Korn Ferry Tour Announces Lake Charles Championship
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2019-08-20
LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana — The Korn Ferry Tour announced a partnership with the Lake Charles/SWLA Convention and Visitors Bureau to bring a new tournament to the Tour’s annual schedule starting in 2020. The Lake Charles Championship will debut at The Country Club at Golden Nugget in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the week of March 23-29, 2020, with 156 players competing for a $600,000 purse. A five-year agreement is in place through 2024.
“We are excited to partner with the Lake Charles/SWLA CVB to bring Korn Ferry Tour golf to this region of Louisiana,” said Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin. “I am confident our players will enjoy a tremendous week of competition at the Golden Nugget while providing local golf fans a glimpse into the future stars of the PGA TOUR.”
The announcement ensures the Bayou State will have two events on the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour schedule, as the Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by MISTRAS will be contested in Lafayette the week prior. Louisiana will join Tennessee, Missouri and Illinois as the only U.S. states to host two Korn Ferry Tour events annually.
“The Lake Charles/SWLA CVB is proud to join the long list of successful destinations that are part of the Korn Ferry Tour host family,” said CVB President/CEO Kyle Edmiston. “We are thankful to Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, Mayor Nic Hunter, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and the Golden Nugget Lake Charles for helping to make this iconic event a reality. I am positive that the Korn Ferry Tour players and staff will enjoy the wonderful hospitality provided by our community.”
The Lake Charles/SWLA CVB provides leadership in initiating and coordinating the worldwide marketing and promotion of Calcasieu Parish. With a goal of engaging in visitor experiences to generate business and leisure travel to Southwest Louisiana, the group solicits and services conventions to enhance and develop the economic fabric of the Parish.
The Country Club at Golden Nugget opened in 2015 and was named to the list of Top Ten New Courses by Golf Digest, as well as being honored as the No. 2 course in Louisiana in Golfweek’s Best of 2018 issue. With open fairways, immaculately-kept Bermuda greens, challenging holes, and unmatched scenery, The Country Club at Golden Nugget offers an exceptional resort golf experience. The 18-hole, par 72 golf course on the bayou was designed by California-based architect Todd Eckenrode and Origins Golf Designs, offering 7,000 yards of exciting golf on manicured greens surrounded by native marsh landscaping. The clubhouse is home to plush locker rooms, a dedicated pro shop, and beautiful sunset views from Chart House seafood restaurant. The course at Golden Nugget Lake Charles will serve as host hotel and casino for tournament week. The property is a 242-acre waterfront casino resort, featuring a 22-story tower, 30,000 square feet of meeting space, more than a dozen dining and bar options, a private beach, marina, spa & salon, retail corridor and expansive 24-hour casino floor.
“We appreciate the efforts of all those involved to bring such a great event to our community,” said Alan Trantina, SVP and General Manager of Golden Nugget Lake Charles. “Our team looks forward to welcoming the Korn Ferry Tour to the Country Club at Golden Nugget and to Southwest Louisiana.”
The tournament will be operated by Alabama-based Bruno Event Team with Steve Nieman serving as Tournament Director. For 25 years, Bruno Event Team has provided clients with expertise in event management, marketing, and operations in golf, motorsports, college and amateur athletics, as well as gameday experiences. In addition to the Korn Ferry Tour, the company manages tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions and LPGA Tour.
With 50 available PGA TOUR cards for the following season (since 2013), the Korn Ferry Tour is the path to the PGA TOUR. Twenty-five TOUR cards are reserved for the leading points earners at the end of the 24-event Regular Season. Another 25 are up for grabs at the three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals that follow the Regular Season in August and September.
During the PGA TOUR’s 2018-19 season, five players from the Korn Ferry Tour’s Class of 2018 have won titles, including Cameron Champ (Sanderson Farms Championship), Adam Long (The Desert Classic), Martin Trainer (Puerto Rico Open), Max Homa (Wells Fargo Championship) and Dylan Frittelli (John Deere Classic).
Other notable PGA TOUR players who got their start on the Korn Ferry Tour include major champions Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Bubba Watson and Zach Johnson.