PGA Tour Champions are in Sioux Falls this week for the Sanford International. Here’s what you need to know

The fifth edition of the Sanford International on the PGA Tour Champions starts this week at the Minnehaha Country Club in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and all four previous champions are back.

The tournament’s events started Monday with a closed practice round, while the first event open to the public is Thursday as the EMC Championship Pro-Am. The first round is scheduled to tee off on Friday at 1:15 a.m. ET [11:15 a.m. local time.

From parking, players to watch, what to eat and a weather forecast, here’s what you need to know before you go.

Players to watch

More than 70 golfers will participate at the Sanford International, highlighted by last year’s winner Darren Clarke – who beat K.J. Choi and Steve Flesch in a playoff. Both Choi and Flesch will be at this year’s event.

The field will also include all of the Top 10 money winners in the Charles Schwab Cup, including Steven Alker who has three wins to date on the tour. Alker’s winnings in the cup are just under $2.5 million.

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Padraig Harrington, who has appeared in 12 events of the Charles Schwab Cup, sits in second place, amassing more than $2.1 million in winnings. Harrington has eight Top 10 finishes this year.

John Daly, a fan favorite, is also a part of the field. He’s joined by other big-name golfers such as Miguel Angel Jimenez, Steve Stricker, Fred Couples, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh. Jimenez won the event in 2020, while Stricker claimed the title in 2018. Rocco Mediate will also participate in the event – he won the 2019 edition of the tournament.

“This year’s field is the best in the history of the tournament,” David Trosin, assistant tournament director, said in a release.

Tom Byrum, a native of Onida, will also play this weekend.

Steven Alker of New Zealand hits his second shot on the 5th hole during the second round of the Sanford International Presented by Cambria at Minnehaha Country Club on September 18, 2021, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

What’s the weather forecast?

Expect warm weather with a chance of rain in the early rounds.

Highs are expected to reach 85 on Thursday — the first day the general public is allowed on the grounds — with a chance of afternoon showers.

There’s another chance of rain Friday, with a high near 81.

On Saturday and Sunday, the National Weather Service forecasts mostly sunny conditions with a high near 79.

Sanford International details

Site: Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Course: Minnehaha CC. Yardage: 6,729. Par: 70.
Prize money: $2 million. Winner’s share: $300,000.
Television: Friday-Sunday, 9:30-11:30 p.m., Golf Channel-tape delay.
Defending champion: Darren Clarke.
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Steven Alker.
Last week: Padraig Harrington won the Ascension Charity Classic.

Notes: Padraig Harrington has won two of his last three starts on the PGA Tour Champions. He can move atop the Charles Schwab Cup standings if he were to win this week. … Harrington joined Steven Alker, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Jerry Kelly as three-time winners this year. They are the top four in the Schwab Cup. … Justin Leonard made his PGA Tour Champions debut last week with a tie for 19th. Leonard is not in the field this week. … Davis Love III is in the field a week before he is captain of the U.S. team for the Presidents Cup. … Steve Flesch has been runner-up in the Sanford International each of the last two years, losing in a three-man playoff last year. … Mario Tiziani, the brother-in-law of Steve Stricker, is playing on a sponsor exemption. … David Duval has yet to finish in the top 30 on the PGA Tour Champions this year.