Local PGA Professionals George Bowman and Scott Hebert receive exemptions to join 2021 field
GRAND BLANC, Mich. – Tournament officials announced today that major championship winners Bernhard Langer, Ernie Els, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Darren Clarke and David Toms have committed to compete in the fourth edition of The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren, scheduled for the week of August 23-29 at historic Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc, Mich.
The tournament has also accepted commitments from two local PGA Professionals receiving sponsor exemptions into this year’s field: Oakhurst Golf and Country Club’s George Bowman and Traverse City Golf and Country Club’s Scott Hebert.
No player has dominated the PGA TOUR Champions circuit over the past 10 plus years more than Langer. His senior resume includes 11 major titles, three of which he grabbed in 2017 alone and his latest coming in 2019 at The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex. The World Golf Hall of Fame member won his fifth, and most recent, Charles Schwab Cup title in 2018, recording two wins and 14 top-10 finishes. The same year Langer also secured a record eighth Jack Nicklaus Award as the Player of the Year and won the Byron Nelson Award as the Tour’s scoring leader for a record-breaking seventh time. The 63-year-old native of Germany has captured 41 PGA TOUR Champions titles to go with more than $30 million¾ranked No. 1 all time on the PGA TOUR Champions¾in earnings since making his PGA TOUR Champions debut in 2007. So far this season, Langer is No. 3 in Charles Schwab Cup rankings with 18 top-10 finishes over 28 starts, including a win at the 2020 Cologuard Classic. The two-time Masters winner will be making his fourth start at The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren. Langer has not finished outside the top-10 at Warwick Hills and owns a 68.67 tournament scoring average.
Els, 51, made his PGA TOUR Champions debut in January of 2020 with a T-2 finish at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. He grabbed his first senior victory two starts later at the Hoag Classic. The South African is ranked No. 4 on the Charles Schwab Cup Money List with 14 top-10 finishes during a rookie campaign currently comprised of 26 starts, two wins, two second-place outings and one third- place finish. Els is the owner 47 international victories and 19 PGA TOUR titles, including four major championships¾two U.S. Open wins in 1994 and 1997, along with two The Open Championship titles in 2002 and 2012. In 2015 the “Big Easy” was named the recipient of the Payne Stewart Award by the PGA TOUR in recognition of character, sportsmanship, and dedication to charitable giving. Els will be making his second appearance at The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren next week. He finished T-27 in his tournament debut last August with a scoring average of 70.
Weir kicked off his PGA TOUR Champions rookie campaign at the 2020 Ally Challenge presented by McLaren with a T-27 finish. He grabbed his first top-10 the following week with a T-10 result at the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. The 51-year-old has gone on to record 10 more top-10s so far this season, including four runner-up finishes and his first senior title at the 2020 Insperity Invitational. He currently ranks No. 8 on the Charles Schwab Cup Money List with more than $1.8 million in earnings. Weir has represented the International Presidents Cup team on five occasions during his career and is an eight-time winner on the PGA TOUR, with the 2003 Masters Tournament counted among them. The Canadian will be making his second start at this year’s Ally Challenge.
Love made his PGA TOUR Champions debut in 2014 and has since started a total of 25 career senior events. His best finish came in 2016 when he finished third at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. Since 2014, the 57-year-old has also competed in 103 PGA TOUR events, grabbing his 21st TOUR victory at the 2015 Wyndham Championship. Love is a two-time United States Ryder Cup Captain, loosing by one point to the European team in 2012 and then leading the U.S. to its first victory in eight years at Hazeltine in 2016. The World Golf Hall of Famer also suited up for international competition as a player on six occasions for both the U.S. Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams. This will be Love’s first appearance at The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren. The 1997 PGA Championship winner made 10 starts at Warwick Hills competing in the Buick Open, his best result came in his debut in 1986 with a T-5 finish.
Clarke, 53, has recorded three PGA TOUR victories, including the 2011 Open Championship, and 15 international wins. Since turning 50 in 2018 he has played in 45 PGA TOUR Champions events and grabbed 10 top-10 finishes, including his first two senior titles this season in back-to-back starts at the 2020 TimberTech Championship and 2021 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. Clarke currently sits at No. 13 in the Charles Schwab Cup rankings with six top-10 finishes, including a third-place outing to go with his two victories. The Northern Irishman will be making his third start at this year’s Ally Challenge. His tournament scoring average at Warwick Hills is 71.17 and his best finish came in 2019 with a T-33 effort.
