PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida – The winner of the APGA Tour Farmers Insurance® Invitational will receive an exemption to play alongside the best players in the world when the PGA TOUR visits PGA National Resort & Spa for the Honda Classic, February 23-26, it was announced today by officials with the Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) Tour, and the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic.
The fourth annual APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Invitational will again be held at Torrey Pines Golf Course in conjunction with the PGA TOUR’s Farmers Insurance Open. The two-day event includes 18 of the top minority golfers playing the first rounds on Saturday, Jan. 29, on the North Course and the final round on Sunday, Jan. 30, on the South Course, which will be televised on the Golf Channel. The APGA Tour is a non-profit organization with the mission to prepare African Americans and other minority golfers to compete and win at the highest level of professional golf.
The exemption continues a history of the Honda Classic finding ways to create opportunities for diverse players and grow the game following an exemption in 2021 for APGA Tour player Kamaiu Johnson.
“We are proud to once again provide a high-profile platform to support the dreams of minority players competing on the PGA TOUR,” said Jessika Laudermilk, assistant vice president of marketing at American Honda. “The Honda Classic frequently has been an event where new and lesser-known players have broken through to capture their first PGA TOUR win or work toward their tour card and we look forward to providing this opportunity to an APGA player this year.”
Johnson, the 2022 APGA Tour Lexus Cup Champion Kamaiu Johnson who won three times in 2022 is in the field for the APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Invitational as well as APGA Farmers Insurance Fall Series winner Marcus Byrd.
“We’re incredibly honored to be able to provide the winner of the APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Invitational with an exemption into the 2023 Honda Classic,” Executive Director Andrew George said. “The level of competition on the APGA Tour continues to rise and it’s critical for us to support efforts to grow the game and to provide opportunities to participate and to gain experience against the PGA TOUR’s best.”
Click here to view bios of all players in the 2023 APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Invitational field
“Not only is it important for our players to be able to experience the competition of playing on the PGA TOUR, but they learn so much from being around the best in the world, seeing how they prepare, getting to understand the commitment to practice, fitness, diet and the mental side of the game,” said APGA Tour CEO Ken Bentley. “It’s equally important to have minority players at the highest level. For youth to turn on the television and see a representation of golf better resembling the country and the world where we live. We are so thankful that Farmers has helped create a platform that opens the doors for Honda America and the Honda Classic to provide this incredible opportunity for the Farmers Insurance Invitational champion.”
Johnson won his third event of the season at the APGA Charlie Sifford Centennial at the Clubs of Kingwood just two months after winning the APGA Mastercard Tour Championship and the season-long Lexus Cup Points race. The Tour Championship win also earned Johnson full-time status on the PGA TOUR LatinoAmérica series where he made the cut in two of the first three events of the season in December. Johnson now has five APGA Tour wins in the last three years having also won the Tour Championship in 2020 and the APGA Tour’s Las Vegas stop each of the past two years.
Byrd won the second Fall Series event at the APGA Tour Valley Forge for his first win of the season and followed with a runner-up finish at the APGA Charlie Sifford Centennial. After finishing 5th in the 2022 Lexus Cup Standings, went on to win the Fall Series standings. He also finished T2 at the Butterfield Bermuda APGA Championship. On the year, Byrd played in 14 APGA Tour events and had 11 top-10 finishes including 8 top-3s and five runner-up finishes to go along with his victory in August. In his last seven starts on the APGA Tour, he had finishes that included T2, T2, T5, 1st, T2 and 2nd.
Daniel Augustus, who finished 6th in the Lexus Cup standings has 8 top-10 finishes and two runner-up finishes on the APGA Tour this year. Earlier this year, Augustus conducted an interview with Golf Digest and the Fire Pit Collective revealing a childhood of tragedy and abuse.
Quinn Riley came to the APGA Tour mid-season after finishing No. 1 in the 2021-22 APGA Collegiate Ranking. Since joining the APGA Tour this summer after a strong college career at Duke University, he had three top-10 finishes.
Wyatt Worthington II enters the event having qualified for the 2022 PGA Championship as a PGA professional and winning the John Shippen Invitational, which granted him an exemption to play in the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic earlier this year.
Andrew Walker is in his first full season on the APGA Tour and captured his first APGA Tour win at the APGA Cisco Invitational at Baltusrol in August.
Ryan Alford teed it up at the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open on the PGA TOUR and stuck around to caddie for Byrd, his good friend, in the APGA Farmers Insurance Invitational. A two-time APGA Tour winner in 2021, Alford struggled through health-related COVID-19 complications and looks to rebound in 2023.
Thanks in part to victories this fall at the River Run Collegiate and USF-Howard Intercollegiate, Greg Odom, Jr., overtook Michigan State’s Troy Taylor III for the top position in the most recent APGA Collegiate Rankings, putting Odom in the field standings. Odom’s Howard University teammate Everett Whiten Jr. sits in third place.
Following last year’s broadcast of the Farmers Insurance Invitational, which was the first-ever APGA Tour event to be broadcast on live television, the final round will again be broadcast on GOLF Channel on Sunday, January 29 from 4:30-7 PM ET.
The broadcast will once again feature a diverse group of on-air talent with Damon Hack calling play-by-play and Will Lowery providing commentary and swing analysis from the broadcast booth while Doug Smith will serve as the on-course reporter. Both Lowery and Smith have a history of playing on the APGA Tour in addition to their careers and efforts in golf media.
ABOUT THE APGA TOUR
The APGA Tour was established in 2010 as a non-profit organization with the mission to bring greater diversity to the game of golf. The APGA Tour Board of Directors works to accomplish this by hosting and operating professional golf tournaments, player development programs, mentoring programs and by introducing the game to inner city young people. In addition to conducting an expected 18 tournaments awarding close to $1 million in prize and bonus money in 2023, the APGA has organized a Player Development Program to aid young minority golfers as they work to chase their goals in professional golf.
CONTACT: Chris Reimer, President, CR PR Group, Reimer@CRPRGroup.com
Gary Ferman, The Honda Classic Media Director, email@example.com