Dominion Energy Charity Classic tees off with Phil Mickelson in Richmond

Reigning champion Mickelson looking to keep his title
Mickelson returns to the Country Club of Virginia to defend his tittle.
Mickelson returns to the Country Club of Virginia to defend his tittle.(WWBT)
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 6:24 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - One of golf’s greatest Phil Mickelson is swinging back into Richmond this weekend to defend his title at the 6th annual Dominion Energy Charity Classic (DECC).

In the first of three tournaments for the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, 72 pros teed off Friday at the Country Club of Virginia with prior champions like Bernhard Langer and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

“It’s pretty fantastic we were excited when Mickelson told us a few weeks ago that he was going to come back this year to defend the title he won last year,” Steve Schoenfeld, executive director of DECC, said. “ Last year when I heard he was coming the first thing I thought was wow we can’t even sell a ticket.”

Last year the tournament was not allowing spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic but this year the tournament has been opened for the public with fans from all over Virginia.

Attendee Ben Rosenberger said his dad and a friend made the two-hour trip with him from Harrisonburg to see some of the top players.

“You know for me, someone who has loved golf, to be able to see people that I grew up watching on TV it’s kinda surreal,” Rosenberger said. “To be able to see big names like that out here playing golf and right at the tee box with them.”

The weekend tournament is not just about golf, there are also concerts and food vendors.

Schoenfeld says the tournament has also made it their mission to serve the community and generate more than $5.1 million to charities in Central Virginia.

“The majority of our funds that are generated from the event go to the Virginia Veteran Services Foundation and then the Richmond Fischer House.,” Schoenfeld said. “We also have a program called birdies for charity which is presented by Towne Bank. Where any 501cs, any charity, can enroll, generate funds "

Round three of the tournament will end on Sunday where the top 54 players will go on to the TimberTech Championship in Boca Raton, Florida.

From there the top 36 will play the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at the Phoenix Country Club in Arizona.

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