Invited Celebrity Classic Tournament Update
Celebrities: “The Bachelor” star Ben Higgins joins the celebrity field
Competition: Dallas contingent Leonard, Verplank and Frazar committed to play
IRVING, TX – The 2023 Invited Celebrity Classic will feature the top PGA TOUR Champions golfers competing at Las Colinas Country Club on April 21-23. The official PGA TOUR Champions tournament is unique with a field of 78 PGA TOUR Champions players and 40 celebrities battling in separate competitions for $2.5 million in prize money. All three days of competition will be televised live by GOLF Channel with celebrities and PGA TOUR Champions paired in the same groups over 54 holes.
Complimentary grounds tickets will be provided by Invited on Friday, April 21, Energy Transfer for Saturday’s second round on April 22, and Choctaw Casinos & Resorts for the final round on Sunday, April 23. Additionally, upgraded Clubhouse tickets and other hospitality packages are on sale for the second year of the event. Thanks to sponsor and community support, the Invited Celebrity Classic will look to build on the impact generated by last year’s inaugural event for its local charitable partners - First Tee Greater Dallas, First Tee Fort Worth and Momentous Institute.
The on-site experience at Las Colinas Country Club will not only feature some of the world’s best golfers and most recognized celebrities, but a host of fan experience elements that make the Invited Celebrity Classic a must-attend event.
CELEBRITIES: Ben Higgins, featured on The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Ben and Lauren, Happily Ever After committed to play in this year’s event.
Higgins, the prominent television personality and reality star who rose to fame on the 20th season of the TV hit, The Bachelor, will compete in the Invited Celebrity Classic presented by Choctaw Casinos and Resorts.
Higgins first appeared as a contestant on The Bachelorette in 2015 and starred as The Bachelor in 2016. Higgins and his former fiancée, Lauren Bushnell, returned to television in the ensuing reality show Ben and Lauren, Happily Ever After? The show followed their adjustment to regular life as a couple after being engaged on The Bachelor. They are no longer together.
Among Higgins’ accomplishments as a golfer are his hole-in-one last year at Moorpark Country Club in Moorpark, California. He finished 39th in the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions celebrity division last week. In 2018, Higgins placed 63rd in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe.
A native of Warsaw, Indiana, Higgins launched Generous Coffee in 2017 as a community service initiative. He currently resides in Golden, Colorado where his company delivers “coffee for a purpose.” They roast their beans in Higgins’ hometown of Warsaw but strive for worldwide impact by donating all profits to organizations that create jobs, feed children, and improve education. Their main beneficiary is Humanity and Hope United, which does sustainable work in Honduras.
Other top celebrity players in the 2023 field are Jon Lester, John Smoltz, Emmitt Smith, Demarcus Ware, Gregg Maddux, and defending champion Mardy Fish among others. The celebrities will be playing under a Modified Stableford scoring format, and many more celebrity participants will be announced in the coming weeks.
COMPETITION: Dallas natives Justin Leonard, Scott Verplank and Harrison Frazar are committed to play in the 2023 Invited Celebrity Classic.
Leonard turned 50 in June of 2022 and made his PGA TOUR Champions debut at Firestone Country Club at the Kaulig Companies Championship. The sweet swinging Texan and University of Texas alumnus will be taking a break from his Golf Channel analyst duties to compete in this year’s Invited Celebrity Classic, where he hopes to add to a resume that boasts 12 PGA TOUR victories, including the 1997 Open Championship. Leonard opened his 2023 PGA TOUR Champions season with a T10 finish at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.
Verplank counts his hometown event, the 2007 AT&T Byron Nelson, among his five career PGA TOUR victories. The win for the Dallas native was especially memorable, as Verplank had strong ties to tournament namesake Byron Nelson, who passed away in 2006. After the victory, Verplank shared an embrace with Nelson's wife, Peggy, who was there holding one of her late husband's trademark hats. He will look to improve on a T15 finish at last year’s inaugural Invited Celebrity Classic.
A resident of Dallas since 1985, Harrison Frazar enters his second year as a PGA TOUR Champions player looking to keep the Invited Celebrity Classic trophy in the town in which he’s lived since he was a teenager. Winner of the 2011 FedEx St. Jude Classic, Frazar’s best showing as a PGA TOUR Champions rookie in 2022 was a runner-up finish at the Constellation FURYK & FRIENDS presented by Circle K.
The Invited Celebrity Classic will be an event for fans of all ages. As a company, Invited takes pride in its experiential hospitality from the golf courses to family time. The tournament will reflect how Invited Clubs combine exceptional amenities and unmatched service with a friendly and welcoming spirit. Additionally, the event connects to diverse social, charitable, family, and business elements of the community.
With its status as the leader in the private Golf Club industry, Invited embraces its role as a leading lifestyle company bringing people together through extraordinary experiences, impeccable service, and opportunities to build meaningful relationships. The recent re-imagination of Las Colinas Country Club as a premier golf and country club showcases the company's commitment to delivering exceptional experiences across its unmatched portfolio.
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.