Exemption continues tradition of Farmers Insurance® and APGA Tour’s efforts to grow diversity in golf
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Farmers Insurance Open tournament officials from the Century Club of San Diego and Farmers Insurance today announced that six-time APGA Tour winner Marcus Byrd has received a sponsor’s exemption to play in the 2024 Farmers Insurance Open, scheduled to take place Wednesday – Saturday, January 24-27, 2024. In 2023, Byrd enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in APGA Tour history sparked by his season-opening victory at the APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Invitational, an annual event that takes place in conjunction with the PGA TOUR’s Farmers Insurance Open and was broadcast live on Golf Channel. Byrd now returns to Torrey Pines to play on the PGA TOUR following a four-win season on the APGA Tour in 2023.
The exemption supports Farmers® ongoing commitment to the Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) Tour and its work to grow diversity in golf. Helping to remove the financial burden associated with the game and providing playing opportunities continue to be priorities for both Farmers and the APGA. The organizations are also focused on ensuring players have access to the tools and support they need, allowing them to better focus on their career path and development in the game.
“We are thrilled to congratulate Marcus Byrd on earning this coveted exemption and achieving another incredible milestone in his professional golf career,” said Jenny Howell, Head of Brand and Consumer Marketing for Farmers Insurance. “This is a full-circle moment for both Farmers and Marcus as he is poised to become the first APGA Tour player to win the Farmers Insurance Invitational at Torrey Pines and return to compete in the Farmers Insurance Open the following year. Furthering opportunities for talented, driven and inspirational players like Marcus is what our work with the APGA Tour is all about. We look forward to cheering on his success in January and beyond.”
Byrd grew up in Washington, D.C. and learned to play at Langston Golf Course, a historic course that was built to service the nearby African American community in 1939 under the shadow of segregation. Langston is named after John Mercer Langston, a lawyer and activist who helped slaves escape on the Underground Railroad and later became the first African American elected to the House of Representatives from Virginia. Many celebrities and black icons in golf like Jim Thorpe and his brother Chuck, Calvin Peete and Charlie Sifford were regular visitors at Langston. Byrd can still remember the day when his father, Larry Byrd, Sr., encouraged his son to introduce himself and eventually get an autograph from Sifford, who was visiting Langston.
Byrd’s father passed away two months after Marcus turned professional when he was 23 years old. Before every round, Byrd points to the sky and remembers his father, who got him started in the game.
On the course, Byrd’s 2023 season included finishing at No. 1 in the season-long Lexus Cup Standings earning the 2023 APGA Mastercard Player Achievement Award winner which includes status on 2024 PGA TOUR Americas. During a stretch of 15 starts on the APGA Tour from 2022 to 2023, Byrd had six victories and five runner-up finishes. Byrd recorded scores in the 60s in all of his Lexus Cup tournament rounds during the 2023 season. The exemption into the Farmers Insurance Open caps a record-setting season for Byrd with four APGA Tour victories in 2023 at the following tournaments:
- APGA Farmers Insurance Invitational at Torrey Pines
- APGA Florida (Won by 11-strokes in a 36-hole event)
- APGA at Deere Run
- APGA at Valhalla
“It is an honor and a blessing to receive this exemption into the Farmers Insurance Open,” Byrd said. “I finished third in the APGA Tour event here in 2022 and won the event last year. I am so excited to have my chance at a place where I feel like I can perform. I’ve grown close with a lot of the people at Farmers during my time at the APGA Tour and I speak for all of the players on the APGA Tour when I say how thankful we are for their support. Having organizations like Farmers who provide us with support, resources and opportunities makes a huge difference for us as individuals and in the sport overall.”
In addition to Byrd playing in the PGA TOUR event at Torrey Pines Golf Course, the APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Invitational, now in its fifth year, will also be held at Torrey Pines over the same weekend. This year, the event will once again have two rounds, with the first round played on Saturday, January 27 on the North Course at Torrey Pines. The final round will be held Sunday, January 28, on the South Course and will be broadcast live on Golf Channel for the third consecutive year from 5:00–7:30 PM ET.
“Marcus has become one of the top faces of the APGA Tour over the last several years. He is one of the first players to volunteer for our clinics and give back to the youth,” said Ken Bentley, CEO of the APGA Tour. “Marcus’ 2023 season started with a victory at Torrey Pines at the APGA Farmers Insurance Invitational, so it is fitting that he should return and play in the PGA TOUR event this year. His 2023 season was one of the best we have ever seen on the APGA Tour and we are thankful that Farmers has now rewarded his season with an opportunity to play against the best in the world on the PGA TOUR and help shine a light on the impact that Farmers’ support of the APGA Tour can have on a player’s career like Marcus.”
The support of the APGA Tour and its players are part of an ongoing effort from Farmers Insurance to help advance its commitment to growth in the game of golf. The national insurer provides support for APGA Tour events and athletes and recently expanded their relationship with the APGA Foundation, which focuses on career and wellness youth programs.
ABOUT THE FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN
The Farmers Insurance Open will be played January 24-27, 2024 (featuring the only Saturday finish on the PGA TOUR) at historic Torrey Pines Golf Course, host site of the 2008 and 2021 U.S. Opens, and the tournament consistently attracts a world-class field. This is the 72nd year that a PGA TOUR event has been held in San Diego, beginning with the San Diego Open in 1952. The 2024 tournament also marks the 57th time the event is being held at Torrey Pines Golf Course, and the 15th year of Farmers Insurance sponsorship of the tournament. For more information, please call (858) 886-4653 or visit www.FarmersInsuranceOpen.com.
ABOUT THE CENTURY CLUB OF SAN DIEGO
Composed of more than 100 local business leaders, the Century Club of San Diego is the 501(c)(3) organization that plans and hosts San Diego’s PGA TOUR event, the Farmers Insurance Open. Since 1961, the Century Club has utilized the annual tournament to economically benefit the city and maximize the resources and awareness generated by the event to create programs that benefit the local military community, schools, and charities with a special focus on supporting at-risk youth organizations.