Liberty Corner, New Jersey, United States: The USGA and World Golf Tour (WGT) by Topgolf have launched the USGA eSports Grand Slam Presented by Lexus.
The series consists of four live eSports championships, offering contestants an opportunity to compete for a variety of prizes, including a grand prize VIP trip to the 2022 US Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Through the support of Lexus, the USGA and WGT will host four events on WGT platforms throughout the year for the first time. The eSports Grand Slam will include the Virtual US Open and Match Play Challenge, both of which have been held in previous years, and will introduce the Virtual Open at The Olympic Club and the Grand Slam Series Finale.
The USGA eSports Grand Slam leads off with the Virtual Open at The Olympic Club. Contestants can play unlimited qualifying rounds of 18-hole stroke play from now through April 30. The top 10 scorers from the qualifier will advance to a live-streamed, 18-hole stroke play championship event on June 7.
“We are thrilled to launch the USGA eSports Grand Slam presented by Lexus, particularly since our fans have been clamouring for more ways to engage with our championships,” said Navin Singh, Chief Commercial Officer of the USGA.
“The increased number of events and renowned courses that will be featured this season is a reflection of our shared commitment to providing fans the unique experience of competing online on the same golf courses that will host our championships,” he added.
The series offers fans a chance to compete on four iconic USGA championship venues, three of which are hosting a USGA championship in 2021.
The Olympic Club, site of the 76th US Women’s Open Championship (June 3-6), is the host venue for the first event in the eSports Grand Slam. Located in the southwestern corner of San Francisco, The Olympic Club’s Lake Course has hosted five US Opens and three US Amateur championships. It is hosting its first US Women’s Open.
The South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course, in San Diego, is host of this year’s Virtual US Open, with qualifying to take place in May and June leading to a live championship event on July 17. Torrey Pines will host its second US Open from June 17-20, having hosted Tiger Woods’ unforgettable Monday play-off victory over Rocco Mediate in 2008.
Oakmont Country Club is the venue of the Match Play Challenge, the third event in the USGA eSports Grand Slam. Oakmont’s illustrious USGA history features 16 past USGA championships, including nine US Opens and two US Women’s Opens. The Pennsylvania club will host the 121st US Amateur Championship from August 9-15.
WGT players will compete in a bracket-style match play format for the Match Play Challenge at Oakmont following the stroke play qualifying round. The top 64 finishers from the qualifier will be placed in four 16-player brackets, where competitors will square off in head-to-head rounds.
The winner from each bracket will earn a spot in the four-player live finale on September 18.
The Grand Slam Series Finale will be played on Course No 2 at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club. Best known for undulating, crowned greens, Pinehurst No 2 has witnessed some of the most memorable moments in USGA history, hosting three US Opens, two US Amateurs and one US Women’s Open.
In 2014, it became the first course to host the US Open and US Women’s Open Championships in consecutive weeks.
The Grand Slam Series Finale will consist of the same format as the Match Play Challenge at Oakmont following the 18-hole stroke play qualifying round. The live four-player championship event will feature two semi-final matches and championship match with the winner to receive a VIP trip to the 2022 US Open.
The first-place prize for each of the four events includes a US$1,000 pre-paid gift card, US$500 USGA Shop card, an engraved championship trophy and a custom cornhole set.
The runner-up in all four events will receive a custom cornhole set as well, along with a US$500 pre-paid gift card and US$250 USGA Shop card. Third and fourth-place finishers will also receive pre-paid gift cards and USGA Shop cards.
In 2020, the USGA Match Play Challenge livestream received 317,000 views, with more than 2.5 million total minutes watched. The 2020 Virtual Open accepted 128,830 player entries totalling over 790,000 rounds played.
All USGA eSports Grand Slam events are free to enter. Download the WGT Golf app on iOS, Android or Amazon devices, or play the desktop version, all available free at https://m.wgt.com/