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Father/Son Challenge Returns after Four-Year Hiatus
The Father/Son Challenge will be played this week for the first time in four years. The 36-hole event involves a scramble format and the 18 teams will vie for a total purse of $1 million. It will be held at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Grande Lakes in Orlando.
The rules call the pro participants to either have won a major title or a Players Championship during their careers, and their children or grandchildren must not currently hold a PGA Tour card. The new title sponsor is PNC.
Larry Nelson and his son Drew won the last Father/Son Challenge in 2008. Nelson, a three-time major winner, will be playing this year with his son Josh.
Also on hand will be Jack Nicklaus (playing with son Gary), Arnold Palmer (grandson Will Wears), Lee Janzen (son Connor), Sandy Lyle (son James), Steve Eklington (son Sam), Nick Faldo (son Matthew), David Duval (stepson Nick Karavites), Fuzzy Zoeller (daughter Gretchen), Mark O'Meara (son Shaun), Bernhard Langer (daughter Christina), Lanny Wadkins (son Tucker), Davis Love III (son Dru - Davis Love IV), Fred Funk (son Taylor), Raymond Floyd (son Robert), Vijay Singh (son Qass), Hale Irwin (son Steve) and Lee Trevino (son Daniel).
Ray Floyd is a five-time winner of the event. He won three times with his son Raymond Floyd Jr. and twice with Robert.
The event will be held Saturday and Sunday. The first day's marquee pairing is Nicklaus and Palmer, who'll be teeing off at 9:58 a.m.
"I am delighted the Father/Son Challenge is back," said Nicklaus, who won the 1999 Father/Son with Gary. "I always enjoy playing with my sons. It's always very special when you have the opportunity to do anything with your children, and to be able to compete together in a game that has meant so much to me my entire life is a real treat but also a reflection of a uniquely special quality about golf.
"Gary is going to have to carry me, because since the last Father/Son I have lost at least 50 yards. He's going to have to hit it a long way, get me on the green, and maybe I can putt. But I am sure a lot of fathers will be saying that this weekend."
"It's also nice to be able to share the moment with my long-time friend Arnold. My guess is the needle that will be out on Saturday will be a lot longer than our tee shots. We have many cherished memories of the years we competed together, traveled together, the time our wives and families spent together, the laughs we shared, and the friendship we forged. For a couple of old guys, we'll have a blast Saturday, me playing with my son Gary and Arnold with his grandson Will."
Palmer previously played with his grandson Sam Saunders, and now is paired with another grandson, Will Wears, who finishing up his senior year at Greater Latrobe (Pa.) High School. "Playing with Sam was a great pleasure and playing with Will is a greater pleasure. I'm looking forward to it. He's 18 years old.
"Sam was about the same age, a little younger, when we started. We had a lot of fun. It's something that just doesn't happen in life, you know, you have a couple young guys like these guys, Sam and now Will, and I'm looking forward to it. It'll be an exciting thing. To think that golf is the center of the whole thing makes it more exciting."
Young Wears said of the opportunity to play with his famous grandfather, "My grandpa started helping me when I first started playing. All the golf I learned I learned from him. He's been great and he helps me a ton."
Both rounds over the weekend will be broadcast on NBC starting at 1:00 p.m. EST.
For scoring updates, visit http://www.pgatour.com/2012/tournaments/s600/12/12/palmer-nicklaus-father-son-challenge/index.html.
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