March 08, 2023

Top 10 Moments from the 2023 Cologuard Classic by Exact Sciences

The 2023 Cologuard Classic by Exact Sciences was filled with countless memories, thousands of dollars raised for colorectal cancer awareness, and great golf. It was a meaningful week in Tucson, Arizona celebrating those touched by colorectal cancer and furthering the fight against the disease.

As this year’s tournament comes to an end, it’s time to reflect on some of the best moments from the week.

1. Pro-Am Event

This year’s Pro-Am event got off to a snowy start in Tucson, Arizona. Nearly two inches of snow fell overnight and delayed the group from teeing off. When it finally warmed up, Carole Motycka took the course as a colorectal cancer survivor and to honor her husband Mike Mancini, who lost his own battle against cancer last year. After spending the past year preparing for the Pro-Am event by learning how to golf, it was inspiring to watch Carole tee off for such a meaningful reason.

2. Night of Champions Reception

The Night of Champions reception is always a special time to celebrate colorectal cancer survivors, caregivers, and patients. This year, award-winning journalist and cancer advocate Katie Couric made a special appearance and shared why raising awareness is so important to her. In addition, colorectal cancer survivor J.J. Singleton received the first ever Jerry Kelly Award, given to someone who embodies passion and commitment to advocating for this disease.

3. TODAY Show Broadcast

Colorectal cancer survivors, caregivers, and advocates arrived bright and early on Friday morning to see Dylan Dreyer and the TODAY Show broadcast live from the Cologuard Classic by Exact Sciences. The broadcast was an opportunity to share one key message: get screened. Friday was National Dress in Blue Day, and those in attendance wore blue to raise awareness, support those fighting, and remember those we’ve lost to colorectal cancer.

4. Opening Ceremony

Tournament weekend kicked off with a military F-16 flyover and ceremonial first tee shots by colorectal cancer survivors and members of First Tee of Tucson. Katie Couric also shared a few words in the opening ceremony and even attempted her own tee shot down the fairway. Following this celebration, the tournament was officially underway. 

5. Pairings with a Pro

For the third straight year, all PGA TOUR Champions players competing in the Cologuard Classic by Exact Sciences were paired with a colorectal cancer survivor, patient, caregiver, or in memory of someone lost to colorectal cancer. Throughout tournament weekend, the pro golfers wore a ribbon in honor of who they were paired with. Participants that attended the tournament had the opportunity to meet and connect with their golfer. 

6. Drive to Know Hole

The Drive to Know Hole initiative aimed to raise money for colorectal cancer screening efforts. For every tee shot that landed in the 10th, 15th, and 18th fairways, $100 from tournament proceeds were donated to colorectal cancer screening efforts in the Tucson area. By the end of tournament weekend, the Drive to Know Hole raised $50,000.

7. Celebrity Challenge

The Celebrity Challenge featured former NFL players Golden Tate, Reggie Bush, and Brice Butler, and former MLB player Jimmy Rollins. After five holes of play, a shot from the stands by Brice Butler, and a shot from the top of a golf cart by Golden Tate, team Tate-Bush took home the trophy. All celebrities were paired with a colorectal cancer survivor and played in their honor during the challenge.

8. Survivor Central

Every year, the 9th hole serves as a dedicated place for colorectal cancer survivors, patients, caregivers, and advocates to hang out, watch golf, and connect with others impacted by the disease. This year, more than 200 advocates, survivors, and caregivers traveled to Tucson, far and away the most to ever attend the Cologuard Classic by Exact Sciences.

 9. 18th Hole Walk

Following the final round of play, colorectal cancer survivors, caregivers, patients, and advocates took the course for a ceremonial walk up the 18th hole to help close out the competition. Each person wore the same blue t-shirt, designed by Dawn Norris, a Colon Cancer Foundation advocate. The walk is a special moment that brings together Cologuard Classic by Exact Sciences attendees and serves as a reminder that everyone is united in the fight against cancer.

 10. Closing Ceremony Celebration

The Cologuard Classic by Exact Sciences concluded by celebrating PGA TOUR Champions player David Toms. After an incredible weekend of golf, David took home the Tucson Conquistador helmet trophy. In his closing speech, he shared words of encouragement for his Pairings with a Pro honoree and emphasized what it meant to him to be able to play in their honor.

This year’s tournament was truly special. The colorectal cancer community is an unstoppable force and it’s inspiring to watch everyone come together for such an important mission. It’s time to start counting down the days until the 2024 Cologuard Classic by Exact Sciences, taking place at La Paloma Country Club in Tucson, Arizona.