Legends of Golf: April 17–22, 2018
The PGA TOUR Champions Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge features some of the biggest names in the history of golf. Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Hale Irwin, John Daly, defending champion Vijay Singh, and many more are scheduled to attend.
2018 teams have been announced. All lists are tentative and subject to change. Click here for the most current info on players scheduled to attend.
"The Golden Bear" is widely regarded as the most accomplished golfer of all time. In the 1960s, Jack, Gary Player, and Arnold Palmer dominated the game as "The Big Three," helping to popularize golf through the magic of television. Jack won just about everything there was to win in the 1970s, when he was arguably at his most dominant. In 1986, Jack electrified golf fans around the world by winning his eighteenth major title at The Masters with a magical back-nine charge. His unmatched resume includes a record 18 major championships—the ultimate standard for golf excellence. Nicklaus continued to win during his days on the Champions Tour, notching another 10 victories before transitioning to a role promoting golf as both a philanthropist and architect. His global golf course design firm, Nicklaus Design, is widely regarded as the world's leading design firm and was responsible for helping to create Top of the Rock, the first par-3 course ever to be used in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event. Even now, Jack Nicklaus's influence on the game is immense; he stands atop golf's pinnacle as a true living legend.
Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974 • One of only 5 golfers to achieve the career Grand Slam • 118 professional tournament victories worldwide • 73 PGA TOUR victories • 10 Champions Tour victories, including 8 majors • 11 international victories • 18-time major champion • 6 Masters titles - 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986 • 4 U.S. Open Championship - 1962, 1967, 1972, 1980 • 3 Open Championships - 1966, 1970, 1978 • 5 PGA Championships - 1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980 • 2-time U.S. Amateur Champion - 1959, 1961 • Winner of the World Match Play Championship • 5-time winner of the World Series of Golf • Received PGA TOUR's Distinguished Service Award - 2000 • Received PGA TOUR's Payne Stewart Award - 2000 • Ryder Cup Team Member - 1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1981 • Ryder Cup Captain - 1983, 1987 • Presidents Cup Captain - 1998, 2003, 2005, 2007 • 5-time PGA TOUR Player of the Year • 8-time PGA TOUR Leading Money Winner - 1964, 1965, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976 • 8-time Vardon Trophy winner (lowest scoring average) - 1964, 1965, 1971–1976
The greatest international golfer of all time and winner of 165 tournaments worldwide, Gary Player is one of golf’s most accomplished players and is truly a living legend. The South African is known by many names—“The Black Knight,” “Mr. Fitness,” and the “International Ambassador of Golf”—but whatever you call him, call him successful. With Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, Gary helped popularize golf as one of “The Big Three” golfers that dominated the sport in the early days of televised golf. When he won the U.S. Open at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis in 1965 at age 29, Gary became only the third player in history to complete the career Grand Slam. His dedication to fitness is legendary, as is his reputation as a perfectionist and philanthropist. A one-page summary hardly does him justice, so much has he meant to the sport and those who have played it.
Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974 • One of only 5 golfers to achieve the career Grand Slam • Over $14 million in combined worldwide earnings • The World’s Most Traveled Athlete™ with over 15 million air miles • 165 worldwide victories • 24 PGA TOUR victories • 9-time Major Champion • 3 Masters titles – 1961, 1974, 1978 • 1 U.S. Open Championship – 1965 • 3 Open Championships – 1959, 1968, 1974 • 2 PGA Championships – 1962, 1972 • 19 Champions Tour victories • 9-time Major Champion on the Champions Tour • 3-time Presidents Cup Captain - 2003, 2005, 2007 • Winner of the South African Open a record 13 times • Winner of the Australian Open a record 7 times • Winner of the World Match Play Championship a record 5 times • 3-time winner of the World Series of Golf • Received PGA TOUR’s Lifetime Achievement Award – 2012 • Received PGA TOUR’s Payne Stewart Award – 2006 • Holds the record for most consecutive cuts made at The Masters with 23 • Shot 59 in the 1974 Brazilian Open, the only sub-60 score in a national open championship • PGA TOUR Leading Money Winner – 1961
"The Legends of Golf is one of my favorite events to play in each year. As a two-time winner, I am thrilled to tee up with my friend Jack Nicklaus at Big Cedar Lodge’s Top of the Rock in what should be a fantastic tournament."
World Golf Hall of Fame member Hale Irwin holds the distinction of being one of a handful of professional golfers from Missouri. He was born in Joplin in 1945 and was one of the world's best golfers from the mid-70s to the mid-80s. He is most closely associated with the U.S. Open, which he won 3 times. When he won his final U.S. Open title in 1990, he set the record for the oldest champion at age 45. His spontaneous jaunt around the final green, high-fiving fans all the way, is perhaps fans' most iconic memory of him. Hale qualified to play on the Champions Tour in 1995, where he enjoyed even greater success. Irwin is the most dominant player in Champions Tour history with 45 victories—the all-time Tour record—as well as awards and honors too numerous to mention.
Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1992 • One of only 4 golfers to win official tournaments on all 6 continents on which golf is played • 20 PGA TOUR victories • 45 Champions Tour victories, including 7 majors • Finished in the top-3 in 44% of Champions Tour starts • 3-time major champion • 3 U.S. Open Championships - 1974, 1979, 1990 • Legends of Golf winner - 2004 • Ryder Cup Team Member - 1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1991 • Presidents Cup Captain - 1994 • 2-time winner of the World Match Play Championship • 2-time Charles Schwab Cup champion - 2002, 2004
One of the PGA TOUR's greatest players, Tom Watson is a native Missourian who was born in Kansas City. He won the Missouri State Amateur four times before joining the PGA TOUR in 1971. Watson was especially dominant during a six-year span (1977-82) that saw him post 26 wins, 13 runners-up finishes, and 10 thirds, along with being the PGA TOUR's leading money-winner four years in a row (1977-80). His duel with Jack Nicklaus during the 1977 Open Championship at Turnberry was especially memorable. Paired together Saturday and Sunday, both men blitzed the course with a barrage of birdies. Only when Tom made birdie on the final hole did he secure his second Open Championship and his place as one of Jack's greatest rivals. That rivalry was rekindled five years later at the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, where Tom authored one of the game's all-time greatest shots by holing an impossibly difficult chip from high greenside rough on 17. That miracle chip shot propelled him to a two-shot win over Nicklaus and his only U.S. Open title. Tom thrilled fans everywhere when he nearly won the 2009 Open Championship at age 59, proving that golf can be played at a high level well beyond age 50. Tom Watson is truly a legend, ranking as one of the game's greatest champions. Only five other golfers have more victories in major championships. Top of the Rock is proud that Tom helped design The Himalayas putting green, which was inspired by his experiences at The Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland.
Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988 • Voted the Bob Jones Award winner in 1987, the highest honor given by the USGA in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf • 39 PGA TOUR victories • 14 Champions Tour victories, including 6 majors • 8-time major champion • 2 Masters titles - 1977, 1981 • 1 U.S. Open Championship - 1982 • 5 Open Championships - 1975, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983 • Missouri State Amateur Champion - 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971 • 3-time Legends of Golf winner - 2005, 2006, 2008 • Ryder Cup Team Member - 1977, 1981, 1983, 1989 • Ryder Cup Captain - 1993 and 2014 • 6-time PGA TOUR Player of the Year - 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984 • 5-time PGA TOUR Leading Money Winner • 3-time Vardon Trophy winner (lowest scoring average) - 1977, 1978, 1979