World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els will be one of the headlining names at the Insperity Invitational this year.
The South African will be joining a strong field for the annual PGA TOUR Champions event, set for April 26-May 2 at The Woodlands Country Club Tournament Course.
The event was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“One of the most compelling characteristics of the PGA TOUR Champions is golf’s big names turn into rookies each year,” Insperity executive director Bryan Naugle said in a press release. “We obviously missed the chance to welcome Ernie for the first time last spring due to the cancellation of our event. We’re glad to have him this year. He is a great addition to our field.”
Els was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011. He is an eight-time Presidents Cup team member for the International squad and has collected 72 professional victories. Els, 51, has won tournaments all over the world, including 19 times on the PGA TOUR. He has four major titles, winning two U.S Opens and two Open Championships. He also has two Word Golf Championship wins and a record seven World Matchplay titles.
“I’m a pure rookie, green as they come,” Els said in a press release. “I haven’t seen most of the golf courses, including The Woodlands, which is exciting because you really have to get a feel for what you need to do. On the PGA TOUR, I’ve seen the golf courses so many times, so I get excited now.
“It has been so great to come and play with these guys, seeing the faces that I’ve grown up with. And what I’ve found early on this tour is, you’d better be on your game to compete with these guys. The competition is more than I realized.”
Nine other World Golf Hall of Fame members are in the Insperity field field this year, including Retief Goosen, Tom Kite, four-time event champion Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, Mark O’Meara, Jose Maria Olazabal, Vijay Singh and Ian Woosnam.
“This incredible group of legends in our game who have combined to win more than 110 times on the PGA TOUR and nearly 70 times on the PGA TOUR Champions in addition to providing us with countless memorable Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup appearances,” Naugle said. “They rekindle special moments for all of our spectators, but equally as important, they create new memories for young golf fans who take our event in each year.”
Spectators will not be permitted access to the golf course during practice rounds and Pro-Am days, however, the tournament is welcoming fans Friday through Sunday with free admission to watch the 54-holes of competition play. Face masks will be mandatory for all spectators on site.