GWINNETT – METRO ATLANTA – John Smoltz, a Hall-of-Famer and Braves pitcher for the 1995 World Series, will compete in the 2019 Mitsubishi Electric Classic (April 19-21), tournament officials announced today. Smoltz has received a sponsor’s exemption to compete against golf’s greatest legends at the seventh-annual PGA TOUR Champions event at TPC Sugarloaf.
“I’ve been playing golf since I was 20 or 21,” Smoltz told the PGA TOUR. “I told my teammates that when I turn 40 someday, I am going to be playing professional golf and of course they laughed at me and said, ‘You know, you’re crazy.’ Maybe I am crazy, but I was afforded the opportunity.”
As a well-known community figure in the Metro Atlanta area, John Smoltz’s connection to the Mitsubishi Electric Classic began in 2014 when he competed in the Cologuard Celebrity Challenge, a unique charity event held during Saturday’s second round of official competition. In addition, Smoltz’s local charitable contributions, both through his participation in the Cologuard Celebrity Challenge and additional philanthropical initiatives, aligns with the Mitsubishi Electric Classic’s commitment to charitable giving to the local community.
Smoltz was a workhorse power pitcher whose 21-year big league baseball career included 213 wins, 3,084 strikeouts and the 1996 National League Cy Young Award. Smoltz pitched for the Atlanta Braves from 1988 to 2008 and was the only Braves pitcher to be part of the franchise’s historic run of 14 consecutive division titles from 1991 to 2005. The eight-time All-Star was known for pitching his best in big games. In five World Series, including the 1995 triumph over the Indians, Smoltz started in eight games, finishing with a 2-2 record and a 2.47 ERA. Overall, he appeared in 41 post season games, compiling a 15-4 record, a 2.67 ERA and a record 199 strikeouts. The right-handed hurler was the first player in big league history with 200 career wins and 150 career saves. Smoltz was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015.
Smoltz made his PGA TOUR Champions debut when he qualified for the 2018 U.S. Senior Open. More recently, Smoltz competed in the celebrity division of the 2019 Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, where he outlasted former All-Star pitcher Mark Mulder. Additional accomplishments include two top-10 finishes at the American Century Championship in 2017 and 2018.
“John Smoltz has supported this tournament for several years and we are extremely excited to have him in this year’s official field of competitors,” said Tournament Director Monte Ortel. “The energy around this year’s tournament will be fun to watch. John has meant so much to the city of Atlanta for a long time, and it’s incredible to see him continue to influence the community that loves him so much. We’re equally excited to watch someone who is both capable of competing alongside PGA TOUR Champions players and who plays an influential role in the community; Smoltz certainly fits those criteria.”
In addition to the Mitsubishi Electric Classic, Smoltz has also accepted sponsor’s exemptions to play in the Cologuard Classic in Tucson, Arizona, and the American Family Insurance Championship in Madison, Wisconsin.
The 2019 Mitsubishi Electric Classic is scheduled for April 15-21, 2019 at TPC Sugarloaf. The public may visit https://www.mitsubishielectricclassic.com/tickets to purchase tickets. Kids 16 and under can attend for free with a ticketed adult, and daily tickets start at just $20. For more information on the tournament, visit: www.mitsubishielectricclassic.com
About the Mitsubishi Electric Classic:
The Mitsubishi Electric Classic is an official event on the PGA TOUR Champions scheduled for April 19-21, 2019. This 54-hole stroke play golf tournament features 78 PGA TOUR Champions professionals competing for a $1.8 million purse at the prestigious TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, Georgia. The event, which will benefit local charities through the Gwinnett Championship Foundation, Inc., has raised over $2.1 million since its first tournament in 2013. All three official rounds will be internationally televised on the Golf Channel. For more information, visit: www.mitsubishielectricclassic.com.
About PGA TOUR Champions:
PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older, including 32 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Tour’s mission is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back and generate significant charitable and economic impact in tournament communities. In 2019, the PGA TOUR Champions schedule includes 27 tournaments across the United States, Japan, England and Canada, with purses totaling nearly $58 million. The Charles Schwab Cup, which includes the Regular Season and the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, is used to determine the season-long champion. All events are televised in the United States, with most receiving complete coverage on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable-television partner of PGA TOUR Champions. Internationally, telecasts air in excess of 170 countries and territories, reaching more than 340 million potential households, and distributed in 15+ markets via GOLFTV. Follow PGA TOUR Champions online at www.PGATOUR.com/champions, on Facebook at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions, on Twitter @ChampionsTour and on Instagram @pgatourchampions.
Hannah Karlson, Mitsubishi Electric Classic, 478-284-9365, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gaby Copello, Mitsubishi Electric Classic, 678-446-0944, email@example.com