SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There’s been four different Sanford International Champions, and each has done so in different fashion, with Darren Clarke becoming the first to win in a playoff last year. With a loaded field, the 2022 Tournament will look to write another chapter in the tournament’s five-year history.

Darren Clarke defeated K.J. Choi on the second playoff hole to claim the 2021 Sanford International title and will look to become the first to ever successfully defend his title.

“You can be a few behind coming down the stretch, you’ve got birdie opportunities all over the place, which makes the golf course very exciting. I think that’s reflected in the field of guys that are here. Got some great names, some legendary names on the Champions Tour that keep coming back to Minnehaha and deservingly so,” 2021 Sanford International Champion Darren Clarke said.

Clarke famously used his putter from off the 18th green, a shot he had hit two times prior in that final round, that set up the eventual tournament winning birdie.

“So it’s something that I’ve always done my whole career and a lot of Europeans have done that, it just seems a little bit strange because not many Americans, it would be their sort of go-to shot. But it worked out eventually OK. If I’m there again this week, I’ll do exactly the same again,” Clarke said.

He can expect to have even more support from the gallery as other past champions have experienced.

“I think being from Wisconsin, it’s not that far away, it was a six-hour drive to get here. But I feel like with Andy’s support being a Madison guy and his involvement with this event and me being friends with Andy and winning the first one, yeah, I get a lot of support here and a lot of people rooting and cheering for me,” Steve Stricker said.

Other than Steve Stricker’s four-stroke win in the inaugural event, each year the tournament has come down to the final holes, with last year’s needing a playoff to determine the winner. The 2022 Sanford International will look to follow suit.

“Well we hope we have the same kind of finish. We had four or five guys within a shot playing the last two holes. That’s what you dream of,” Tournament Host Andy North said.

The Sanford International’s first round begins with players teeing off holes 1 and 10 beginning Friday morning at 11:25 a.m.