Hale Irwin joins Greater Hickory Classic field

All-time PGA Champions Tour wins leader Hale Irwin has joined the field for the 10th annual Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn presented by Kia Motors.

The 10th anniversary Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn is set for Oct. 8-14, 2012 on the Jones Course at Rock Barn Golf & Spa.

To say Irwin has enjoyed an incredibly successful career in professional golf would be a tremendous understatement. Irwin has 45 Champions Tour wins — more than any other golfer, but he also has 43 runner-up finishes.

He won the U.S. Open three times among 20 PGA TOUR events. Included in his 45 Champions Tour wins are seven Champions Tour major championships.

Irwin was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1992.

With Irwin’s addition to the Hickory field, the tournament will have nine World Golf Hall of Fame members at Rock Barn Golf & Spa during tournament week. Tom Kite, Bernhard Langer, Larry Nelson and Nick Price join Irwin in the Greater Hickory Classic while Billy Casper, Doug Ford, Gene Litler and Charlie Sifford will play in the Great Grand Champions pro-am.

“Anytime Hale Irwin joins a Champions Tour field, it’s great for that event,” GHC Executive Tournament Director Jim Correll said. “Hale has only played our tournament a couple of times, so this is an opportunity for North Carolina golf fans to see one of the best golfers ever to play on the Champions Tour. We are definitely looking forward to having Hale in our field next month.”

Irwin has enjoyed great success in North Carolina winning the SAS Championship in Cary in 2005 and the Vantage Championship at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons in both 1995 and ’97.

He made 10 Wyndham Championship appearances in Greensboro finishing tied for second in 1994, his best finish there.

Irwin will be making his third Greater Hickory Classic appearance with his best finish here coming in 2003 when he finished tied for 38th.

Tickets for the 10th annual Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Bar are available for purchase through the Hickory-area charitable organizations, tournament office or the tournament website.

The event features a week of special events and attractions, including exhibitions, pro-ams and three days of Champions Tour competition among some of the greatest legends in golf.

Operated by the Greater Hickory Classic Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the tournament donates all net proceeds to charities throughout the Greater Hickory Metro area each year.

For more information, please call (828) 459-4000 or visit www.greaterhickoryclassic.com.