Still seven months away, the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow has already begun to redefine the PGA Tour’s special event.
Beyond record-setting hospitality sales for the September matches, the tour and Quail Hollow have announced the creation of a new event that will add another layer to the biennial competition between the United States and International teams.
The Charlie Sifford Centennial Cup will bring together six of the top men’s golf teams from Historically Black Colleges and Universities for a one-day Presidents Cup-style match at Quail Hollow in advance of the big event.
The new event will be played Aug. 29 as part of media day activities for the Presidents Cup when captains Davis Love III and Trevor Immelman will announce their at-large picks to complete their team rosters.
The event honors the late Sifford, who was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, and whose 100th birthday will be celebrated June 2. Sifford was the first African-American member of the PGA Tour and was instrumental in ending the PGA of America’s Caucasian-only clause. A two-time tour winner, Sifford was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004.
“This is something different and it’s never been done before. We wanted to do something that is a differentiator. To bring some of the best college players who are part of HBCU programs and put it together with the Presidents Cup is really spectacular,” said Johnny Harris, chairman of the 2022 Presidents Cup.
The creation of the new event grew out of discussions about expanding the reach and impact of the Presidents Cup beyond Charlotte.
“It’s an incredible twist of fate that we are in Charlie’s hometown on the centennial of his birth with a global event,” said Adam Sperling, executive director of the Presidents Cup. “It allows us to celebrate HBCUs and bring his legacy to the forefront.
“You couldn’t write a better script from a timing and venue standpoint.”
Charlotte’s Johnson C. Smith University will serve as the host school for the event which will include the top four HBCU Division I men’s teams as well as the top two HBCU Division II teams, based on Golfstat rankings.
“My father’s vision was that the golf establishment provide equal access to make the game of golf more inclusive to all people. The Charlie Sifford Centennial Cup is a great example of the diversity and inclusion that Dr. Charles Luther Sifford exemplified as the first African-American member of the PGA Tour,” Charlie Sifford Jr. said.
“He envisioned young people playing a championship course with the opportunity to acquire experience and knowledge of what it takes to compete at the highest level.”
The Sifford Centennial Cup will be part of a two-day event staged one month before the Presidents Cup. It will begin with a clinic on Sunday, Aug. 28, in conjunction with The First Tee of Charlotte, practice rounds at Quail Hollow and a welcome reception.
Four players from each of the invited teams will be divided into two 12-player teams for the Sifford Centennial Cup on Aug. 29. The teams will play Quail Hollow with the full Presidents Cup build-out in place and the adjusted course routing, which will shift the club’s famous Green Mile finish to the 13th, 14th and 15th holes for the match-play event.
The teams will play foursomes competition in the morning followed by singles matches in the afternoon – a total of 18 matches.
“Since we got here in 2018, we started thinking about how we host this Presidents Cup differently,” Sperling said. “That’s not to say we had this idea in 2018 but having an extra year (the event was pushed back from 2021 due to the pandemic) gave us time to step back and look at how to do everything.
“How can we do things differently and how can we better connect the event and the community? This came out of a culmination of different thoughts. This is not displacing the discussion and excitement about the Presidents Cup and leading up to it but it’s creating an experience that makes it bigger and better.”
After the matches conclude, the teams will join the Presidents Cup captains as they announce their rosters.
Love will have six captain’s picks for the American side while Immelman will add four players to his International roster. Automatic qualifying for the Presidents Cup will conclude at the end of the BMW Championship in August.
© 2022 Global Golf Post LLC
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Tell us how we can improve this post?