Toms, 54, recorded 27 top-10 finishes over his first three PGA TOUR Champions seasons, beginning in 2017. His lone victory was good for his first senior major title at the 2018 U.S. Senior Open Championship. He has finished the past two seasons in the top-10 in Charles Schwab Cup standings, holding the sixth spot in 2018 and seventh in 2019, and is currently ranked No. 19. Toms has recorded 13 victories on the PGA TOUR since turning professional in 1989, including the 2001 PGA Championship. The Louisiana native has been a member of three U.S. Ryder Cup teams and three U.S. Presidents Cup teams. Toms will be making his third appearance at The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren. After back-to-back top-5 finishes in 2018 and 2019, he finished T-19 in 2020 and holds a tournament scoring average is 68.67.
Bowman was born and raised in Flushing, Michigan and played his collegiate golf at Western Michigan University. He has competed in two National PGA of American Championships and was a member of the NIKE Tour (now Korn Ferry Tour) in 1993. Bowman has served as the head golf professional at Oakhurst Golf and Country Club in Clarkston, Mich. since the Club’s inception in 1998.
“Playing in The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren fulfills another professional dream,” Bowman said. “I consider this the ultimate chance to compete against this level of competitor again, especially in my hometown, in front of friends and family!"
Hebert is an eight-time Michigan PGA Section Player of the Year and one of just three golfers to win both the PGA Professional National Championship and the Senior PGA Professional National Championship. He has competed in over 10 PGA TOUR events, including four Buick Open appearances and five PGA Championships. The Michigan native is a graduate of Ferris State University and was inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2015. Hebert is currently the head golf professional at Traverse City Golf & Country Club.
“I am looking forward to returning to Warwick Hills where I played my first PGA TOUR event many years ago,” said Hebert. “Playing in front family, friends and the great golf fans in the state of Michigan on a huge stage will be a thrill.”
The Ally Challenge will be one of the premier Regular Season events on PGA TOUR Champions in 2021, which will give way to the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs – a season-ending, three tournament series used to determine the TOUR’s season-long champion. Due to the circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, PGA TOUR Champions has combined its tournaments in 2020 and 2021 to form one season, and the next Charles Schwab Cup champion will be crowned in November 2021 at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
All three rounds of The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren will be broadcast on Golf Channel.
For more information about The Ally Challenge, please visit theallychallenge.com. For the latest Ally Challenge news and updates on social media follow the tournament on Twitter and Instagram at @AllyChallenge and on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllyChallenge.
About The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren
The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren is an official event on the PGA TOUR Champions owned and operated by Tournaments for Charity, a Michigan non-profit corporation. This 54-hole stroke play golf tournament features 78 PGA TOUR Champions professionals competing for a $2 million purse at the historic Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc, Michigan. The event is designed to showcase the best golf on the PGA TOUR Champions for the enjoyment of spectators and to benefit local charities in the greater Flint area. All three official rounds will be internationally televised on the Golf Channel.
For more information about The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren, please visit theallychallenge.com. For the latest Ally Challenge news and updates on social media follow the tournament on Twitter and Instagram at @AllyChallenge and on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllyChallenge.
About Ally Financial
Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a digital financial services company committed to its promise to "Do It Right" for its consumer, commercial and corporate customers. Ally is composed of an industry-leading independent auto finance and insurance operation, an award-winning digital direct bank (Ally Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, which offers mortgage lending, point-of-sale personal lending, and a variety of deposit and other banking products), a corporate finance business for equity sponsors and middle-market companies, and securities brokerage and investment advisory services. A relentless ally for all things money, Ally helps people save well and earn well, so they can spend for what matters. For more information, please visit www.ally.com and follow @allyfinancial.
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About McLaren Health Care
McLaren Health Care, headquartered in Grand Blanc, Michigan, is a $6 billion, fully integrated health care delivery system committed to quality, evidence-based patient care and cost efficiency. The McLaren system includes 15 hospitals in Michigan and Ohio, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, a 490-member employed primary and specialty care physician network, commercial and Medicaid HMOs covering more than 588,000 lives in Michigan and Indiana, home health, infusion and hospice providers, pharmacy services, a clinical laboratory network and a wholly owned medical malpractice insurance company. McLaren operates Michigan’s largest network of cancer centers and providers, anchored by the Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of only 51 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S. McLaren has 28,000 full-, part-time and contracted employees and more than 90,000 network providers throughout Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Learn more at www.mclaren.org.
About HNS Sports Group
HNS Sports Group is a Dublin, Ohio-based LLC founded in 2000. The company offers over 125-plus years of collective experience and is committed to providing professional, efficient and effective client representation in the categories of sponsorship consultation, event management, hospitality management, sales representation and tournament operations within the golf market. To learn more about HNS Sports Group, visit www.hnssports.com.
Thomas P. Sprouse
Director of Communications,
The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren
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