Winners of the 2003 Father/Son Challenge have played each year of event

ORLANDO, Fla., – Hale Irwin is one of only four players to have participated in each of the 16 years the PNC Father/Son Challenge has been played.   His son Steve, now 40, has played in each one with him.  From the beginning, Irwin said this has been a special event. 

“Every year when I get the schedule, I look to see if the Father/Son is on there,” said Irwin.  “It’s fair to say that all of us who played from the very beginning knew this was going to be a special event.”  

Irwin is one of 20 fathers who will vie for the Willie Park trophy alongside their son or daughter when the tournament is played Dec. 11-14, 2014, at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Grande Lakes in Fla.

Not only does Irwin like spending time with his son on the course, he loves how the tournament allows the players’ offspring to experience what it’s like inside the ropes. 

“Golf has taught our kids so much,” said Irwin.  “Whether my son plays well in this tournament doesn’t matter as much, but to experience a tournament with him and just be with him for a few days is what matters most.  These kids have seen their fathers achieve success and it’s nice to share it with them.  All the offspring that have played this event has conducted themselves in such a good manner and we are proud of them.”  

Irwin is the winner of 87 worldwide titles including 20 PGA TOUR titles.  Now in his 20th season on the Champions Tour, Irwin has won 45 times, 16 more than the next winningest senior golfer, Lee Trevino.  Irwin won his first PGA TOUR title in 1971 at Hilton Head Island, S.C, and has recorded three U.S. Open victories and two U.S. Senior Open wins.  He also played on the victorious U.S. Ryder Cup team in 1991.

Hale and Steve have won the event one time – in 2003.  Hale lives in Phoenix and Steve lives in Denver, so they don’t see each other every day, but they still see each other when they can.  The PNC Father/Son also allows for the rest of their family to get together.  Hale’s daughter will travel to Orlando from St. Louis to spectate and enjoy family time too. 

The two-day tournament record with the scramble format only is 25-under-par 119 and is shared by four teams (Bob/David Charles/1998; Jack/Gary Nicklaus/1999; Raymond/Robert Floyd/1999; Larry/Drew Nelson/2004).

The PNC Father/Son Challenge, held for 15 years from 1995-2008, made a return in 2012 with new title sponsor, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. 

Stewart Cink and his son Connor hoisted the Willie Park trophy in 2013, and will return as defending champions.

Television coverage of the PNC Father/Son Challenge will air on Golf Channel from 2-3 p.m. ET and NBC from 3-6 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 13 and Sunday, Dec. 14.  The Golf Channel will also air a Pro-Am Special on Friday, Dec. 12.  

Tickets are now on sale, priced at $15 per day or $45 for a full tournament pass (four days), by visiting www.pncfathersonchallenge.com or by calling 407-272-7506. Children age 15 years and younger receive complimentary admission with an accompanying adult.

To qualify for the PNC Father/Son Challenge, participants must have won either a major championship or THE PLAYERS in their career. The professional’s partner must not currently hold a Tour card, and while the majority of partners in the history of the event have been the sons of the golf legends, the family-themed tournament has seen daughters and grandsons participate over the years.

The PNC Father/Son Challenge is operated in partnership by IMG and NBC Sports.