Some day Tucker Wadkins and Dru Love may look back at this and have the fondest memories of this being where a great PGA career got its start.
The duo have been chosen as the Colonial Champions’ Choice Invitees to this year’s Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club, the first year the tournament will bear that name after Charles Schwab and Company took over corporate sponsorship. The tournament celebrates its 73rd championship this year, with festivities May 20-26 (the actual tournament is May 23-26).
This continues the long-running tournament tradition of champions voting in two players who are promising young professionals who have never before been eligible for the prestigious invitational event.
The champions selected Wadkins and Love from a crop of talented young players who are trying to establish themselves as career professionals.
Wadkins, 26, played his college golf at Arizona State and competed on the Mackenzie
Tour in 2018, the tour headquartered in Canada. His father is 1988 Charles Schwab Challenge champion Lanny Wadkins. The pair won the 2015 PNC Father/Son Challenge in a playoff.
Love, 25, ironically, was in that Father/Son playoff with his dad, Davis Love III. They
teamed up to win the event three years later in 2018. Love is a graduate of the University of Alabama, and qualified to play in the 2017 U.S. Open Championship.
The younger Wadkins is following in his father’s footsteps with this honor. Lanny Wadkins made his Colonial debut as a Champions’ Choice in 1986, and won his first PGA Tour event one year later.
Colonial champions have done well over the years with their picks, and some choices have returned to win the tournament later in their careers. Other Champions’ Choice invitees who made their professional debut in Fort Worth with this honor include Paul Azinger, Billy Mayfair, Mark O’Meara, Curtis Strange and Stewart Cink.
Six years ago, 2015 Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth was invited as a Champions’ Choice. He later became the 2016 Colonial champion, and a three-time champion in major tournaments.
Bryson DeChambeau got a Champions’ invite in 2016 and is now among the top 10 in the world.
In all, 75 of the former 129 choices have become PGA Tour tournament winners,
racking up 415 victories and 28 majors. This year, a purse of $7.3 million awaits the final field of 120 contestants at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Tickets are on sale now at www.charlesschwabchallenge.com and at local Tom
Thumb and Albertsons stores.
Among the pros expected to play this year are:
Tyrone Van Aswegen
Harold Varner III
Si Woo Kim