Industry News

Stephen Ames, Robert Karlsson and Justin Leonard announced as second Chairman’s Selections for inaugural World Champions Cup

Tickets are available at; Tournament will debut December 7-10 at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida and will air on ABC and ESPN

BRADENTON, FLORIDA (OCTOBER 23, 2023) – The rosters are nearly complete, and with just 45 days until the first tee goes in the ground at the inaugural World Champions Cup, excitement for the first-of-its-kind international team golf competition is heating up.

With the tournament set to tee off December 7-10 at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, World Champions Cup Chairman Peter Jacobsen announced today that Stephen Ames, Robert Karlsson and Justin Leonard will be the second Chairman’s Selections for Team International, Team Europe and Team USA, respectively. 

Five of the six players for each team have now been announced. The rosters include:

Team International

  • Ernie Els (Playing Captain)
  • Vijay Singh (Automatic Qualifier)
  • Retief Goosen (Automatic Qualifier)
  • Steven Alker (Chairman’s Selection)
  • Stephen Ames (Chairman’s Selection)
  • TBD (Charles Schwab Cup qualifier or Chairman’s Selection)

Team Europe

  • Darren Clarke (Playing Captain)
  • Bernhard Langer (Automatic Qualifier)
  • Colin Montgomerie (Automatic Qualifier)
  • Miguel Angel Jiménez (Chairman’s Selection)
  • Robert Karlsson (Chairman’s Selection)
  • TBD (Charles Schwab Cup qualifier or Chairman’s Selection)

Team USA

  • Jim Furyk (Playing Captain)
  • Steve Stricker (Automatic Qualifier)
  • David Toms (Automatic Qualifier)
  • Jerry Kelly (Chairman’s Selection)
  • Justin Leonard (Chairman’s Selection)
  • TBD (Charles Schwab Cup qualifier or Chairman’s Selection)

"I put a lot of time into trying to choose the two best guys for each team as my Chairman’s Selections, and of course, I had Ernie, Darren and Jim in my ear lobbying for certain guys to give them the best chance at winning,” Jacobsen said. “Stephen, Robert and Justin are all the types of players who are going to approach the World Champions Cup with the same intensity that they have brought to the first tee with them throughout their careers when the pressure is highest. With just one player left to be named to each team, I’m thrilled with how the rosters have shaped up so far and can’t wait to see these players go head-to-head in December.”

Each of the three teams competing in the World Champions Cup will consist of six players, including a playing captain, and all will be active PGA TOUR Champions members. Automatic qualifiers are determined by the top point-earners in the World Champions Cup Historical Rankings, and Chairman’s Selections are determined by Jacobsen. The final spot on each team will be a play-in position based on the year-end Charles Schwab Cup standings or a Chairman’s Selection.

The World Champions Cup is set to make its debut December 7-10, 2023, at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida. Tickets are now on sale at Champions Passes, which allow access to the grounds and the grandstand, start at $40 per day, with prices increasing the week before the tournament. 

World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els, 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke and 2003 U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk will each serve as playing captains in the first playing of the World Champions Cup. Jacobsen, a seven-time PGA TOUR winner and popular golf commentator, will serve as Chairman of the inaugural event.

Inspired by the passion and tradition of the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, the World Champions Cup is officially sanctioned by PGA TOUR Champions and is set to air on ABC and ESPN. The World Champions Cup will feature Team International, Team Europe and Team USA squaring off over three days of competition that will renew some of the game’s most storied rivalries as the teams battle for international pride and global bragging rights. 

Ames is a four-time winner on the PGA TOUR who has also won six times as a member of the PGA TOUR Champions – four of those coming this season. His most notable victory was the 2006 PLAYERS Championship, where he equaled a record with his six-stroke margin of victory over Goosen – then the No. 3 player in the world and now his World Champions Cup teammate. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Ames also has Canadian citizenship, and represented his home country in the World Golf Championships World Cup four times. 

“Our team is coming together beautifully, and with Stephen on board to join myself, Vijay, Retief and Steven, I believe we match up very competitively with the two other squads,” Els said. “His results on the golf course this season speak for themselves, and I eagerly anticipate what we can achieve together as Team International.”

Karlsson is an 11-time winner on the DP World Tour and represented Europe in the 2006 and 2008 Ryder Cups. A native of Sweden, he has also played in five World Cups and was on the European Team in the Seve Trophy four times between 2000 and 2009. This season, he has six top-10 finishes in 15 PGA TOUR Champions events.

“I'm excited to add Robert to our lineup for Team Europe,” Clarke said. “Throughout his career, he has been a terrific competitor, and I am looking forward to having him in our colors in December.” 

Leonard’s name is synonymous with one of the most iconic moments in team golf history, as his 45-foot putt on the 17th hole Sunday afternoon clinched a remarkable comeback for the U.S. team during the 1999 Ryder Cup in Brookline. Among his 12 PGA TOUR victories, he counts the 1997 Open Championship, which he won by three strokes over Clarke and Jesper Parnevik. Leonard has represented the United States in three Ryder Cups and five Presidents Cups. 

“I feel fortunate to have a guy like Justin on Team USA,” Furyk said. “Throughout his career he has shown that he performs his best in the most high-pressure situations, and I know he’ll do the same when it comes time to battle Team International and Team Europe this December.”

The World Champions Cup is an annual three-team, three-day competition that will be contested across nine-hole matches featuring team formats and singles play, with points being earned for each hole won in each of the event’s 24 matches. The team with the highest point total across all matches will be crowned the champion. 

The Concession Golf Club was named the Best New Private Course in America by Golf Digest in 2006. The seed of what would become The Concession Golf Club was planted in 1969, with Jack Nicklaus’ famous gesture of conceding the final putt in the Ryder Cup to Tony Jacklin, clinching the first tie in the competition’s history. Decades later, the two golf legends paired up to design and create The Concession Golf Club — a championship, privately-owned golf facility with no houses lining the course. The course has hosted the PGA TOUR’s 2021 World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession, the 2015 Men’s and Women’s NCAA Division I championships and the biennial Concession Cup.

ABC and ESPN will serve as the exclusive television homes of the World Champions Cup. Coverage will air Thursday, December 7 and Friday, December 8, as well as Sunday, December 10. The event will also feature a unique pro-am on Saturday, December 9.

Additional information about the World Champions Cup is available at, on Twitter (@WorldChampsCup) and on Instagram (@WorldChampionsCup).

About Intersport  

Intersport is an award-winning agency and leader in the creation of ideas, content and experiences that attract and engage passionate audiences. Its industry-leading team offers expert insights in content marketing, customer engagement, experiential marketing, hospitality, production and sponsorship consulting. The Chicago-based agency also owns and operates events across the professional and collegiate sports landscape, including basketball, football, golf, pickleball and volleyball. In addition to launching and operating the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic, Intersport is the proud operator of other world-class, ground-breaking golf properties such as The Jackson T. Stephens Cup, THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational and the World Champions Cup. Intersport has been headquartered in Chicago since its inception in 1985, with additional offices in Boston, Detroit and New York. Learn more at and on social media (LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook). 

About PGA TOUR Champions 

PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older, including 35 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. Follow PGA TOUR Champions online at, on Facebook, on Twitter (@ChampionsTour), on Instagram (@pgatourchampions) and on TikTok (pgatourchampions). 

All events are televised in the United States on Golf Channel, the exclusive cable-television partner of PGA TOUR Champions. Internationally, PGA TOUR Champions coverage is available in more than 170 countries and territories via 22 media partners. 

Media contact:   
Greg Ball, BZA Public Relations on behalf of World Champions Cup  
760-271-9183 /