Jack Nicklaus among 19 major champions headlining PNC Father-Son tournament field

Eighteen-time major champion Jack Nicklaus and his grandson, GT Nicklaus, headline a field of some of golf’s greatest champions during the 21st playing of the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

Scheduled for Thursday through Sunday at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando, Grande Lakes, the field will feature 11 World Golf Hall of Fame members, including Class of 2019 member Retief Goosen, playing with his son, Leo.

Nineteen major champions, including six-time winners Lee Trevino and Nick Faldo and icon Greg Norman, also are scheduled to tee it up.

Even at 78, Nicklaus remains the biggest name and draw in the field. The Golden Bear has appeared in past events with sons Gary and Jack II. Last year, Nicklaus competed for the first time with GT, son of Jack II, who thought his son and his father should play again.

GT made a name for himself this past April when he made a hole-in-one during the Par 3 tournament at the Masters while caddying for his grandfather.

“GT had a memorable experience playing in his first PNC Father/Son last December,” Nicklaus said. “And he certainly created a different sort of memory for himself — as well as his grandpa and family — in April with his first hole-in-one at Augusta National during the Masters Par-3 Contest.

“Since playing last year in the Father/Son, GT has grown a lot as a golfer. Unfortunately, his grandfather hasn’t. So go GT!”

Newcomers in 2018 include former European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke and his son, Tyrone; U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk, playing with his father and swing coach, Mike; Matt Kuchar, playing with his father, Peter; and David Toms, playing with his son, Carter.

“My entire golf career has been a family affair and my dad has been there every step of the way,” Furyk said. “He has taught me so many lessons about life and my golf swing, so to have this opportunity to team up with him is nothing short of a dream come true. I know our entire family is going to enjoy the event and I’m sure the competitive juices will be flowing.”

The event will feature pro-ams on Thursday and Friday, followed Saturday and Sunday by a 36-hole tournament using the best-ball format.

To qualify for the PNC Father/Son Challenge, players must have won a major championship or The Players Championship. Their partner cannot hold a PGA Tour card.

The winning team receives the Willie Park Trophy, in memory of father and son British Open champions Willie Park Sr. and Willie Park Jr. This year’s purse is $1,085,000.

Tickets are now on sale, priced at $15 per day or $45 for a full tournament pass (four days), by visiting www.pncfathersonchallenge.com.

Active military and children age 15 years and younger receive complimentary admission with an accompanying adult.

egthompson@orlandosentinel.com

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