SAS Championship Returns to Cary

2020 SAS Championship winner Ernie Els plays at last year’s tournament.

The PGA Tour Champions returns to Cary this week, but the impact of the SAS Championship will last far longer.

For more than 10 years, the annual event held at Prestonwood Country Club has used international attention to help raise funds for the YMCA of the Triangle’s Y Learning Program. The initiative aims to bridge the education gap for K-8 students, providing no-cost after school tutoring for students who may struggle to reach school-system benchmarks.

“That extra attention they get from Y Learning really makes the difference,” said Jeff Kleiber, tournament director. “And for SAS, that’s why that program is one that they’re really excited to support each year.”

Proceeds from the SAS Championship contribute the single-largest donation to the YMCA of the Triangle’s Y Learning Program each year. Since 2010, those donations have helped nearly 10,000 students across six counties participate in the program.

Y Learning operates in seven counties throughout the region, thanks to support from the annual SAS Championship.

The SAS Championship, which began in 2001, has donated more than $5 million to local youth education initiatives in its history. The tournament is also sponsoring a book drive that encourages attendees to donate age-appropriate books that will go to the Y Learning Program.

The first round of the SAS Championship begins on Friday and the third round wraps up Sunday, Oct. 17.

Food Truck Friday returns as the concluding event to the first day of play. Attendees of all ages are invited to enjoy some of the area’s best food trucks, live music, youth entertainment, and more. During Saturday’s SAS Championship 5K, runners and walkers can enjoy traversing the official tournament course prior to the second round of golf.

Among the field, 36 of the top-40 golfers in the Schwab Cup standings will be participating. The tournament will also include 53 PGA Tour Champions and seven World Golf Hall of Famers.

Ernie Els plays at the 2020 SAS Championship.

Ernie Els is back to defend his one-stroke victory in the tournament last year, while Jose Maria Olazabal and K.J. Choi headline a stellar rookie class playing Prestonwood for the first time.

“The beauty about the PGA Tour champions is every year, you’ve got rookies on this tour that are World Golf Hall of Famers, Major champions,” Kleiber said. “That’s what makes this tour so unique.”

For more information about the tournament and the Y Learning Program, please visit

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