Hall-of-Fame pitcher John Smoltz will play three PGA TOUR Champions tournaments on sponsor exemptions during the 2019 season. The 51-year-old will begin at the Cologuard Classic (March 1-3) in Tucson, Arizona, within driving distance of the Major League Baseball Spring Training Cactus League. The former Atlanta Braves pitcher will make his second start in metro-Atlanta at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic (April 19-21), and his third start will be in Madison, Wisconsin, at the American Family Insurance Championship (June 21-23).
“I got some calls with these opportunities, looked at my schedule, and besides being super excited, looked at how I could fit it in. That is exactly what has worked out,” Smoltz said. “I have a lot of guys that I know, a lot of friends on the TOUR, and I have the upmost respect for every single one of them that have played this game their whole career. I just look forward to the challenge.”
On the golf course, Smoltz most recently won the 2019 Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, where he defeated another former pitcher, Mark Mulder, in the 72-hole event in Orlando, Florida. He qualified for the 2018 U.S. Senior Open and carded rounds of 85-77 at The Broadmoor Golf Club, and his resume also includes two top-10s at the American Century Championship (10th/2018, T9/2017).
In 22 MLB seasons, Smoltz was an eight-time All-Star, won the 1996 NL Cy Young Award and won the 1995 World Series with the Atlanta Braves. He is the Braves’ all-time leader in strikeouts (3,011) and games pitched (708), and he tallied a 15-4 record with a 2.67 ERA in 41 career postseason games. Smoltz is the only pitcher in MLB history to record 200 wins and 150 saves, and he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015, his first year of eligibility.
“John is an iconic athlete on par with all the legendary players that compete on PGA TOUR Champions, and we’re very excited to welcome him to three events this season,” said Miller Brady, President of PGA TOUR Champions.
Smoltz joined MLB Network in 2010 and is a game and studio analyst. He appears across MLB Network’s studio programming, including MLB Tonight and the live game series MLB Network Showcase. Smoltz also serves as lead game analyst for FOX.