Jack and Gary Nicklaus highlight field as Father-Son Challenge returns after three-year hiatus

One of Jack’s favorite photos: The Golden Bear carrying 4-year-old son Gary off the 18th green at Canterbury after the second round of the 1973 PGA Championship.

Many of the greatest legends in golf history, including Jack Nicklaus, will team up with their sons, daughters, and in one case, grandson, later this year as the PNC Father/Son Challenge returns this Fall. The unique, family oriented tournament, held for 14 years from 1995-2008, announced a star-studded field today as it prepares to celebrate its return December 13-16 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Grande Lakes in Florida.

The 18-team field, one that includes Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and US Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III, is made up of players that have combined for 492 professional wins on the PGA and European Tours, including 67 major championships. Jack Nicklaus and son Gary, 43, won the Father-Son Challenge in 1999 at the Jack Nicklaus and Jack Nicklaus II co-designed Talon Course at The Club at Twin Eagles in Naples, Fla.

“Special to win, especially special to win with your son,” the elder Nicklaus rejoiced after his 1999 win with Gary.

The 2012 tournament marks the 11th year Jack has participated in the event. Jack, father of five and grandfather to 22, last competed in the Father-Son Challenge with son Jack II.

2012 PNC FATHER/SON CHALLENGE FIELD

1. Steve Elkington/Sam Elkington (son)
2. Nick Faldo/Matthew Faldo (son)
3. Raymond Floyd/Robert Floyd (son)
4. Hale Irwin/Steve Irwin (son)
5. Lee Janzen/Connor Janzen (son)
6. Bernhard Langer/Christina Langer (daughter)
7. Davis Love III/Davis Love IV (Dru Love) (son)
8. Sandy Lyle/James Lyle (son)
9. Larry Nelson (Defending Champion)/John Nelson (son)
10. Jack Nicklaus/Gary Nicklaus (son)
11. Mark O’Meara/Shaun O’Meara (son)
12. Arnold Palmer/Will Wears (grandson)
13. Vijay Singh/Qass Singh (son)
14. Dave Stockton/David Stockton (son)
15. Curtis Strange/Tom Strange (son)
16. Lee Trevino/Daniel Trevino (son)
17. Lanny Wadkins/Tucker Wadkins (son)
18. Fuzzy Zoeller/Gretchen Zoeller (daughter)

The 18-team field competes in a scramble format over 36 holes for the $1 million prize purse and the Willie Park Trophy, named after Willie Park and his son Willie Park Jr., who combined to win the British Open five times.
“On behalf of all of the partners who have made the return of this great event possible, as well as the players who were so excited to be able to participate in it again, we are thrilled to announce such an incredible field for this year’s PNC Father/Son Challenge,” said Alastair Johnston, Vice Chairman of IMG, co-founder and producer of the event with NBC Sports. “For 14 years, the Father/Son Challenge offered a truly unique, family-oriented format as well as an opportunity for these great players to share their love of the game with their sons, daughters and grandchildren. We look forward to celebrating that special bond, and competition, with golf fans in December as the event returns.”

“We are extremely proud of our heritage as co-founder and creator of the PNC Father/Son Challenge, one of golf’s most special events, and excited to have it back on the NBC schedule,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. “Through the collective efforts of PNC Bank, Ritz Carlton and IMG, golf families nationwide can now share in the joy of this unique tournament.”

To qualify for the PNC Father/Son Challenge, participants must have won either a major championship or Players Championship in their career. While the majority of partners in the history of the event have been the sons of the golf legends, the family-themed tournament has seen a daughter and grandson participate over the years. In one poignant exception in 2008, a close family friend also participated when Payne Stewart’s son, Aaron, teamed up with Paul Azinger, Stewart’s long-time friend.

Fans are able to purchase tickets, priced at $15 per day or $45 for a full-week tournament pass, by visiting www.pncfathersonchallenge.com or calling 407.876.7004.

Past Champions of the Father/Son Challenge

1995 – Raymond Floyd and Raymond Floyd Jr.
1996 – Raymond Floyd and Raymond Floyd Jr.
1997 – Raymond Floyd and Raymond Floyd Jr.
1998 – Bob Charles and David Charles
1999 – Jack Nicklaus and Gary Nicklaus
2000 – Raymond Floyd and Robert Floyd
2001 – Raymond Floyd and Robert Floyd
2002 – Craig Stadler and Kevin Stadler
2003 – Hale Irwin and Steve Irwin
2004 – Larry Nelson and Drew Nelson
2005 – Bernhard Langer and Stefan Langer
2006 – Bernhard Langer and Stefan Langer
2007 – Larry Nelson and Josh Nelson
2008 – Larry Nelson and Drew Nelson

A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando. The event will again be broadcast on NBC.