Other Sports

PGA Tour Champions headed to St. Louis in 2020 for first Ascension Charity Classic

The top senior professional golfers in the world are headed back to St. Louis beginning in 2020.

PGA Tour Champions and Ascension Wednesday announced a four-year partnership to host a new professional golf tournament in St. Louis. The Ascension Charity Classic will debut Sept. 28 – Oct.r 4 next year at Norwood Hills Country Club. It will be the first Tour Champions event in the St. Louis region since 2001.

This 54-hole stroke play golf tournament will feature World Golf Hall of Fame members and many of the top PGA Tour Champions. The PGA Tour Champions schedule includes 27 tournaments in four countries and 19 states.

“We’re thrilled to bring the Ascension Charity Classic to St. Louis, and particularly to North County at Norwood Hills,” said PGA Tour Champions President Miller Brady. “The St. Louis area is one of the great sports regions in the United States, known for its passionate, dedicated fans and history of charitable giving and community engagement.”

Formerly known as the Senior PGA Tour, the PGA Tour Champions featues the top professional golfers over the age of 50. Belleville native and 1968 Masters champion Bob Goalby was one of the founding fathers of the Senior Tour which began in 1980. Another Belleville native Jay Haas has been one of the top players on the tour for the past 15 years and has 18 career victories.

St. Louis native and former U.S. Open champion Hale Irwin has the record for most Tour Champions wins with 45.

At Tuesday’s announcement, several charities were named as beneficiaries of the tournament, including Marygrove, a residential facility for children and teens; the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis; and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis.

The event will be managed by HNS Sports Group with Barney Hinkle serving as the Tournament Director and Tim Heitmann as Assistant Tournament Director.

Norwood Hills Country Club, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, hosted the 1948 PGA Championship (won by World Golf Hall of Fame member Ben Hogan) and the PGA Tour’s Greater St. Louis Golf Classic in 1972 and 1973.

World Golf Hall of Fame member Ernie Els, 17-time PGA Tour winner Jim Furyk, 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir, eight-time Tour winner K.J. Choi and World Golf Hall of Fame member Phil Mickelson will all celebrate their 50th birthdays prior to the Ascension Charity Classic.