SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The PGA Tour Champions best players tee it up Friday morning at Minnehaha Country Club looking to join Steve Stricker, Rocco Mediate and Miguel Ángel Jiménez as Sanford International champions, while each member of that trio is looking to become the first to win the trophy twice.
Steve Stricker pulled away from the field en route to becoming the first ever Sanford International Champion in 2018.
“I enjoy Minnehaha and it reminds me a lot of home. It seems like a small, tight-knit community, they came out and supported this event from day one,” 2018 Sanford International Champion Steve Stricker said.
Rocco Mediate birdied the last two holes of the tournament, shooting a 6 under 64 in the final round to claim the 2019 title.
“I remember asking Watson, how many times did you win at L.A., he said I’m not really sure. He won like two or three times. I don’t have that problem. So you remember the ones you win. It was a special win. It was cool. It was in 2019, you never forget that,” 2019 Champ Rocco Mediate said.
Miguel Ángel Jiménez led wire-to-wire last year, using a birdie on 16 to hold off Steve Flesch by one stroke.
“Always nice to come here and defend a title. The condition of the golf course, I played yesterday and the condition of the golf course is great. The weather looks like it’s going to be a little breezy like we had today and yesterday, but we’ll see,” Defending Champ Miguel Ángel Jiménez said.
All three feel Minnehaha Country Club suits their game.
“I like the way it looks off the tee. I like the greens, greens are tough. I grew up on this kind of stuff. I think a lot of us did. grew up in Western PA, same type of up and down, greens tilting up and down and fast. Just reminds me of home,” Mediate said.
And all three say the environment at the Sanford International is one of the best on tour.
“This usually gets packed pretty good. I like noise, I like chaos, I don’t like quiet. You get noise and chaos here which is great. I love it when there’s noise, especially when you’re playing good because you can feed off that,” Mediate said.
The Sanford International begins at 10:30 a.m. with the opening ceremony. The first tee time is at 11:05 with players starting on both holes 1 and 10.