The Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions Presented by Insurance Office of America (IOA) is perhaps one of the most interesting competitions in the LPGA. Bringing professional female golfers and celebrity personalities together, this four-day IOA-sponsored tournament is new to the LPGA but has already established a sports and entertainment precedent that fans can’t wait to watch again in 2021.
Get to Know the Growing LPGA Tournament
In the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions Presented by IOA, LPGA winners from the previous two seasons gather with celebrities and sports entertainment icons to compete at Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando. Professional female golfers in the tournament play 72 holes to win from a $1.2 million purse. Qualifying amateur golfers partner with the participating celebrity players as they compete on an adjusted Stableford format for a $500,000 purse.
Get to Know the Professional and Celebrity Competition
Viewers across the nation can catch this event live on television or purchase tickets to see their favorite players and public figures in person. As many as 50-star athletes and celebrity personalities compete in each Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions Presented by IOA. Previous celebrity participants in the tournament include:
- Larry Fitzgerald
- Toby Keith
- Michael Peña
- Willie Robertson
- Joe Don Rooney
- Alfonso Ribeiro
- John Smoltz
In 2019, golfer Eun-Hee Ji and Atlanta Braves Hall-of-Famer John Smoltz were named the first winners of the first Tournament of Champions in the LPGA and celebrity divisions, respectively. LPGA golfer Gaby Lopez secured first place in the LPGA division of the tournament in 2020 and returning champ John Smoltz remained victorious as the winner of the celebrity division for the second consecutive year.
Get to Know the Sponsors: IOA and Diamond Resorts
Before the first Tournament of Champions, it had been more than 10 years since the LPGA hosted an event exclusive to winners. However, the tournament sponsors had an established connection to the LPGA that long preceded the start of this mixed-and-matched event. Both Diamond Resorts and IOA have been involved with the LPGA through various events, sponsorships, and partnerships over the years.
For example, IOA also sponsors three events on the Symetra Tour – Road to the LPGA, the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour, including the IOA Invitational, IOA Classic, and IOA Championship. As the first company to title three Symetra Tour events, IOA is a significant contributor to the LPGA and its athletes. IOA Co-founder, John Ritenour, has even personally delivered donations to Symetra Tour golfers on behalf of the IOA Foundation. Furthermore, Diamond Resorts has sponsored other tournaments in the sport since as early as 2013.
Get to Know More as the Tournament Continues
Although the 2021 celebrity roster for the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions Presented by IOA has not yet been announced, fans can expect another star-studded lineup as part of the tournament’s third year. Stayed tuned for updates from the LPGA, Diamond Resorts, and IOA as the next Tournament of Champions approaches.