06/09/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/09/2021 08:04
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. - Six-time PGA TOUR winner and 2014 FedExCup champion Billy Horschel today announced that he will host a special Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) Tour event bringing 18 top minority golfers to THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on July 29-31. The Billy Horschel APGA Tour Invitational presented by Cisco, will focus not only on the competition but also in providing key development opportunities for players off the course as well.
The Advocates Professional Golf Association was established in 2008 as a non-profit organization with the mission to bring greater diversity to the game of golf. The Tour hosts and operates professional golf tournaments, player development programs, mentoring programs and introduces the game to inner city youth throughout the country.
'Growing up in a blue-collar family, I did not always have the same opportunities in golf as some of my fellow competitors. Without some of the success that I had in college, I would have struggled to find financial backing, resources, and industry connections to continue my dream of making it onto the PGA TOUR,' Horschel said. 'Through the APGA Tour and The Player Development Program, I want to help support each players' journey, provide them with some resources, and gain an experience that I hope will benefit each player as they chase their dreams in professional golf. I'm thrilled to have a company like Cisco, who have already shown great support of promoting equality and diversity in golf, to help this event have a massive impact for these young players both inside and outside the ropes.'
'I want to thank Billy Horschel for launching this APGA event and giving Cisco the opportunity to support this important initiative,' said Mark Patterson, SVP and Chief of Staff to the Chairman and CEO at Cisco. 'At Cisco, we are focused on powering a more inclusive future, and this is another intentional moment where we are proud to step up and provide support for promising golfers, just as we did earlier this year when we welcomed Kamaiu Johnson to Team Cisco. We're thrilled to be part of this event and look forward to helping more aspiring golfers reach their full potential!'
The event will include an initial day of a pro-am, roundtable, seminars and other development opportunities all with key partners and industry leaders. The competition will challenge the players with 36 holes at THE PLAYERS Stadium course, home of THE PLAYERS Championship.
'We are grateful that Billy Horschel took the initiative to start this event and for Cisco's support to help us continue to create unique opportunities for our players to grow and develop as golfers both on and off the course. Billy's passion to help these young men is beyond incredible,' said APGA Tour CEO Ken Bentley. 'The APGA Tour is a special group of players who all have stories of perseverance and determination. Events like this are crucial for the guys in our development program to continue to progress as golfers and also to introduce them to the variety of opportunities in the golf industry as a whole. I can't wait to see our guys spend three days at the home of the PGA TOUR and take on TPC Sawgrass.'
The event will include several rising stars including Kamaiu Johnson and Willie Mack who each have made multiple starts on the PGA TOUR this year. Johnson returned from his PGA TOUR experience to win in his first event back on the APGA Tour at TPC Las Vegas in April. Mack is one of the most successful players in the history of the APGA Tour with six victories and two Lexus Cup titles. Mack has 65 professional victories and won a record 11 times as a member of the Bethune Cookman golf team. Rovonta Young and Jacksonville native Jarred Garcia each won earlier this year in Florida on the APGA Tour. Young was introduced to the game by his grandfather at a young age while his mom was deployed during her military service. Garcia's victory in Port St. Lucie came at just the right time as both his parents lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other APGA Tour standouts in the field include Marcus Byrd, Joey Stills, Michael Herrera, Davin White and Ryan Alford, who won the most recent event at TPC Scottsdale.
The 18-player field will consist of:
• Nine players from the APGA Tour Player Development Program
- Ryan Alford
- Marcus Byrd
- Jarred Garcia
- Michael Hererra
- Kamaiu Johnson
- Willie Mack III
- Joey Stills
- Davin White
- Rovanta Young
• Five graduates from the APGA Collegiate Ranking
- Mulbe Dillard
- Andrew Walker
- Mahindra Lutchman
- Cameron Riley
- Prince Cunningham
• The top-ranked player in the current APGA Collegiate Ranking - TBD
• Three Sponsor's Exemptions - TBD