124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2


PGA Tour's Safeway Open extends sponsor's exemption to former MLB All-Star

August 31, 2018
St Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants

Jed Jacobsohn

Forget Brooks Koepka or the return of Tiger Woods. The 2018 season has been the year of the celebrity invite.

Earlier this week the Safeway Open announced a sponsor's exemption to former Major League Baseball pitcher Mark Mulder. The 41-year-old was a two-time All-Star in his nine-year career with the Oakland A's and St. Louis Cardinals, best remembered for his part in Oakland's "Moneyball" rotation alongside Barry Zito and Tim Hudson.

Following baseball, Mulder—who also served as an ESPN analyst—has kept his competitive spirits alive with golf. Mulder won the celebrity-centric American Century Championship three consecutive years, his streak broken this summer by former Dallas quarterback Tony Romo (Mulder finished runner-up). Mulder, a scratch golfer, will attempt to become the first athlete from another sport to make the cut at a PGA Tour event.

“Mark has a deep connection with the sports community in the Bay Area and he’s got some serious game on the course too,” said Jeff Sanders, executive vice president of Lagardere Sports. “We know the A’s fans will be out here supporting him and it will be fun to watch as he tests his game against PGA Tour players and Silverado’s North Course."

Earlier this year Romo was in the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, an alternate event on tour, although he ultimately finished last in the field. NBA star Steph Curry and musician Jake Owen had cups of coffee on the Web.com circuit; while Curry found some success on Day 1 of the Ellie Mae Classic, both failed to make the weekend. Also of note is Brittany Lincicome of the LPGA Tour entering the Barbasol Championship, firing 78-71 at Keene Trace Golf Club.

The Safeway Open, hosted by Johnny Miller, has pledged all proceeds from ticket sales to go to fire relief in the Napa Valley area. Fires ravaged parts of the Silverado Resort at which the tournament is held as well as surrounding areas.