The Ascension Charity Classic presented by Emerson announced today that World Golf Hall of Fame members Lee Trevino, Nancy Lopez and Hale Irwin will headline the tournament’s second annual Legends Luncheon presented by Centene and Missouri Division of Tourism at Norwood Hills Country Club on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.
This unique and inspiring event brings together several of golf’s greatest legends to benefit the Tournament’s primary charities, including Marygrove, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, and Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.
The 2022 Legends Luncheon will showcase Trevino, Lopez, and Irwin sharing stories from their playing days, which feature a combined 12 PGA TOUR and LPGA major championships, 97 tour wins, and 75 PGA TOUR Champions victories, including 11 majors.
“The Legends Luncheon annually marks the unofficial kickoff of the Ascension Charity Classic presented by Emerson,” said Nick Ragone, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing & Communications Officer for Ascension. “The goal of the Luncheon is to support our Tournament’s charitable efforts, which last year raised over $1 million for area charities. Having legends like Trevino, Lopez and Irwin in St. Louis promoting golf and our Tournament will be a treat for attendees and a reminder for St. Louis that the best players in the world will be here again in September.”
Tickets for the Legends Luncheon can be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the tournament office at 314.938.2828. Luncheon attendance will be limited to the purchase of tables of 10.
“The Missouri Division of Tourism’s support for the Legends Luncheon and the Ascension Charity Classic presented by Emerson is just one way that we showcase great experiences in our state,” said Missouri Division of Tourism Director Stephen Foutes. “We are excited to have these iconic golfers in our state, and to welcome fans for a thrilling weekend of golf in St. Louis.”
No stranger to St. Louis, Trevino won the St. Louis Classic at Norwood Hills in 1972, the last professional tournament played at the 100-year-old course before last year’s inaugural Ascension Charity Classic.
Trevino is arguably one of the best ball-strikers golf has ever seen. A natural performer, the Texas native shaped a very original path to the top of the sport. Entirely self-taught at first, Trevino became a golf professional in 1960 after a four-year stint in the Marines, and took his first job working as an assistant in El Paso, TX, before joining the professional golf circuit in 1966.
During his career, Trevino won 29 PGA TOUR titles, including six major championships: the U.S. Open twice (1968, 1971), back-to-back British Opens in 1971 and 1972, and the PGA Championship in 1974 and 1984, his final TOUR victory came at age 44. He also won 29 PGA TOUR Champions tournaments⎯ranked third all-time⎯four of them majors. Trevino won the Vardon Trophy for low scoring average five times, and was named PGA Player of the Year and the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated’s Athlete of the Year in 1971.
Lopez grew up in Roswell, New Mexico, where she won the state amateur when she was 12, two U.S. Girls’ Junior titles, an NCAA title, and, in 1975, she finished second in the U.S. Women’s Open. Lopez accomplished all of this before turning professional in 1978.
During her first full year on the LPGA Tour, Lopez won nine tournaments, including five in a row, and was named LPGA Rookie of the year, LPGA Player of the Year, and was the recipient of the Vare Trophy given to the LPGA Tour player with the lowest scoring average of the season. Lopez is the only player to win all three awards in the same season.
Over the course of her professional career Lopez received LPGA Tour Player of the Year honors a total of four times (1978, 1979, 1985, 1988) and the Vare Trophy three times. With 48 career LPGA victories, including three majors, Lopez is considered one of the greatest female golfers of all time and one of the game’s all-time greats.
Irwin, a Missouri native, is one of the most accomplished PGA TOUR Champions players of all time. His 45 wins rank first on Tour, and he holds the No. 2 position on the Tour’s career money list. The two-time Charles Schwab Cup winner recorded 20 titles on the PGA TOUR, including three U.S. Open Championship victories.
Irwin grew to love the game of golf at an early age from his father. Hale first broke 70 at age 14. At that time, the Irwin family relocated to Boulder, Colorado, where Irwin began to star at the prep level in golf, football, and baseball. Irwin led Boulder High School to a state title in football as their quarterback his senior year, earning a scholarship to the University of Colorado. Combined with his numerous state championships in golf, Irwin was named to the Colorado State High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
At the University of Colorado, Irwin was a four-year letterman in golf and won the Big Eight Conference Championship two years in a row and the NCAA Championship in 1967. He was also a two-time All-Big Eight selection as a football defensive back.
Irwin began his prolific professional golf career in 1968. He captured his first PGA TOUR title in 1971 and the first of his three U.S. Open wins in 1974 at Winged Foot Golf Club.
The Ascension Charity Classic has established a legacy of giving in St. Louis and beyond. In 2020, despite not hosting a tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ascension Charity Classic donated $225,000 in support of North St. Louis County communities, bringing the official PGA TOUR Champions event’s total charitable donations since its inception to more than $1 million.
The Ascension Charity Classic will be one of the premier Regular Season events on the PGA TOUR Champions in 2022, which will give way to the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs⎯a season-ending, three-tournament series used to determine the TOUR’s season-long champion.
For more information about the Ascension Charity Classic presented by Emerson, including ticket, pro-am and hospitality availability, visit the Ascension Charity Classic website at ascensioncharityclassic.com. For the latest news and updates on social media, follow the tournament on Twitter at @ascensionccg, on Facebook at facebook.com/ascensioncharityclassic and Instagram at @ascensioncharityclassic.
About Ascension Charity Classic presented by Emerson
The Ascension Charity Classic presented by Emerson is an official event on the PGA TOUR Champions operated by Tournaments for Charity, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit entity. This 54-hole stroke play golf tournament features 81 PGA TOUR Champions professionals competing for a $2 million purse at historic Norwood Hills Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. The event is designed to showcase the best golf on the PGA TOUR Champions for the enjoyment of spectators and to benefit local charities in the North St. Louis County area and beyond. All three official rounds will be internationally televised on the Golf Channel. For more information, visit ascensioncharityclassic.com.
About PGA TOUR Champions
PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of professional golfers 50 and older, including 33 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Tour’s mission is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back and generate significant charitable and economic impact in tournament communities. All events are televised in the United States, with most receiving complete coverage on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable-television partner of PGA TOUR Champions. Internationally, telecasts air in excess of 170 countries and territories, reaching more than 340 million potential households, and distributed in 15+ markets via GOLFTV. Follow PGA TOUR Champions online at PGATOUR.com, at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions, on Twitter @ChampionsTour and on Instagram @pgatourchampions.