This will be the 13th year the PGA Tour Champions play in Boca. And last year’s winner wants to own the new trophy. That would be a first since no pro has won the tourney twice. This year’s televised Oasis Championship is Feb. 4 through 10 at The Old Course at Broken Sound.
But Mark Calcavecchia said he may have a hometown advantage. He’s a Palm Beach Gardens resident who graduated high school in West Palm Beach.
“Playing in front of my family and friends works for me,” Calcavecchia, 58, said at a press conference Thursday.
He bested Boca’s own Bernhard Langer at last year’s tournament, finishing by two strokes. He won the Honda Classic twice. “I like sleeping in my own bed,” he joked.
“I know the guys love coming here to play,” he added.
“This is the first full-field PGA event of the year,” said tournament director Eddie Carbone. He reminded spectators that people 70 and older, 18 and younger and retired or active duty military get in free. That’s courtesy of Aetna, a sponsor, and the city of Boca Raton.
The city has been a major partner from Day One, said Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer. “This showcases our city to 75 million homes,” Singer said. “We want people digging their car out of the snow to wish they were here.”
The charity arm of the tournament has raised millions for Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
That’s one reason their $60,000 share goes to the tournament, said Susan Vogelgasang, newly named chairwoman of the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District.
By Marci Shatzman