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Emily Tillo, THE PLAYERS Championship,, 904-424-8572

Matt Welch named THE PLAYERS 2022 Tournament Chairman; Kevin Copeland joins volunteer leadership team as newest Vice-Chairman

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida – THE PLAYERS Championship announced today that Matt Welch has been named its 2022 Tournament Chairman. Welch succeeds Troy Smith for the role that oversees the 1,500+ volunteers who support the PGA TOUR’s flagship event. In addition, Kevin Copeland has been appointed Vice-Chairman, joining Houston Bowles, Lee Nimnicht, Tyler Oldenburg and Marc Hassan. The volunteer leadership team, commonly known as the Red and Blue Coats, manages the 47 committees responsible for the operations integral to the championship’s success.

Matt Welch

Entering his 15th year as a volunteer with THE PLAYERS, Welch has managed a variety of committees, including ShotLink, parking, ecology, golf cart management, stadium village and disabled guest services.

“I am truly honored to assume the role of Chairman for THE PLAYERS Championship 2022,” said Welch. “THE PLAYERS and its past Chairmen have entrusted me with the responsibility of working alongside the greatest volunteers in golf to present this signature event to the world and make a year-round, positive impact on Northeast Florida. I am so grateful for this opportunity.”

Welch retired in 2015 as President of Elkins Constructors, Inc. with 32 years of service., where he led many notable construction projects in Northeast Florida. He continues to serve the industry as a construction consultant while maintaining an active presence on several boards and organizations, including the Board of Supervisors for the Clay County Utility Authority and the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities. A Georgia native, Welch graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. Welch and his wife, Susan, live in Fleming Island.

Kevin Copeland

Kevin Copeland  began volunteering with THE PLAYERS in 2017 and has directed the efforts of numerous committees, including volunteer shuttle, golf cart management and hospitality services at Benefactor and The Patio locations.

As the newest Vice-Chairman, Copeland will oversee the Volunteer Services division, which supervises apparel, credentials, concessions, office and volunteer personnel, photography, recognition, supplies, volunteer information, offsite shuttle and volunteer transportation.  

Copeland currently serves as Senior Vice President, Head of Check Fraud Strategy and Analytics for Bank of America, where he manages a worldwide team responsible for predictive processes to prevent and stop fraud.

Copeland has called Jacksonville home for 25 years and is active with a number of youth advocacy organizations, including the Children’s Home Society (CHS) of North Florida, where he serves as Board Chairman, and Coding Sharks, a STEM-based nonprofit that he founded. A graduate of the University of Central Florida, Copeland has two sons, Aiden and Sebastian, and enjoys outdoor adventures and nature.

“It is truly an honor to be able to assist our 1,500-plus volunteers in moving this pre-eminent event into the future,” said Copeland. “Having witnessed firsthand THE PLAYERS Championship’s positive growth and change over the last 20 years, I am really looking forward to giving back to our community through this new leadership role while continuing to cultivate and inspire the next strong group of leaders.”

THE PLAYERS 2022 is March 8-13, 2022. Volunteer registration is slated to open in the fall. Please visit for more information.  

Photos: Click here to download high resolution versions of the above photos. Please credit PGA TOUR.


About THE PLAYERS Championship

THE PLAYERS Championship annually combines the strongest field in golf with the world-class venue that is THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Optum®, Morgan Stanley and Grant Thornton LLP are the exclusive Proud Partners of THE PLAYERS. