit www.thememorialtournament.com or call 614-889-6700.

 

 

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Tom Sprouse; COURTESY MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT COMMUNICATIONS

 

2020 Memorial Tournament Early Player Commitments

the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 15, 2020

 

 

Defending Memorial Tournament winner Patrick Cantlay joins World No. 4 Brooks Koepka, World No. 5 Dustin Johnson and 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia to highlight early commitments to the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide

Dublin, Ohio – Officials of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide announced today that the Tournament has accepted entries from 2019 Memorial winner Patrick Cantlay, World No. 4  Brooks Koepka, World No. 5  Dustin Johnson and 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia to compete in the 45th edition of the prestigious invitational hosted by golfing legend Jack Nicklaus.

 

The 2020 Memorial Tournament will be contested at Muirfield Village Golf Club the week of July 13-19 in conjunction with the PGA TOUR’s adjusted tournament schedule due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

Cantlay enjoyed a breakthrough season in his 2018-19 PGA TOUR campaign. His victory in the 44th Memorial was one of nine top-10 finishes accounting for more than $6 million in earnings, both career-bests for the 28-year-old California native since turning professional in 2012. Cantlay has continued his inspiring play this season, grabbing two top-10 finishes over five starts prior to the halt of the PGA TOUR season in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic, including a playoff loss at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open – the site of his first PGA TOUR title in 2018. His current FedExCup ranking is 34, and he sits at No. 7 in the world. Cantlay set a Memorial Tournament record for lowest final-round score by a winner, en route to his second career PGA TOUR title with his bogey-free 64 on Sunday. He also moved to the top of the scoring average rankings at the Memorial with an impressive 68.75 and jumped to sixth in career earnings with $2,108,091. Cantlay will be making his fourth start at the 2020 Memorial Tournament, where last year he joined Tiger Woods as the only Jack Nicklaus Award Winners (collegiate Player of the Year as chosen by the Golf Coaches Association of America) to hoist the Memorial Tournament trophy.

 

Koepka will be making his third Memorial Tournament start next month. His last appearance came in 2017 and resulted in a Tournament career best T-31 finish. His scoring average at Muirfield Village Golf Club is 71.88. The 30-year-old Florida native won the first of his seven PGA TOUR titles in 2015 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Since then he has won four major championships, beginning with the 2017 U.S. Open, for which he defended his title in 2018 and became the first player to win back-to-back U.S. Open Championships since 1989, when 1988 Memorial Tournament winner Curtis Strange accomplished the feat. Koepka won his second major of the 2018 season and third overall at the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club and that same year received the Jack Nicklaus Award as the PGA TOUR Player of the Year. His dominance on the major stage continued in 2019 when he became the fifth player in PGA TOUR history to finish in the top-5 in all four majors in a season, culminating with the successful defense of his PGA Championship title, making Koepka the first player to win back-to-back at both the U.S. Open and PGA Championship. He is currently ranked No. 4 in the world.

Johnson, 35, has enjoyed multi-win seasons three out of the past four years on the PGA TOUR. Since 2016 he has recorded 44 top-10 finishes and 11 victories, including his first major championship title at the 2016 U.S. Open. That same year he also swept the PGA TOUR’s post-season competition-based awards. Johnson was a first-time recipient of the Jack Nicklaus Award as the PGA TOUR Player of the Year, the Arnold Palmer Award as the TOUR’s leading money-winner with more than $9 million in earnings, and the Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average at 69.17. Since recording his first TOUR victory in 2008 at the Turning Stone Resort Championship, Johnson has posted at least one win each season en route to 20 total PGA TOUR victories and $62,285,783 in career earnings. A resident of Jupiter, Fla., Johnson has two top-10 finishes in five starts this season and is currently ranked No. 5 in the world. He will be making his 12th Memorial start, and has career statistics that include earnings of $1,455,501 and a 71.48 scoring average. Johnson finished T-8 in his last start in 2018, and his best career outing at Muirfield Village Golf Club came in 2016 when he finished in third place.

 

Garcia is making his first start at the Memorial Tournament since 2008. He has finished inside the top-25 five times at Muirfield Village Golf Club with his best outing coming in 2001 with a T-2 finish. Over eight career Memorial appearances Garcia owns a Tournament scoring average of 71.73 to go with $602,682.50 in earnings. The 40-year-old Spaniard has recorded 10 PGA TOUR wins and 20 international victories and has been a perennial force on the past nine European Ryder Cup teams. Garcia won his first major title in his 75th major start when he defeated 2010 Memorial Tournament winner Justin Rose in a sudden-death playoff at the 2017 Masters. Garcia recorded five top-10 finishes last season over 15 starts, including a second-place effort at The Zurich Classic of New Orleans with partner Tommy Fleetwood. He is currently ranked No. 40 in the world.

