Korn Ferry Tour coming to Norman in 2023, Compliance Solutions signs five-year deal to sponsor event at Jimmie Austin
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida – The Korn Ferry Tour and Compliance Solutions announced today a five-year partnership to host a new professional golf tournament, the Compliance Solutions Championship, beginning in June 2023. The inaugural Compliance Solutions Championship will be played June 22-25, 2023, at the Jimmie Austin Golf Club at The University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. Compliance Solutions, an industry leader in providing comprehensive client-centered compliance, accounting, tax and business advisory services, will become the title sponsor of the new Korn Ferry Tour event through at least 2027. Anera Sports will serve as the host organization for the Compliance Solutions Championship.
“We are thrilled to partner with Compliance Solutions to bring Korn Ferry Tour golf to The Sooner State,” said Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin. “Oklahoma is home to incredibly passionate golf fans, and this is a market we’ve been targeting for some time. Our membership is excited about the opportunity to compete at the Jimmie Austin Golf Club at The University of Oklahoma, and I know they’ll receive a warm welcome from the local community. We’re very grateful to Mark Lammert and the Compliance Solutions team for their commitment to the Korn Ferry Tour, and we look forward to making a positive impact in Norman and the greater Oklahoma City area for years to come.”
The Compliance Solutions Championship will be a 72-hole tournament featuring 156 players from around the world. The 2023 Korn Ferry Tour season will begin with The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay in January and conclude in October with the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance, where 30 PGA TOUR cards will be awarded based on the points list.
“We are incredibly honored and excited to join the PGA TOUR family as the title sponsor of the Compliance Solutions Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour,” said Compliance Solutions CEO and Founder Mark Lammert, an Oral Roberts University graduate. “Our alignment with the PGA TOUR embraces shared values of hard work, commitment and making a positive impact in the community both locally and nationally, striving for excellence and promoting notable charitable work. This is paramount to Compliance Solutions’ commitment in creating a landmark impact with the Sales Tax Calculation, Sales Tax Reporting and FCC Compliance industry.”
Former University of Oklahoma standout Max McGreevy, who earned his first PGA TOUR card with a No. 14 finish on the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Points List, is excited about the Korn Ferry Tour coming to The Sooner State and his alma mater.
“It’s amazing. I know we’ve been vying for a Korn Ferry Tour event at Jimmie Austin for a long time now,” said McGreevy, who grew up in Edmond, Oklahoma and won the 2017 and 2019 Oklahoma Opens. “I know [Sooners coach [Ryan] Hybl is very excited about this. I’ve talked to some of the grounds crew, and they’re super thrilled. It’s a golf state; I think you saw that at Southern Hills a little bit, and I think you’ll see it at Jimmie Austin, as well.”
“This will be great for the state and the guys out there on tour,” said Rhein Gibson of Edmond, who has gone back and forth between the Korn Ferry and PGA Tours since 2015. “We have so many guys from OU and OSU out there that to be able to play closer to home and for the state fans will be a really good event.”
A typical week on the Korn Ferry Tour finds 10 or more players with strong Oklahoma ties in the field. For instance, this week at the Utah Championship will be Austin Eckroat (Edmond, OSU), Quade Cummins (Edmond, OU), Jonathan Brightwell (Edmond, OU), Charlie Saxon (Tulsa, OU), Sam Stephens (OSU), Garett Reband (OU), Grant Hirschman (OU), Kevin Dougherty (OSU), Tag Ridings (grew up Tulsa), Kris Ventura (OSU) and Gibson, a native of Australia who stayed here after his collegiate career at Oklahoma Christian.
“This is exciting for the state and for the city,” said Tyler Woodward, PGA general manager and director of club operations at Jimmie Austin. “This couldn’t happen at a better time and the dates will be great for us, as it happens soon after the NCAA Championship and with the PGA University players just out on tour. Our goal is to bring championship golf to the state. We’ve done it on a collegiate level and now the professional level.”
“I can’t think of any golf course in the Oklahoma City area that would be better,” said architect Tripp Davis, who performed the major renovation on Jimmie Austin. “We can stretch it to 7,500 yards if we need to. It will be a good test. The main thing is we can set it up in a lot of ways to really make it a good test.”
OU coach Ryan Hybl was not immediately available but OSU coach Alan Bratton said it would be a great venue and the state will support a Korn Ferry Tour event strongly.
“That wil be great,” Bratton said. “The state of Oklahoma has proven to really turn out for tournaments, whether that be an amateur event or any of the majors that we’ve held here. I expect it to be get fantastic support.”
The rich heritage of the grounds of the Jimmie Austin Golf Club at The University of Oklahoma dates to the early 1940s, when the land was home to a U.S. Navy recreational facility.
Situated on what was once called the Navy Air Technical Training Center, the facility served as an annex to the Norman Naval Air Station located north of town at what is now Max Westheimer Airport. In 1949, in coordination with the Navy and with the leadership of University of Oklahoma President George Lynn Cross, construction began on the University of Oklahoma Golf Course. At that time, famous golf course architect and native Oklahoman Perry Maxwell was commissioned to build the project, and the course opened for play in January 1951.
In 1996, thanks to the generous contributions from University of Oklahoma supporters, especially that of namesake Jimmie Austin, an extensive renovation of the course was completed. World-renowned course architect Robert Cupp was chosen for the redesign, which remained true to features envisioned by Maxwell some 50 years earlier. Working with Tripp Davis, golf course architect and member of the Sooners’ 1989 national title-winning team, the club completed major renovations to the course, infrastructure, and facilities in 2017.
“We just did a renovation my senior year of college, so unfortunately, I missed out on it, but it’s in really good shape,” added McGreevy. “They always take great care of the course and facilities. I know if we have regionals or any tournaments, people are just excited to play it and have a lot of fun. It’s tricky, but you can get after it if you get it going. You can get some Oklahoma winds rolling in there in the summertime, though. We’ll see, hopefully it won’t be too hot, but it will be a lot of fun.”
In recognition of this excellence, the course hosted the 1997 Oklahoma State Amateur, the 1998 and 2010 Big 12 Women’s Championships, and most notably the 2009 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. The course hosted the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship and NCAA Regional Championships in 2012, 2018, 2022 (men’s) and 2013, 2019 (women’s) and is already scheduled to host NCAA Regional Championships in 2023 and 2025.
Compliance Solutions, which is celebrating its 20-year anniversary this year after being founded by Lammert in 2002, is headquartered in Longwood, Florida. For more information on Compliance Solutions, please visit: www.csilongwood.com. For more information on the tournament, please visit: https://compliancesolutionschampionship.com/.