PGA TOUR Announces Continued International Expansion
20 Nov, 2019
PGA TOUR Champions and the Association Trophee Hassan II (ATH) announced a five-year partnership to bring Champions Tour golf to Morocco beginning in 2020. The Morocco Champions will debut at Samanah Golf Club in Marrakesh the week of January 27 – February 1, with a special Saturday finish for the final round of play. The 66-player field will compete for a purse of $2 million.
“We are excited to bring PGA TOUR Champions golf to Morocco as we partner with the ATH for what is truly a historic moment in our sport,” said PGA TOUR Champions President Miller Brady. “As we enter 2020, the globalization of golf is at an all-time high and it’s important for us to look at opportunities to bring these legends of the game to fans around the world. The Morocco Champions will allow us to do just that and we’re eager to build a tremendous debut tournament.”
Chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid, the ATH operates several international events, including the European Tour’s Hassan II Golf Trophy and the Ladies European Tour’s Lalla Meryem Cup which were the first gender diverse golf tournaments, held at the same time and on the same site, The Royal Golf Dar Es Salam. The Hassan II Golf Trophy dates back to 1971 and has been an official European Tour event since 2010. Past winners include current PGA TOUR Champions stars Vijay Singh (1991), Colin Montgomerie (1997) and David Toms (1999), as well as Ernie Els (2008), who will turn 50 on October 17 of this year. In addition to Els, other PGA TOUR stars preparing to turn 50 in the coming year include 17-time TOUR winner Jim Furyk (5/12/20), 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir (5/12/20), eight-time TOUR winner K.J. Choi (5/19/20) and World Golf Hall of Fame member Phil Mickelson (6/16/20).
The ATH also promotes several national and international events such as the European Challenge Tour’s Lalla Aïcha Challenge and the Atlas Pro Tour.
“We aim to build a strong long-term relationship with the PGA TOUR and are glad to host and promote the Morocco Champions. This competition alongside with its world-class players and the hosting of the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) will put Marrakesh under the spotlight and confirm the city as a world golf destination,” said ATH Deputy Vice-President, Mustapha Zine.
Samanah Golf Club is a 2008 Nicklaus Design which sits just 15 minutes from downtown Marrakesh and is surrounded by stunning view of the Atlas Mountains. Marrakesh is known for its infrastructure, eclecticism and tourism operators. The Red City is also home to several world-class golf courses with ideal weather allowing for year-round play.
The Morocco Champions will be the second tournament in the 2020 PGA TOUR Champions season, ending on Saturday, February 1. The event will mark the first PGA TOUR-sanctioned stroke-play event to be contested on the continent of Africa. The 2003 Presidents Cup was famously held on the Links Course at Fancourt Hotel and Country Club in George, South Africa, with the Cup ending in a tie after three playoff holes between South African Ernie Els and Tiger Woods. The 1996 World Cup, won by South Africa (Els and Wayne Westner) with Els winning the International Trophy (un-official individual title), was played in Cape Town, South Africa.
For more information on the Morocco Champions, please visit PGATOUR.com.
ABOUT PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS: PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older, including 33 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. In 2019, the PGA TOUR Champions schedule includes 27 tournaments across the United States, Japan, England and Canada, with purses totaling nearly $58 million. The Charles Schwab Cup, which includes the Regular Season and the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, is used to determine the season-long champion. All events are televised in the United States, with most receiving complete coverage on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable-television partner of PGA TOUR Champions. Internationally, telecasts air in excess of 170 countries and territories, reaching more than 340 million potential households, and distributed in 15+ markets via GOLFTV. Follow PGA TOUR Champions online at PGATOUR.com, at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions, on Twitter @ChampionsTour and on Instagram @pgatourchampions.