Genesis Invitational

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Cameron Champ's grandfather, the man responsible for inspiring the PGA Tour's longest hitter, passes away

October 24, 2019
Safeway Open - Final Round

Jonathan Ferrey

Mack "PaPa" Champ, the man who taught Cameron Champ how to play golf, has passed away at 78 from stomach cancer.

The grandfather of the rising PGA Tour star had been under hospice care in the family home in Sacramento since September. Shortly after that transition, Cameron, wearing golf shoes with an inscription for PaPa, won the nearby Safeway Open and created the most indelible moment of the fall season by sharing an emotional embrace with his dad, Jeff, on the 18th green while the two spoke with Mack via phone.

“I’ll say this now. I really feel like this will be, no matter what, even if I never win another tournament again or I win however many,” Champ, 24, said following his second PGA Tour win. “This will definitely be the greatest moment of my golfing career.”

Safeway Open - Final Round

Jonathan Ferrey

Although Champ inherited athletic genes from Jeff, a former minor league baseball player, he received his first set of golf clubs from Mack, who got into golf during his time in the Air Force. The person Cameron called, "the greatest man alive," also served as a constant inspiration.

Champ hasn't played since a T-23 at the Houston Open earlier this month. Our thoughts are with him and his family.