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IRVING, Texas, March 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Officials at the Invited Celebrity Classic presented by Choctaw Casinos & Resorts announced three premier commitments to the celebrity field including former Dallas Cowboys All-Pro Quarterback Tony Romo, World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sörenstam and newly-retired Major League Baseball star Albert Pujols. The tournament will be hosted at Invited’s Las Colinas Country Club on April 21-23 in this unique PGA TOUR Champions event that includes a field of 78 PGA TOUR Champions players and 40 celebrities who will compete in separate competitions for $2.5 million in prize money.
Check out video of Tony Romo from Invited Celebrity Classic Instagram.
Grounds tickets will be provided free of charge for all three days of the tournament, with Invited sponsoring admission on Friday, April 21, Energy Transfer on Saturday, April 22, and Choctaw Casinos & Resorts on Sunday, April 23. Additionally, upgraded Clubhouse tickets and other hospitality packages are also available for purchase impact of the Invited Gateway Club, a program designed to provide young adults who participate in The First Tee with complimentary Junior Memberships at Invited Courses.
CELEBRITIES: Romo headlines the latest announcement of additions to the celebrity field. Now a prominent NFL analyst for CBS Sports, he finished runner-up in a playoff last year to one-time pro tennis standout and former U.S. Davis Cup Captain Mardy Fish in an exciting finish before thousands at Las Colinas and a live audience on GOLF Channel. Romo drew the largest galleries throughout the weekend in 2022 and is expected to contend for the Celebrity Division title against 39 other celebrity golf standouts from the fields of sports and entertainment.
Romo played all of his 14 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and holds the team’s record for all-time passing touchdowns, among other distinctions. He is an accomplished amateur golfer, participating in multiple PGA TOUR events as a sponsor exemption. He is also the three-time winner of the American Century Championship (2018-19, 2022) in Lake Tahoe.
“I am looking forward to playing in the Invited Celebrity Classic at Las Colinas again this year. I love the competition and the crowds. The impact of this event on our community and on the charities is also a big motivation. April 21-23 can’t come soon enough,” Romo said.
This year’s tournament will include a salute to Sörenstam and her special relationship with the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex on the 20th anniversary of her epic endeavor to compete on the PGA TOUR. She made history and established a benchmark in the women’s movement for greater equality in sports.
In May of 2003, Annika received a sponsor exemption to play in the Bank of America Colonial PGA TOUR event in Fort Worth, making her the first woman in over half of a century to do so (Babe Zaharias in 1945). Though she did not make the cut, her effort has had a lasting effect on professional golf, with her walking away with immense honor and respect from sports fans around the globe.
Annika shot a 1-over par 71 in her first round and proceeded to shoot 4-over 74 on the second day. The event was won by Kenny Perry who finished 19-under par ahead of runner-up Justin Leonard. Annika and several PGA TOUR Champions players who competed in the tournament 20 years ago will be on-hand at Las Colinas to look back and remember the occasion during tournament week.
Pujols is the most recent big-name addition to the Invited Celebrity Classic field. Throughout his 22-season career, “The Machine” played in 11 All-Star Games and was named National League MVP three times. He won six Silver Slugger Awards, two Gold Glove Awards, and in 2018 he became the 32nd player in history to collect 3,000 hits. This past September, he joined Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth as the only players to hit 700 home runs.
Before finishing his career with the Angels and Dodgers, Pujols captured the hearts of Cardinals fans as the offensive powerhouse that led St. Louis to World Series Championships in 2006 and 2011. He retired this past season with the second most RBIs in MLB history and is expected to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown when he becomes eligible in 2028.
COMMUNITY IMPACT: For the second consecutive year, the Invited Celebrity Classic will host a free Youth Clinic presented by Energy Transfer hosting youth from First Tee Greater Dallas, First Tee Ft. Worth and Momentous Institute, the three charitable partners of the tournament.
Kids are invited to come to the driving range of Las Colinas Country Club from 3:30-4:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 18, for a lesson from Doug Barron, a PGA TOUR Champions professional who has played in over 400 PGA events and made more than $6.6 million in career earnings. The Invited Celebrity Classic Youth Clinic presented by Energy Transfer is open to children of all ages, free of charge. Media are invited to attend and complimentary snacks, drinks and giveaways will be available.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this second annual PGA TOUR Champions event,” said Vicki Granado, Energy Transfer Vice President, Corporate Communications. “Being able to support our communities throughout the Metroplex through this PGA TOUR Champions event is special. We are especially excited to have the opportunity to introduce local youth to the game of golf through the Youth Golf Clinic and the event’s affiliation with the Momentous Institute and the First Tee, which play such a critical role in our community.”
The Invited Celebrity Classic is operated by Mike Flaskey Entertainment. Flaskey, former CEO of Diamond Resorts International, has extensive experience conceiving and overseeing top-tier golf events with both the LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR Champions, plus All-Stars and Hall of Famers from NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL teams.
The tournament will benefit two children’s non-profit organizations, Momentous Institute, and the First Tee Greater Dallas and First Tee Fort Worth. Follow event updates and news on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
About Choctaw Casinos & Resorts
Owned and operated by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 208,000 tribal members and 12,000 employees. Choctaw Casinos feature a variety of gaming, hotel, and resort properties throughout southeastern Oklahoma. Locations include Durant, Grant, Pocola, Idabel, Broken Bow, McAlester, Stigler, and Stringtown. The Choctaw Casino & Resort-Durant underwent a $500 million expansion in August 2021 that added 1,000 more rooms and created 1,000 new jobs. In addition to the increased room capacity, the new Sky Tower also features an expanded non-smoking gaming floor and fresh amenities such as new pools, a parking garage, retail space, entertainment options, and dining venues. For more information, visit www.ChoctawCasinos.com.
About Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET)
Energy Transfer specializes in the transportation, storage and terminalling of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil and refined products. Since its founding in 1996, the company has made itself one of the largest infrastructure companies in North America with more than 11,000 employees and over 120,000 miles of pipelines and related assets traversing 41 states. Energy Transfer also has an international office in Beijing. For more information, visit the Energy Transfer LP website at energytransfer.com.
About Invited (formerly ClubCorp)
Since its founding in 1957, Dallas-based Invited has operated with the mission of Building Relationships and Enriching Lives®. The leading owner-operator of private golf and country clubs, city, and stadium clubs in North America, Invited is relentless in its pursuit of providing extraordinary experiences, meaningful connections, shared passions, and memorable moments for its more than 400,000 members. The company’s mission is supported by 20,000 peak-season employees and a portfolio of 200 owned or operated golf and country clubs, city clubs, sports clubs, stadium clubs in 29 states, and seven BigShots Golf locations. Invited creates communities and a lifestyle through its championship golf courses, workspaces, handcrafted cuisine, resort-style pools, tennis and pickleball facilities, golf lounges, fitness centers, and pioneering programming.
Marquee Invited properties include Firestone Country Club (Akron, Ohio); Mission Hills Country Club (Rancho Mirage, California); The Woodlands Country Club (Houston, Texas); and The Metropolitan Club (Chicago, Illinois).
Photos accompanying this announcement are available at: