Remaining Four Sponsor Exemptions Announced
Tucson, Ariz. (February 20, 2021) – With Phil Mickelson, Tom Lehman and Fred Couples recently committing to play in next week’s Cologuard Classic, the field is nearly set as tournament officials today announced the four remaining sponsor exemptions. Former University of Arizona golfer Robert Gamez, Tucson native Willie Wood, Fran Quinn and Arizona native Jerry Smith received sponsor exemptions, with MLB Hall of Famer John Smoltz (previously announced) receiving the fifth. The final four spots in the tournament field will be determined by the Monday Qualifier at Oro Valley Country Club on February 22nd.
Members of the 2021 Cologuard Classic field have combined to win 419 PGA TOUR tournaments, 252 PGA TOUR Champions events and 35 major victories. The 2021 Cologuard Classic will be played February 26-28 at Omni Tucson National with a field of 81 players vying for the $1.7 million purse and a first-place prize of $255,000.
Gamez turned professional in 1989 and is a three-time PGA TOUR winner, including the 1990 Northern Telecom Tucson Open (played at Starr Pass Golf Club), the 1990 Nestle Invitational and the 2005 Valero Texas Open. In 2018, the 50-year-old Gamez played in seven PGA TOUR Champions events. The former Wildcat received a sponsor exemption to the 2019 Cologuard Classic, placing T33. In 2019, Gamez played in a total of four PGA TOUR Champions tournaments.
Wood grew up in Tucson, attending Sabino High before playing golf at Oklahoma State University. 2021 will be Wood’s seventh consecutive appearance in Tucson. Wood also received sponsor exemptions into the 2019 and 2020 Cologuard Classics, finishing T2 and T29, respectively. He has two PGA TOUR Champions career victories, both coming in 2012 at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open and the Pacific Links Hawai'i Championship.
Quinn last played on PGA TOUR Champions in 2019 and had four top 25 finishes in 12 starts before a shoulder fracture cut his 2019 season short and cost him the 2020 season. In July of 2019, after tripping over a pothole in New York City, an MRI revealed a 25 percent fracture in the glenoid bone in his right shoulder socket. The glenoid holds the shoulder in place. Quinn’s hard work in shoulder rehabilitation and returning to playing golf is a tremendous example of overcoming adversity. This will be Quinn’s fourth appearance at the Cologuard Classic having placed T47 in 2019, T30 in 2018 and T15 in 2017.
Smith, a resident of Scottsdale, Ariz., joined PGA TOUR Champions in 2014 and has one Champions Tour victory thus far – the 2015 Encompass Championship. The 56-year-old played in two events in 2020, placing T41 at the Morocco Champions and T26 at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix. In 2019, he played in 21 events, had two top-25 finishes and placed T27 at the Cologuard Classic. 2021 will be Smith’s sixth appearance at the Cologuard Classic, with his best finish, a T9, coming in 2015 when he shot an opening round 65 and led by three shots going into the weekend.
Six former tournament champions are in the field including defending champion Bernhard Langer (2020), Mark O’Meara (2019), Steve Stricker (2018), Tom Lehman (2017), Woody Austin (2016) and Marco Dawson (2015), as well as 10 World Golf Hall of Fame members, including Fred Couples, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Bernhard Langer, Davis Love III, Sandy Lyle, Phil Mickelson, Colin Montgomerie, Mark O'Meara and Vijay Singh. In addition, Cologuard ambassador Jerry Kelly will be looking to improve on his T2 at the 2018 Cologuard Classic, while University of Arizona alum and PGA TOUR Champions rookie, Jim Furyk, will be making his Cologuard Classic debut.
Alpha Field List
2021 Cologuard Classic
As of 2/20/2021
Jiménez, Miguel Angel
Love III, Davis
Pernice Jr., Tom
Short, Jr., Wes
*Indicates sponsor exemptions
The Cologuard Classic, named after Wisconsin-based Exact Sciences’ noninvasive at-home colon cancer screening test for average-risk individuals 45 years or older, is now in its fourth year and 2021 marks the seventh year the Conquistadores have partnered with the PGA TOUR Champions. Bernhard Langer is the tournament’s defending champion. The 2021 tournament activities are scheduled to take place February 21-28 at Omni Tucson National Resort and will feature an 81-player field competing for a $1.7 million purse with $255,000 and 255 Charles Schwab Cup points for the winner. The no-cut format includes three days of competition (Friday-Sunday) with players participating in pro-am events on Wednesday and Thursday. Tournament proceeds benefit youth athletic programs in Southern Arizona and colorectal cancer research and advocacy. For information on the Cologuard Classic, please visit CologuardClassic.com.
Cologuard was approved by the FDA in August 2014, and results from Exact Sciences' prospective 90-site, point-in-time, 10,000-patient pivotal trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in March 2014. Cologuard is included in the American Cancer Society's (2018) colorectal cancer screening guidelines and the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2016) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (2016). Cologuard is indicated to screen adults 45 years of age and older who are at average risk for colorectal cancer by detecting certain DNA markers and blood in the stool. Do not use Cologuard if you have had precancer, have inflammatory bowel disease and certain hereditary syndromes, or have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer. Cologuard is not a replacement for colonoscopy in high risk patients. Cologuard performance in adults ages 45-49 is estimated based on a large clinical study of patients 50 and older. Cologuard performance in repeat testing has not been evaluated.
The Cologuard test result should be interpreted with caution. A positive test result does not confirm the presence of cancer. Patients with a positive test result should be referred for diagnostic colonoscopy. A negative test result does not confirm the absence of cancer. Patients with a negative test result should discuss with their doctor when they need to be tested again.
Medicare and most major insurers cover Cologuard. For more information about Cologuard, visit www.cologuardtest.com. Rx Only.
ABOUT PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS PGA TOUR
PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older, including 35 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Tour’s mission is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back and generate significant charitable and economic impact in tournament communities. Follow PGA TOUR Champions online at PGATOUR.com, at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions, on Twitter @ChampionsTour and on Instagram @pgatourchampions.
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ABOUT THE TUCSON CONQUISTADORES
The Tucson Conquistadores are the tournament management team that oversees the operations and the sales arm of the PGA TOUR Champions’ Cologuard Classic. Since their inception in 1962, the Conquistadores have contributed more than $36 million to local and national charities. The Conquistadores comprise of up to 60 active business and professional members, and a total membership of 220 who represent a cross-section of the Tucson community. In addition to their involvement with professional golf, the group has established the Tucson Conquistadores Foundation. Key beneficiaries of the Conquistadores' fundraising efforts include southern Arizona youth athletic programs, The First Tee Tucson and colon cancer advocacy organizations. Follow the Tucson Conquistadores online at www.tucsonconquistadores.com and www.Facebook.com/TucsonConquistadores.
Tournament Media Contact: Rob Myers, email@example.com, 602-317-6131