Jeff Shain | The Downswing
2:26 AM EDT, October 11, 2012
As he had before the Father/Son Challenge went on hiatus, Arnold Palmer will bring his grandson as his partner for the revival of the popular event this December.
This time, though, it won’t be Sam Saunders.
Now on the Web.com Tour, Saunders is ineligible for the No.2 slot in the partnership. Palmer instead will turn to his younger golf-playing grandson, introducing Will Wears to the spotlight for the Dec. 13-16 event at Orlando’s Ritz-Carlton GC.
Wears, son of Palmer’s older daughter Peggy, is a high-school senior who has been a Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic runner-up and helped Greater Latrobe High to a team title.
He’ll be one of 18 offspring paired with a group of fathers who have combined for 67 major championships and 425 other professional victories. Larry Nelson won the last two editions in 2007 and ’08 – once each with sons Drew and Josh. He’ll defend with Josh this year.
The event took a three-year break after that, unable to find sponsorship. PNC Bank has signed on for its return.
“We look forward to celebrating that special bond, and competition, with golf fans in December as the event returns,” said Alastair Johnston, vice chairman of Father/Son co-founder IMG.
The event also features the return of Robert Floyd and Gary Nicklaus – part of winning tandems in the event’s early years who struggled in their quest for PGA Tour careers.
In recent years, Floyd was a contestant on Golf Channel’s “Big Break” series at Indian Wells and has caddied for PGA Tour pro Robert Allenby. Nicklaus regained his amateur status after a break from competition and qualified for this year’s U.S. Amateur.
The Father/Son Challenge also features a pair of daughters – Christina Langer (Bernhard) and Gretchen Zoeller (Fuzzy).
Tickets, priced at $15 per day or $45 for the full week, can be purchased at PNCFatherSonChallenge.com or by calling 407-876-7004.
The full field:
Steve & Sam Elkington
Nick & Matthew Faldo
Raymond & Robert Floyd
Hale & Steve Irwin
Lee & Connor Janzen
Bernhard & Christina Langer
Davis (III) & Dru Love
Sandy & James Lyle
Larry & Josh Nelson
Jack & Gary Nicklaus
Mark & Shaun O’Meara
Arnold Palmer & Will Wears
Vijay & Qass Singh
Dave & David Stockton
Curtis & Tom Strange
Lee & Daniel Trevino
Lanny & Tucker Wadkins
Fuzzy & Gretchen ZoellerJeff Shain covers golf for the Orlando Sentinel and Tribune Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter at @JeffShain, or reach him via email at email@example.com.
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