Albert Pujols joins PGA's ‘Champions Invited Celebrity Classic’
The MLB legend joins other athletes like Tony Romo and Annika Sörenstam.
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The organizers of the upcoming Champions Invited Celebrity Classic golf tournament, presented by Choctaw Casinos & Resorts, recently announced three of the stars who will be part of the PGA Tour. Recently retired and future Hall of Fame first baseman Albert Pujols will be joined on the green by Tony Romo, former All-Pro quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, and Annika Sörenstam, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Taking place at Invited's Las Colinas Country Club from April 21-23, the Champions Invited Celebrity Classic features a field of 78 champions from the Official PGA Tour and 40 celebrities who will compete in separate competitions for one main prize pool of $2.5 million.
Vicki Granado, Energy Transfer vice president of Corporate Communications, stated:
Being able to support our communities throughout the Metroplex through this PGA TOUR Champions event is special.
Pujols became the newest big-name addition to the celebrity tournament.
Throughout his 22-season MLB career, 'The Machine' played in 11 All-Star Games and was named National League Most Valuable Player three times. He won six Silver Slugger Awards, two Gold Glove Awards, and became the 32nd player in history to accumulate 3,000 hits in 2018. Last September, he joined Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth as the only players to hit 700 home runs in their careers.
Before ending his career with the Angels and Dodgers, Pujols led the St. Louis Cardinals to World Series championships in 2006 and 2011. He retired last season with the second-most RBIs in MLB history and is expected to be inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in Cooperstown when he becomes eligible in 2028.
Romo, who leads the celebrity team, finished runner-up in a tiebreaker last year to tennis star Mardy Fish in a thrilling final before thousands of people in Las Colinas and a live audience on the GOLF Channel.
“I am looking forward to playing in the Invited Celebrity Classic at Las Colinas again this year. I love the competition and the crowds. The impact of this event on our community and on the charities is also a big motivation. April 21-23 can’t come soon enough,” said Romo.
The former quarterback drew the biggest crowds over the weekend of 2022 and is expected to compete for the Celebrity Division title against 39 other prominent golf figures across the sports and entertainment fields.
Romo played all of his 14 NFL seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and holds the team record for all-time touchdown passes, among other honors. He is an accomplished amateur golfer who participates in multiple PGA Tour events as a sponsor exemption. He is also the three-time winner of the American Century Championship (2018-19, 2022) at Lake Tahoe.
.@TonyRomo @ANNIKA59 & Albert Pujols join celebrity field for @ChampionsTour @invitedcc Celebrity Classic at @LasColinasCC #golf #DallasCowboys https://t.co/u0bD5vhpn8 pic.twitter.com/eYAfnsEu3p— Jay Betsill (@TheFamousJay) March 2, 2023
Sörenstam will be honored at the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex on the 20th anniversary of her epic effort to compete on the PGA Tour.
In May 2003, the golfer received a sponsor exemption to play in the Bank of America Colonial PGA Tour event in Fort Worth, making her the first woman in more than half a century to do so (Babe Zaharias also did the same in 1945). Although Sörenstam didn't make the cut, her efforts have had a lasting effect on professional golf, and she walked away with immense honor and respect from sports fans around the world.
Sörenstam shot a 1-over par 71 in her first round and proceeded to shoot 4-over 74 on the second day. The event was won by Kenny Perry who finished 19 under par ahead of runner-up Justin Leonard.
A community impact
For the second year in a row, the Champions Invited Celebrity Classic will host a free youth clinic presented by Energy Transfer for youth from First Tee Greater Dallas, First Tee Ft. Worth and the Momentous Institute, the tournament's three charity partners.
“Kids are invited to come to the driving range of Las Colinas Country Club from 3:30-4:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 18, for a lesson from Doug Barron, a PGA TOUR Champions professional who has played in over 400 PGA events and made more than $6.6 million in career earnings. The Invited Celebrity Classic Youth Clinic presented by Energy Transfer is open to children of all ages, free of charge. Media are invited to attend and complimentary snacks, drinks and giveaways will be available,” shared the organization.
Tickets to attend all three days of the event will be provided free of charge, with guest sponsor admission on Friday, April 21, Energy Transfer on Saturday, April 22, and Choctaw Casinos & Resorts on Sunday, April 23.
In addition, upgraded clubhouse tickets and other hospitality packages are also available for the impact of purchase of the Invited Gateway Club, a program designed to provide young adults participating in The First Tee with complimentary junior memberships on invited courses.
“We are especially excited to have the opportunity to introduce local youth to the game of golf through the Youth Golf Clinic and the event’s affiliation with the Momentous Institute and the First Tee, which play such a critical role in our community,” added Granado.
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