Rookie Class to Join DICK'S Sporting Goods Open Field

Rookie Class to Join DICK’S Sporting Goods Open Field

Initial Commitments Include 1995 PGA Championship Winner

ENDICOTT N.Y. - The DICK’S Sporting Goods Open is proud to announce that Champions Tour Rookie Steve Elkington has formally committed to play in the 2013 Champions Tour Event at En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott, New York.  Elkington, the 1995 PGA Championship winner, spent over 50 weeks in the top 10 of the Official World Ranking from 1995 to 1998.  In 1995, Steve was awarded the Vardon Trophy, given annually by the PGA of America to the TOUR player with the lowest scoring average.

Champions Tour Rookies joining Elkington with early commitments to the August 12th – 18th Champions Tour Event include:  Duffy Waldorf, Rocco Mediate, Gene Sauers, Rick Fehr, Anders Forsbrand, Esteban Toledo, Bart Bryant and Neal Lancaster.

Waldorf’s best finish on the Champions Tour in 2013 is T6 at the Allianz Championship this past February.  Duffy has 4 career PGA TOUR Victories and joined the Champions Tour just after the conclusion of the 2012 DICK’S Sporting Goods Open when he turned 50.

Mediate, who currently ranks 4th in Charles Schwab Cup Points on the Champions Tour, won the season’s first full-field event, the Allianz Championship.  Rocco, a Pennsylvania native, has 6 career PGA TOUR Victories and is best known for the major he lost in a playoff loss to Tiger Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

Sauers has 3 PGA TOUR Victories and finished T8 in his second Champions Tour start at the inaugural Pacific Links Hawai'i Championship on Oahu last September.

Fehr, the 1986 B.C. Open Champion, turned 50 last August to join the Champions Tour.  Rick has been working as a Sports Agent since the conclusion of his PGA TOUR career.

Forsbrand was born in Sweden and won seven individual titles on the European Tour and finished in the top ten of the Order of Merit three times, with a best of fourth place in 1992. In 1991, he led Sweden to victory in both the World Cup and the Dunhill Cup. In 1993, he became the first Swedish golfer to play in all four major championships in the same year. Forsbrand began playing on the European Senior Tour after turning 50 in 2011. In August 2012, he won the Scottish Senior Open, becoming the first Swede to win on the European Senior Tour.

2000 B.C. Open Runner-Up, Esteban Toledo will make his first visit back to Endicott as a Champions Tour Professional in 2013.  Esteban has played over 600 combined events on the PGA TOUR and Tour, earning more than $4.5 million.  He has 11 top-10 finishes to his credit on the PGA TOUR.  Toledo, a former boxer, was the subject of the book "Tin Cup Dreams", which was written by Michael D'Antonio.

Bryant turned professional in 1986 but did not win on the PGA TOUR until the 2004 Valero Texas Open. At 41, he was the oldest first-time winner on the TOUR in nine years. In 2005, he won the Memorial Tournament and the season-ending TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola to finish ninth on the Money List with earnings of $3,249,136 - more than he had earned in total in his first eighteen seasons.  His good run of form also propelled him into the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking.  Bryant's elder brother Brad has won on the both the PGA TOUR and the Champions Tour; They are one of 12 winning brother combinations on TOUR.

Lancaster has 28 top-10 finishes in PGA TOUR events including a win at the 1994 GTE Byron Nelson Classic.  His best finish in a major championship is T4 at the 1995 U.S. Open. Lancaster shares the 9-hole record at the U.S. Open with Vijay Singh with a 29 at both the 1995 and 1996 U.S. Opens.  Lancaster has played more than 565 events on the PGA TOUR and won over $6 million even though he has been plagued by shoulder surgeries. Neal played his first Champions Tour event in his home state at the 2012 SAS Championship on a sponsor invitation and finished T25.

"This is why it is called the Champions Tour," said Tournament Director John Karedes.  "Each year, our ‘Rookie Class’ includes great players like Elk, Vijay and Monty who have amassed a significant number of Championships throughout the world, and now they are part of our TOUR", enthused Karedes.

The 2013 DICK’S Sporting Goods Open will be hosted at the En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott, NY August 12th-18th.  Weekly ticket packages are available at a discount price of $40 through March 31st and are available at Dick’s Sporting Goods stores and the Tournament Office, 1901 Vestal Parkway. For additional information, please call the Tournament Office at (607) 205-1500