Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club, Grand Blanc, MI — August 24, 2023
Story Update: Due to inclement weather overnight, the first round of the Ally Challenge has been postponed until Saturday Morning. The Don Felder Concert at 17 has been rescheduled to 5 pm Friday.
The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren starts tomorrow, Friday, August 25th, when Scott Verplank, Chris Di Marco, and Tim Petrovic tee off on the first hole at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club.
Here are the first-round starting times and pairings.
Looking for a group to follow? Be on the first tee at 11:50 am when Boo Weekly and John Daly join Bob Estes. Weekly is just a good old country boy with down-home charm and humor. Daly is the outlandish showman with no filter. You will see some great golf and be entertained for 18 holes with the banter among the players.
Who’s the tournament favorite? Our pick is Steve Stricker, the defending champion, he will be the first Ally Challenge winner to repeat. Don’t count out Bernhard Langer, the 65-year-old is still one of the most competitive golfers on the Senior circuit.
New Tournament News – Celebrity Challenge Returns
The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren announced today the return of one of the tournament’s fan-favorite events, the Celebrity Challenge. For 2023, this marquee competition will feature golf’s greatest champion, Jack Nicklaus, along with Detroit Red Wings legendary enforcer Darren McCarty, Detroit Lions punter Jack Fox, Women’s Olympic Hockey Gold medalist Hilary Knight, Detroit Pistons and former University of Michigan basketball standout Isaiah Livers, retired NFL safety and Super Bowl Champion Bernard Pollard, and former Detroit Tigers pitcher Dave Rozema.
The Celebrity Challenge will take place on Saturday, August 26th, following the final pairing of round two of The Ally Challenge and be contested over a four-hole team scramble, match-play format at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, playing Hole Nos. 10, 11, 17 and 18.
The teams will compete for a $30,000 purse to benefit two Michigan-based charitable organizations, My Brother’s Keeper and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Flint. Each hole carries a dollar value that will be awarded to the winning team’s charity per hole. The team that has won the most money for their charity at the end of four holes will be declared the winner of the Celebrity Challenge.
CELEBRITY CHALLENGE HOLE VALUE BREAKDOWN
Hole No. 10 ………………………………. $5,000
Hole No. 11 ………………………………. $6,500
Hole No. 17 ………………………………. $8,500
Hole No. 18 ………………………………. $10,000
Total Purse ……………………………… $30,000
Ties will result in a carryover of the assigned hole value to the next hole. A tie at the end of four holes will result in a sudden-death chip-off on the 18th green.
No name is more synonymous with greatness in the sport of golf than the name Jack Nicklaus, and no single person has changed the face of the sport more than Jack Nicklaus – the champion, the course designer, the businessman, the philanthropist, and the good-will ambassador.
Nicklaus’ competitive professional career spanned five decades, and his legend has been built with 120 tournament victories worldwide, including a record 18 major championship titles (six Masters, five PGA Championships, four U.S. Opens, three British Opens). Nicklaus’ legacy transcends his championship resumé due to his global design work and the commitment from Jack and his wife Barbara to philanthropy. Specifically, efforts focused on pediatric care through the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. Using his platform to benefit others has earned Nicklaus the designation as the only sportsperson—and fourth individual in history—to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and the Lincoln Medal.
This is Jack’s fourth appearance at The Ally Challenge.
McCarty is a former professional ice hockey player who won four Stanley Cup titles (1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008) with the Detroit Red Wings over 13 seasons with the team. The right-winger is known as one of the top enforcers in Red Wings history and was named the 1998 ESPY Award NHL Player of the Year.
For his first 11 seasons with Detroit, McCarty was part of the Red Wing’s famous Grind Line with center Kris Draper and winger Kirk Maltby, which was often matched up against an opponent’s top offensive line.
McCarty officially retired from the NHL in 2009 and turned to broadcasting as a television color analyst and guest radio host on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit. He also made several appearances on the truTV reality series Hardcore Pawn. In 2018, he started a weekly podcast, Grind Time with Darren McCarty.
McCarty’s latest endeavor puts the Canadian in the wrestling ring, where he now occasionally appears for professional wrestling company ICW No Holds Barred.
Fox is a decorated punter for the NFL’s Detroit Lions. He made his professional debut on September 13, 2020, and was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month. Fox finished his first season with 59 punts for an average of 49.1 yards and a net average of 44.8 yards, both Lions records. That same season, he also became the first Lions punter since 1998 to make the Pro Bowl.
