Star-studded field to shine at AFI Championship

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- The 2019 American Family Insurance Championship will again feature one of the strongest fields on PGA TOUR Champions, including a defending champion who’s off to a red-shot start on tour this year.

Tournament officials Friday announced the additions of Vijay Singh and David Toms to a field of 78 players that will begin competition next Friday, June 21, at University Ridge Golf Course. The championship, now in its fourth year, will continue on Saturday and conclude with a third 18-hole round on Sunday.

The championship field is set, with the exception of four spots that will be determined in an 18-hole qualifier next Monday, June 17, at the Legend of Bergamont Golf Course. The field remains subject to change due to player withdrawals until the start of tournament play.

The strength of field begins with defending champion Scott McCarron and player-host Steve Stricker. McCarron has already won three PGA TOUR Champions titles this year and leads the Charles Schwab Cup race. Stricker won his first PGA TOUR Champions major earlier this year at the Regions Tradition.

This year’s field will include nine of the top 10 players in this year’s Charles Schwab Cup race, 18 of the top 20 and 37 of the top 40. Other returning players will include hometown star Jerry Kelly, 2016 American Family Insurance Championship winner Kirk Triplett, and international legends Bernhard Langer, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Colin Montgomerie.

PGA TOUR Champions rookies Darren Clarke, Retief Goosen and Chris DiMarco will play in the American Family Insurance Championship for the first time.

The 2019 American Family Insurance Championship field will include:

· Nine players with PGA TOUR Champions wins this season: Scott Hoch, Langer, Jimenez, McCarron, Tom Pernice, Stricker, Kevin Sutherland, Ken Tanigawa and Triplett.

· Four members of the World Golf Hall of Fame: Goosen, Montgomerie, Langer and Singh.

· Nine winners of the Masters, U.S. Open, The Open Championship or PGA Championship: Mark Calcavecchia, John Daly, Lee Janzen, Langer, Corey Pavin, Singh, Jeff Sluman, Toms and Bob Tway.

· Six winners of the former Greater Milwaukee Open/U.S. Bank Championship: Hoch, Billy Mayfair, Pavin, Kenny Perry, Loren Roberts and Jeff Sluman.

· Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and pro golfer John Smoltz is one of five players to receive sponsor’s exemptions. Others are Mike Small, University of Illinois golf coach and three-time champion of the PGA Professional National Championship; and PGA TOUR Champions players Michael Bradley, Shaun Micheel and Willie Wood.

The player field is listed below and posted on the American Family Insurance Championship website (www.AmFamChampionship.com) with the exception of the four spots that will be determined by Monday’s tournament qualifier.

The second round of the tournament on Saturday, June 22, will feature the AmFam Champ Celebrity Foursome, sponsored by Andy North. Joining North, a Madison, Wisconsin, resident and two-time winner of the U.S. Open, will be 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus, Green Bay Packer great Brett Favre and country western music star Toby Keith.

The group will play a 9-hole scramble, starting on the 10th hole at approximately 2:30 p.m., following the final tournament group for the day.

Tickets for the American Family Insurance Championship are available from the home page of AmFamChampionship.com under the "Get Tickets" link, and at the front entrance of tournament. Tickets and prices include:

· General admission ticket: $25

· Champions ticket (50 years +): $20

Active duty, reserve and retired military personnel can again enjoy a free three-day pass and any child 15 and under gets free admission to the tournament with a paid adult admission.

For tournament updates, fans can follow the tournament’s social media channel