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Hoag Classic golf tournament returning in 2022 with $2-million prize pool

Fred Couples chips the ball onto the green of the 18th hole during the Hoag Classic on March 8, 2020.
Fred Couples of Newport Beach chips the ball onto the green of the 18th hole during the Hoag Classic at the Newport Beach Country Club on March 8, 2020. The tournament, postponed by the pandemic, is expected to return next spring and offer a total prize pool of $2 million, the largest in the tournament’s 27-year history.
(Drew A. Kelley)

Frustration has been par for the course for many during the coronavirus pandemic, and that list includes organizers of the Hoag Classic golf tournament.

The annual PGA Tour Champions event was postponed indefinitely in January, and was not played in 2021.

But the tournament will be back next spring, and as good as ever, organizers say.

Officials have announced the tournament, which is put on by Hoag, will be played March 2 to 6 at Newport Beach Country Club. The total prize pool will be $2 million, the largest in the tournament’s 27-year history.

“It’s important for us to continue to be a leader on the Champions Tour,” Hoag Classic executive director Jeff Purser said. “There’s a lot of new players that are coming up, and we wanted to make sure that this tournament remained in a position to be a premiere event. [The purse] was an important statement to make, certainly. I think it’s exciting for the players, I think it’s exciting for the tournament to make the statement that we continue to be a leader for Hoag, our sponsors, our volunteers, our fans, for everyone involved.”

The Hoag Classic, formerly known as the Toshiba Classic, is one of the most popular PGA Tour Champions events. Hale Irwin, Fred Couples and Jay Haas have each won it twice. Ernie Els won the most recent iteration in March 2020, just before things started shutting down due to COVID-19.

The tournament has raised more than $20 million over the years for Hoag and other charities. Next year’s tournament promises to return Military Appreciation Day and Student Day. A new feature will be the Hoag Technology Showcase, where attendees will be able to see the latest technology used for patient treatment and recovery.

Purser said health and safety measures will be in place, though specifics aren’t known yet with the tournament nearly four months away.

“We’re continuing to monitor and gauge what’s happening at events in California,” Purser said. “There are tiers and different levels of expectation for various size events. We plan our operations year-round and adapt as necessary, though, even in the normal years ... We will do what’s necessary to provide a safe environment for everybody.”

The Hoag Classic is the fourth of 28 events on next year’s PGA Tour Champions calendar. Total prize money is a record $62 million.

Volunteer registration for the tournament is now available at hoagclassic.com/volunteer.

“As exciting as the professional competition is, it’s just one aspect of what makes the Hoag Classic so special,” said Hoag Classic chairman Paul Folino in a statement. “The event simply wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of our volunteers and the involvement of our sponsors. They ensure that the Hoag Classic is a true community event.”

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