In October of 2022, Fox signed a three-year, $11.325 million contract extension with the Lions, making him the highest-paid punter in the league.
The Texas native played college football for Rice University, where he handled punting and place-kicking duties for the Owls. As a senior, Fox was named first-team All-Conference and the Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year, as well as a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, after punting 80 times 3,636 yards (45.5 average) with 23 extra points attempted and making five of 12 field goal attempts.
Fox grew up in St. Louis and was a multi-sport athlete at Ladue Horton Watkins High School, playing baseball and football. During his senior football season, he was named first-team All-State as a punter and second-team as a placekicker while also passing for 1,900 yards and 18 touchdowns at quarterback.
Knight is arguably the best female hockey player in the world. She is an Olympic Gold medalist, three-time Olympic Silver medalist, and eight-time International Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Champion. An outspoken advocate for gender equality, she is changing the landscape for women in hockey.
Knight holds the record for most goals scored all-time at the IIHF Women’s World Championships and most points all-time in the tournament. She also holds the record for most Olympic games ever played in U.S. Women’s Hockey history, competing in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Knight began playing ice hockey at age five when her family moved to Chicago. Her three younger brothers all played hockey and helped her hone her skills growing up. She immediately fell in love with the sport and claimed that she was going to play ice hockey in the Olympics.
In 2014, Knight made history as the first female skated (non-goalie) to practice with an NHL team after she took the ice with the Anaheim Ducks.
Knight played collegiate hockey for the Wisconsin Badgers and is a recent MBA graduate. She is a veteran leader and co-captain on the U.S. Women’s Hockey team and is currently working with her peers to build a sustainable women’s hockey league for generations to come.
Livers is a Michigan native from Kalamazoo. Coming out of Kalamazoo Central High School, he was named 2017 Mr. Basketball of Michigan and went on to star for the University of Michigan during his college career. The power forward was part of the 2017–18 Wolverines team that won the Big Ten Conference men’s basketball tournament and reached the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament.
Livers was selected in the second round of the 2021 NBA draft by his hometown team, the Detroit Pistons. He has played in 71 games for Detroit, where last season he came off the bench to average 6.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game while hitting 37% from three-point range and 82% from the free throw line. Earlier this month, the Pistons exercised Livers’ team option for the 2023-24 season.
Pollard was known for his hard-hitting style on the defensive side of the ball, which earned him the nickname The Bone Crusher. He recorded 711 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 12 interceptions, 13 forced fumbles, three defensive touchdowns, and numerous game-changing hits during his nine-year NFL career. Pollard received his Super Bowl ring as a member of the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII. The Indiana native also played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans, and Tennessee Titans. Pollard played college football at Purdue University, where he was an All-American for the Boilermakers.
Today, Pollard is a NASCAR and iRacing enthusiast, trainer, coach, photographer, and videographer. He and his wife, Meghan, have four children and reside in Nashville, Tennessee.
Rozema played for the Detroit Tigers from 1977 through 1984, capping off his tenure in the Motor City with a World Series title over the San Diego Padres. The Michigan native was an All-City pitcher for Grand Rapids Central High School and was selected in the fourth round of the 1975 Major League Baseball (MLB) supplemental draft. Rozema signed with the Detroit Tigers on January 21, 1975.
In his Tigers debut, Rozema threw a complete-game, four-hit shutout against the Red Sox, winning 8-0. He went on to win 14 more games for Detroit in his rookie season and posted the seventh-best ERA in the league, 3.09. In 28 starts, he totaled 218 innings, completed 16 games, and only walked 34 batters the entire season. During one stretch, from July 16 to August 19, he won seven consecutive games. Rozema was voted American League Rookie Pitcher of the Year and Rookie of the Year for the Tigers.
The Ally Challenge will be one of the premier Regular Season events on the PGA TOUR Champions in 2023, featuring a $2,200,000 purse and leading to the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, a season-ending, three-tournament series used to determine the TOUR’s season-long champion.
All three rounds of The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren will be broadcast on Golf Channel.
For more information about The Ally Challenge, please visit www.theallychallenge.com. For the latest Ally Challenge news and updates on social media, follow the tournament on Twitter and Instagram at @AllyChallenge and on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllyChallenge.