Palm Beach County Sports Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2013
Contact: Kayla French
The 2013 Honda Classic will be in full swing on Thursday, February 28th through Sunday March 3rd as a field of 144 PGA TOUR professionals take to the links at PGA National Resort and Spa to compete for a total purse of $5.8 million. This tournament marks the seventh year the tournament returns to PGA National Resort and Spa and the eleventh consecutive year The Honda Classic is taking place in Palm Beach County. The event tees off at 7:00am on Thursday, February 28 and Friday, March 1. Action begins at 9:00am on Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3.
The Honda Classic received exciting news when Tiger Woods, one of world’s greatest golf legends and resident of Jupiter Island, committed to compete in the 2013 Honda Classic. Woods' appearance at The Honda Classic will mark a return to the place where he made a frantic charge last year (an eight-under par 62 on Sunday) at eventual champion Rory McIlroy before finishing second. "I'm excited to be playing The Honda Classic again," Woods said. "It's a really good tournament, and it does a lot for the community. I like the golf course, and I came pretty close last year. It's part of a busy stretch for me, and I want to continue playing well."
Woods' return to PGA National is a continued huge endorsement for The Honda Classic, which has steadily been rising in stature with TOUR players since its move to PGA National in 2007. Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose, currently ranked No. 1 and 5 in the world, belong to the tournament’s international field that also includes No. 6 Louis Oosthuizen, No. 8 Lee Westwood, No. 12 Jason Dufner, No. 15 Keegan Bradley, No. 16 Charl Schwartzel, No. 19 Graeme McDowell, No. 20 Peter Hanson, No. 23 Bo Van Pelt and the British Open Champion, Ernie Els. Other notables in the early field include Rickie Fowler, Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Stuart Cink, Erik Compton, Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh, Camilo Villegas and Mark Wilson. "We obviously are thrilled to have Tiger Woods return," Honda Classic Executive Director Ken Kennerly said. "We have worked tirelessly for the past six years to make this an elite event on the PGA TOUR and the presence of the top players has allowed us to reach even higher than we ever thought imaginable.” Kennerly also noted, "The sharp rise in our charitable contributions in 2012 was a testament to how powerful Tiger's presence is for the select tournaments that he chooses to play. We are humbled that he has chosen to return to The Honda Classic and look forward to another great Tiger battle with our defending champion Rory McIlroy and the other top players in the world."
The Honda Classic is one of Palm Beach County’s marquee sporting events. In 2012, over 161,700 spectators attended the tournament, an incredible 45% increase from the previous year. The Honda Classic makes a major impact regionally, nationally, and internationally. The tournament provides PGA Tour excitement to incoming visitors and Palm Beach County residents alike. This provides a major boost to the local economy. Fans, media, sponsors, and the players generated over 5,000 hotel room nights in addition to more than $40 million of economic impact in 2012. Palm Beach County is showcased world-wide as The Honda Classic is televised live on the Golf Channel and NBC and is internationally distributed to 221 countries, with a potential reach that exceeds 570 million households. The economic benefits derived from The Honda Classic are expected to rise in 2013.
While The Honda Classic strives to provide Palm Beach County with a premier professional sporting event, the ultimate goal is to positively impact youth in need through charitable endeavors. In 2012, the event raised $1.85 million for charity, including $400,000 for the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.
The Champions Course at PGA National is a major reason why The Honda Classic has blossomed into one of the elite events on the PGA TOUR. The Champion course has become known as one of the most challenging layouts in tournament golf. The Bear Trap, comprised of Holes 15-17, is considered one of the toughest stretches of golf on the PGA TOUR. PGA National has helped build Palm Beach County’s storied golf reputation. In addition to The Honda Classic, PGA National has hosted some of golf’s most defining moments, including the 1983 Ryder Cup and the 1987 PGA Championship. "We feel like we have the best venue on the PGA TOUR," Kennerly said.
Make sure you visit The Honda Classic, one of the greatest spectacles in sports for Palm Beach County. In addition to featuring the best PGA TOUR stars competing, The Honda Classic features a week-long schedule of events and activities, including a pro-am tournament, golf clinics, practice rounds, children’s activities and an “after play” concert series. For additional event information, ticket packages and commitment list of PGA TOUR professionals, please visit www.thehondaclassic.com.