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Big names added as AmFam announces full field
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Big names added as AmFam announces full field

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Madison resident and tournament host Steve Stricker discusses the growth of the AmFam Championship since it began in the mid-2010s.

Jerry Kelly got to enjoy holding the American Family Insurance Championship title for a year longer than he expected.

If the Madison native and PGA Tour veteran wants to claim the crown again, he’ll have to fend off a star-studded field. Tournament organizers released the full field of 81 players on Friday, and it features all four past champions of the event.

Kelly won a three-hole playoff against tournament host and Madison resident Steve Stricker and Retief Goosen to win the 2019 tournament, and both runner-ups are back in the field this year. After the coronavirus pandemic canceled last summer’s event, the AmFam Championship is set to return June 11-13 at University Ridge Golf Course.

Some of the tournament’s biggest names, such as Kelly, Stricker, John Daly, Jim Furyk, Bernard Langer and Vijay Singh had already been announced, but Friday’s announcement saw a number of former PGA Tour stars added to the field.

“There’s so many great names,” Stricker said of the field at a news conference last month. “Most of these guys are playing all the time, so we’ll have a great field.”

Fred Couples, the 2017 tournament champion, will play next weekend. Stricker had said he hoped to get Couples — the 1992 Masters winner — in the field, but it would depend on his health. Couples last played at the Masters in April.

Ernie Els, a four time major championship winner, will make his debut at the AmFam this year. The South Africa native has played on both the PGA Tour and the Champions circuit this season. World Golf Hall of Famer and seven-time Champions Tour winner Colin Montgomerie is also in the field.

Former Cy Young Award winner, Baseball Hall of Famer and current Fox MLB broadcaster John Smoltz is in the field on a sponsor’s exemption.

There are six World Golf Hall of Famers in the field and 12 players have at least one win in the combined 2020-21 Charles Schwab Cup season on the Champions Tour.

Limited tickets for the PGA Tour Champions tournament are still available at amfamchampionship.com. The tournament has a no-cut format, so all players will be able to play the full weekend.

The tournament field represents a push from organizers to make the AmFam Championship one of the premiere events of the Champions circuit. After switching to an invitational format in 2019, the tournament’s purse has increased to $2.4 million and is now the highest non-major purse on the Champions tour.

“We realize we can we can make this the best event out there,” tournament director Nate Pokrass said. “We’ve seen that from the players’ field, a strong field, and to be able to have the highest non-major purse, that should help ensure we’ve got an extremely strong field (each year). The fans will appreciate that, the players appreciate it and we’re excited.”

Stricker said that he knows the focus will be on the competition of the tournament next week, but he’s most proud of what the tournament does for the community. The AmFam Championship has raised more than $10.2 million for local charities, a number that will be added to this month.

“It’s not really about the golf, you know, at the end of the day,” Stricker said. “I mean, it is but it really isn’t. It’s about all these organizations that are benefiting from this event being put on. The Stricker family, I know, is super, super grateful and humbled to be a part of this, for sure.”

Here’s a look at the full field:

  • Michael Allen
  • Stephen Ames
  • Billy Andrade
  • Woody Austin
  • Doug Barron
  • Cameron Beckman
  • Shane Bertsch
  • Paul Broadhurst
  • Olin Browne
  • Tom Byrum
  • Alex Cejka
  • Fred Couples
  • John Daly
  • Marco Dawson
  • Glen Day
  • Chris DiMarco
  • Ken Duke
  • Scott Dunlap
  • Joe Durant
  • Ernie Els
  • Steve Flesch
  • Carlos Franco
  • David Frost
  • Fred Funk
  • Jim Furyk
  • Tom Gillis
  • Retief Goosen
  • Paul Goydos
  • Jay Haas
  • Gary Hallberg
  • Tim Herron
  • Scott Hoch
  • John Huston
  • Lee Janzen
  • Miguel Angel Jiménez
  • Brandt Jobe
  • Kent Jones
  • Robert Karlsson
  • Jerry Kelly
  • Skip Kendall
  • Bernhard Langer
  • Stephen Leaney
  • Tom Lehman
  • Jeff Maggert
  • Billy Mayfair
  • Scott McCarron
  • David McKenzie
  • Rocco Mediate
  • Shaun Micheel
  • Larry Mize
  • Colin Montgomerie
  • Andy North
  • Rod Pampling
  • Scott Parel
  • Jesper Parnevik
  • Corey Pavin
  • Kenny Perry
  • Tim Petrovic
  • Dicky Pride
  • Brett Quigley
  • Fran Quinn
  • Gene Sauers
  • John Senden
  • Wes Short, Jr.
  • Joey Sindelar
  • Vijay Singh
  • Jeff Sluman
  • Mike Small
  • Jerry Smith
  • John Smoltz
  • Steve Stricker
  • Ken Tanigawa
  • Mario Tiziani
  • Esteban Toledo
  • Tommy Tolles
  • David Toms
  • Kirk Triplett
  • Scott Verplank
  • Duffy Waldorf
  • Mike Weir
  • Willie Wood
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