Fan-favorite couples and Daly book return trips to Shaw Charity Classic

Tournament organizers announced on Monday that two fan favorites, Fred Couples and John Daly, are among the first to commit to the 10th anniversary edition of the annual PGA Tour Shootout of Champions at Canyon Meadows G&CC.

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The Shaw Charity Classic celebrates a big anniversary with the return of two of the biggest names on the senior golf circuit.

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Tournament organizers announced on Monday that a pair of fan favorites Fred Couples and John Daly are among the first to commit to the 10e anniversary edition of the annual PGA Tour Shootout of Champions at Canyon Meadows G&CC.

“Boom Boom” and “Long John” will be joined by Padraig Harrington, who won three majors in his prime and is now an over-50 rookie.

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That’s some serious star power.

“We came out strong with three of the most popular players,” tournament director Sean Van Kesteren said beaming. “Obviously you want to get the needle movers if you can, and we were lucky to get 1-2-3. It was like, ‘Great, here we are. Should we name them all at once? Yeah, let’s do it. ”

Monday’s announcement will only heighten anticipation for the return to normal for the Shaw Charity Classic, scheduled for August 5-7. The annual bird festival had to be canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, while they could only allow limited spectators last summer due to continued public safety measures.

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“Honestly, I think this is going to be our biggest event yet,” said Van Kesteren, whose tournament has racked up more than $76 million in charitable donations over the past nine years and established a reputation for first leg of the PGA Tour Champions. “We are really excited. It’s gonna be fun, just getting people off the buses again. »

With one-day tickets selling in advance for just $10 as part of birthday celebrations, and with kids always free when accompanied by an adult, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Shaw Charity Classic breaks its previous attendance record this summer.

That’s exactly what Daly, beloved for his grip-and-rip-it style and man-of-the-people personality, hopes for. He has been drawing crowds since his unexpected victory at the 1991 PGA Championship, his first of two major triumphs.

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Now 56, Daly will be accompanied on his second visit to Canyon Meadows by his son Little John, who is now a member of the University of Arkansas golf team and will serve as a caddy in August for his proud pops. As a duo, they recently signed a sponsorship deal with Hooters.

“I’ve always said I have the biggest fans in the world, and Calgary is no different. Regardless, through thick and thin, they have always stood by my side,” Daly said in Monday’s statement. “This tournament always has huge galleries. There’s nothing better than tossing it around and having the fans go loud and crazy. That’s how I like them, so I can’t wait to get to Canada with Little John and hopefully give the fans something to rave about.

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Couples have a history of exactly that.

He is a former Masters champion – he was fitted for his green jacket in 1992 – and inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. For the past decade, the Shaw Charity Classic’s loudest roar has come in response to his chip-in eagle over No. 18 in the final round in 2014. After a record 9-under 61 tear, he has eventually won in a playoff.

Many fans arrive at Canyon Meadows, pick up a tee sheet, and immediately search Couples’ name. At 62, his PGA Tour Champions cohorts will tell you he’s still the coolest cat in senior golf. It has arguably the smoothest swing too.

“Everyone loves Freddie, and we can’t wait to see him again,” said Van Kesteren of Couples, who missed the last two trips to Calgary with a troublesome back. “He is healthy again and he is playing more golf. So hopefully when he comes here in August he can wrestle again.

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That’s the plan.

“Calgary has been a very nice place for me. I have always said that as long as I am in good health, I plan to come here every year,” Couples said in a statement. “The people at Shaw are amazing. The crowds are huge. The course is still in great shape and I feel like I’m playing it well. There is nothing more a player could ask for. I can’t wait to come back and participate in this special year for the tournament.

Hailing from Ireland, Harrington won a majors hat-trick over a fairy tale 14-month span – going back-to-back to the British Open in 2007 and 2008 and going on a fiery run at the 2008 PGA Championship.

He turned 50 last summer — just weeks too late to be eligible to compete in Calgary — and has eight starts so far against veterans, including three runners-up.

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Maybe he’ll win his first senior trophy in August at Canyon Meadows. It won’t be easy in what promises to be a stacked field.

“There are a bunch of other guys playing though that we can announce shortly,” Van Kesteren teased. “So it’s going to be very competitive, and I think that’s a big part of that. People want to see these guys play their best.

” It’s gonna be fun. I think it’s going to be a banner year for us.

CHIP SHOTS: The Shaw Birdies for Kids program, presented by AltaLink, has already launched for 2022, with more than 260 youth-focused charities set to benefit from the support of generous golf fans. Donations are accepted at shawcharityclassic.com.

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