 

For more information about the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, please visit thememorialtournament.com. For the latest news and updates on social media, follow the tournament on Twitter and Instagram at @MemorialGolf and on Facebook at Facebook.com/theMemorialTournament.

 

 

About the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide

The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide is held annually at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. The Tournament, founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus, is conducted each year with three goals in mind: to honor the memory of individuals living and deceased who have distinguished themselves in the game of golf; to showcase the world’s best golfers competing on one of the most challenging venues in the world for the enjoyment of spectators; and to benefit many Greater Columbus Charities in alliance with the Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and numerous other local organizations. For more information, visit www.thememorialtournament.com or call 614-889-6700.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2020

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Tom Sprouse; COURTESY MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT COMMUNICATIONS

 

Memorial Tournament moves to July due to COVID-19 virus

Dublin, Ohio – Officials of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide announced today that the 45th edition of the world-renowned event founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus has been rescheduled as a result of the ongoing health crisis related to the Coronavirus pandemic.

In conjunction with today’s PGA TOUR adjusted tournament schedule announcement, the 2020 Memorial Tournament will now be contested the week of July 13-19 at Muirfield Village Golf Club and feature an increased field from 120 to 144 players. The invitational’s one-time expanded field size allowance will provide additional playing opportunities for touring professionals in light of the TOUR’s reduced schedule.

“This is an unprecedented time in our world, as well as the world of sports,” said Founder and Host Jack Nicklaus. “I can’t emphasize enough the message related to doing your part by social distancing and helping our nation and world by slowing this pandemic. But while we all need to come together and be strong, we also need to be understanding and flexible. When the PGA TOUR was looking at how and when to revamp the golf calendar, the Memorial Tournament was quick to raise its hand and step up, and offer support for a new date. Like all of you, I was saddened to see tournaments and major championships postponed, and The Open Championship cancelled for 2020. But we appreciate the PGA TOUR giving the Memorial Tournament the opportunity to fill that void in the schedule with these July dates and to bring golf to Central Ohio. We were also happy to expand our field, as so many players around the world have lost opportunities to make a living. If a gesture so small can help some of them recoup their losses, we are all for it.”

“This has been a couple months we would soon like to forget, but hopefully we can make this a summer to remember.”

Recognizing Governor DeWine’s Ohio Stay at Home order and public gatherings ban guidelines currently in place, the Memorial will proceed with an understanding that its operation may require alterations. The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide will continue to offer patron badges, enhanced with a special offer that includes honoring original presale badge rates – starting at $185 for a weekly patron badge – and a complimentary $20 merchandise card (limit one per order, per household) redeemable at all on-site golf shops during Tournament week. However, the Tournament will also monitor the State of Ohio COVID-19 regulations and will employ changes relative to patron access if needed. If it is determined that the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide will be staged without patrons, a full refund policy will be implemented.

“All associated with the Memorial Tournament are encouraged to be able to reschedule the event for the week of July 13th,” said Dan Sullivan, the Tournament’s executive director. “Although many unknowns remain, we are hopeful the next few months provide an opportunity for everyone to return to a level of normalcy and central Ohioans will be able to publicly come together. The health and safety of everyone associated with the Memorial Tournament and the Greater Columbus community is and will continue to be the No. 1 priority for the Memorial, our presenting sponsor Nationwide and the PGA TOUR, as we navigate this ongoing and very fluid situation. We understand the concerns regarding large public gatherings as it relates to COVID-19, and it is important to stress as we prepare for the 2020 Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, that we are working closely with the PGA TOUR and local medical professionals, while continuing to follow the advice and recommendations of Governor DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton as well as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control. We are focused on offering an environment that includes allowing patrons and guests, yet we remain committed to a responsible, thoughtful and transparent decision-making process via regular updates as we continue to monitor the progress of COVID-19 and consider a number of options for the Tournament moving forward.”

As always, we encourage our fans to stay informed on the developments of the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 through official sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (cdc.gov) and coronavirus.ohio.gov/.

For more information about the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, please visit thememorialtournament.com. For the latest news and updates on social media, follow the tournament

on Twitter and Instagram at @MemorialGolf and on Facebook at Facebook.com/theMemorialTournament.

The public may call the Tournament Ticket Office 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays at 877-MT BADGE (877-682-2343) or visit www.memorialbadges.com to purchase badges. Kids 18 and under can attend the Tournament for free with a ticketed adult.

 

 

About the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide

The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide is held annually at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. The Tournament, founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus, is conducted each year with three goals in mind: to honor the memory of individuals living and deceased who have distinguished themselves in the game of golf; to showcase the world’s best golfers competing on one of the most challenging venues in the world for the enjoyment of spectators; and to benefit many Greater Columbus Charities in alliance with the Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and numerous other local organizations. For more information, visit www.thememorialtournament.com or call 614-889-6700.

 

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2020

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Tom Sprouse; COURTESY MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT COMMUNICATIONS

 

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