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 APGA Tour standout Michael Herrera has received a sponsor’s exemption to play in the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open, scheduled to take place Wednesday – Saturday, January 25-28, 2023. Herrera, who grew up in nearby Moreno Valley, California, attended the Farmers Insurance Open as a fan and will fulfill a lifelong dream of teeing it up at the event for his first-ever PGA TOUR start.
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 are top 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.
“The Farmers team is proud to congratulate Michael on earning this exemption and making his PGA TOUR debut at the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open,” said Jeff Dailey, President and CEO of Farmers Insurance. “Our efforts to support the APGA Tour and grow diversity in the game of golf reflect the value Farmers places on advancing diversity, equity and inclusion as an organization, both on and off the course.”
As a child, Herrera and his family frequently drove by the Cottonwood Golf Center, a nine-hole municipal golf course, on their way to, and from, their local shopping mall. Each time passing the facility, Herrera pestered his father, Hugo Leonel Herrera, to let him give golf a try. Once his father gave in, Michael instantly fell in love with the game and flourished as part of the First Tee program.
Michael’s other passion, basketball, came from his father, who played for Guatemala’s national basketball team. Michael was good enough at basketball to play for Riverside City College in Riverside, California. It was in college that his basketball coach, Phillip Matthews, saw Michael hit a golf ball and in Phillip’s words, “I had to cut him from the basketball team, because he was too good at golf to play for us. He needed to pursue golf full-time.”
Michael has excelled on the APGA Tour, with victories in each of the last two seasons – in Carlsbad in 2021 and at TPC Scottsdale earlier this year. He finished the 2022 season ranked No. 4 in the season-long APGA Tour Lexus Cup standings.
“Life isn’t always a straight line. The turns that my path has taken, the sacrifice that my parents have made and the hard work that I’ve put in make this incredibly gratifying and humbling. This is an incredible honor and is literally a dream come true,” Herrera said. “I remember attending the Farmers Insurance Open as a fan and it inspired me. It showed me what I wanted for my life. I can’t thank Farmers and the team at the Farmers Insurance Open enough for this opportunity. The APGA Tour is changing lives and changing the complexion of golf. Thanks to organizations like Farmers, the players on the APGA Tour have the support and resources to continue to progress and hopefully inspire other young minorities to play golf and chase their own dreams.”
In addition to Herrera playing in the PGA TOUR event at Torrey Pines Golf Course, the APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Invitational, now in its fourth year, will again take place at Torrey Pines over the course of the weekend. This year, the event will once again have two rounds, with the first round played on Saturday, January 28 on the North Course at Torrey Pines. The final round will be held Sunday, January 29, on the South Course and will again be broadcast live on Golf Channel, after making its television debut in January — a first for the APGA Tour.
“Michael is a fantastic golfer and even better person,” said APGA Tour CEO Ken Bentley. “As we continue to work to create more diversity in golf, it’s important for us to assist minority golfers from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities to truly help golf better represent culture today.”
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 FARMERS INSURANCE
“Farmers Insurance®” and “Farmers®” are tradenames for a group of insurers providing insurance for automobiles, homes, small businesses and a wide range of other insurance and financial services products. For more information about Farmers Insurance, visit Farmers.com, Twitter and Instagram, @WeAreFarmers, or Facebook.com/FarmersInsurance.
ABOUT CENTURY CLUB OF SAN DIEGO
Composed of more than 100 local business leaders, the Century Club of San Diego is the 501(c)(3) that operates San Diego’s annual PGA TOUR event, the Farmers Insurance Open, at the historic Torrey Pines golf course to benefit the community economically and charitably. Since 1961, the Century Club has used the game of golf as the platform to showcase San Diego to an international audience, generate revenue for the city, and positively impact the local community by creating programs that benefit at-risk and underserved youth charities. The 2023 Farmers Insurance Open will be played January 25-28 at the historic Torrey Pines Golf Course, host site of the 2008 and 2021 U.S. Opens. For more information, please visit www.FarmersInsuranceOpen.com.