Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 |
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Darren Clarke sinks a putt for par on the 15th hole at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai in 2021. (Tom Linder/West Hawaii Today file photo)
The 2023 Mitsubishi Electric Championship trophy is seen. (Emily Gail/Special to West Hawaii Today)
Emily Gail/Special to West Hawaii Today
The 42-player field is set for the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai slated Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Hualalai Course.
Miguel Ángel Jiménez is defending champion. The 2023 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai is a three-day, 54-hole stroke-play competition with a $2 million purse.
“Each year the field at Hualalai is second to none, and that is no different in 2023,” said Tournament Manager Kelly Fliear. “This year, we welcome first-timers Justin Leonard and Thongchai Jaidee to Hualalai, in addition to bringing back several past champions and World Golf Hall of Fame members.”
Justin Leonard, 1997 Open Champion, and reigning American Family Insurance Championship winner Thongchai Jaidee are the latest to join the accomplished list of players to tee it up at Hualalai.
Leonard, made four starts last season after turning 50 and managed a pair of top-20 finishes. Jaidee finished No. 7 in the final Charles Schwab Cup standings last season after notching 11 top-10s, including four top-3s, in 21 starts. The field also includes seven World Golf Hall of Fame members: Bernhard Langer, Mark O’Meara, Fred Couples, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Colin Montgomerie. Langer is a three-time winner of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai (2009, 2014, 2017).
Additional past champions returning to Hualalai in 2023 are Darren Clarke (2021), Fred Funk (2008), Miguel Ángel Jiménez (2015, 2020, 2022), Jerry Kelly (2018) and Tom Lehman (2019). In all, the season-opening field includes 15 PGA Tour major winners, 24 PGA Tour Champions major winners, 32 PGA Tour winners (260 wins) and 40 PGA Tour Champions winners (237 wins).
The Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai is the first official tournament on the 2023 PGA Tour Champions schedule. This limited-field event features winners of PGA Tour Champions events over the past two years, as well as winners of senior major championships over the last five years, and several prominent sponsor exemptions. This will be the 27th consecutive year PGA Tour Champions has competed on the Island of Hawaii, and the 15th for Mitsubishi Electric as title sponsor of the event.
Over $2 million has been raised in the 27 years for Big Island charities. Some of the beneficiaries of monies raised are the Rotary Club of Kona who from year one has organized the several hundred volunteers and receive funds for the Rotary Club of Kona Community Foundation. Also receiving funds is the Daniel Sayre Foundation established to raise money for equipment and training for the County of Hawaii Fire and Rescue Team. MEC sponsors the Big Island Junior Golf organization which prepares junior golfers for the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association where so many find college scholarship opportunities. Added this year is the Pua Ka ‘Ilima ‘O Kawaihae Surf Park Inc. dedicated to develop and protect the area of 1.4 acres of coastline at the Kawaihae Breakwater.
Tickets will be available with credit card only at the gate $25 daily, $45 week. Those 16 years of age and under complimentary when accompanied with adult, as retired military and active are as well. All three rounds of the 2023 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai will be televised live on GOLF Channel from 3 to 5 p.m.
For more information on the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai visit PGATOUR.com.
Complete Tournament Field
Darren Clarke (2021 champion)
Fred Funk (2008 champion)
Miguel Ángel Jiménez (2015, 2020, 2022 champion)
Jerry Kelly (2018 champion)
Bernhard Langer (2009, 2014, 2017 champion)
Tom Lehman (2019 champion)
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