The United States Golf Association (USGA) will bring a little more attention to all their champions at their biggest showcase beginning later this summer. It was announced today that the 118th U.S. Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southhampton, New York, will be the site of the inaugural Celebration of Champions event.
The event will feature a four-hole exhibition with the winners of the USGA Championships from the year prior and this year will take place on June 12th. It is intended to be an annual event and bring greater recognition to the myriad of USGA Champions, both amateur and professional, who come from all walks of life.
“Our championships are open to all players who have the dream and desire to compete at the highest level,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “We believe hosting the inaugural Celebration of Champions – with our longtime partner Rolex – at the 118th U.S. Open is a fitting way to celebrate each champion’s incredible achievement and acknowledge their place in golf history.”
Helping kick off the inaugural event today was one of the greatest USGA. Champions of all-time, Jack Nicklaus.
“I’ve always loved USGA championships,” said Nicklaus, who won USGA championships in five different decades. “Since I was a junior, they have always been the ultimate examinations of a golfer. I always felt that the USGA did the best job of preparing a golf course that will completely test you and every part of your game. And for me personally, to be able to compete for a championship of the country I live in made a victory that much more meaningful.”
“I am honored to be part of the Celebration of Champions and the USGA’s enduring commitment to celebrate the game and its legacy. The U.S. Open is widely regarded as golf’s ultimate test, making it the ideal setting for an event designed to applaud each 2017 USGA champion.”
Not only will the exhibition be open to the public as part of the Tuesday U.S. Open practice round day, but it will be broadcast on Fox Sports One (FS1).
Among those competing will be Canada’s Judith Kyrinis, the Thornhill, Ontario golfer who won the 2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship in Portland, Oregon last September.
The prolific tournament champion, a member of the Thornhill Club, says she is pleased to be included in the new winner’s showcase.
“Thrilled and beyond excited to be part of the Inaugural Champions Celebration at the US Open at Shinnecock,” the reigning Ontario Women’s Senior Champion shared in a message exchange with Flagstick.com after the event was announced from New York, noting that the victory was a dream come true. “Many thanks to the USGA organizing this event to celebrate with the other Champions from 2017.”
The showcase will feature a foursomes (alternate-shot) format over holes 10-13 and begin at 4:45 EDT with a shotgun start.
Joining Kyrinis in the field will be Frankie Capan (U.S. Amateur Four-Ball champion), Alice Chen (U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball champion), Kelsey Chugg (U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion), Noah Goodwin (U.S. Junior Amateur champion), Sean Knapp (U.S. Senior Amateur champion), Matt Parziale (U.S. Mid-Amateur champion), Kenny Perry (U.S. Senior Open champion), Doc Redman (U.S. Amateur champion), Sophia Schubert (U.S. Women’s Amateur champion), Taylor Totland (U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball champion) and Ben Wong (U.S. Amateur Four-Ball champion).
2017 U.S. Open Champion Brooke Koepka will not take part in the exhibition as a player but will be attending to welcome the other USGA Champions and help celebrate their victories.
Prior to defense of his title, 2017 U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka will be on-site to welcome all participants, and recognize them for their accomplishments.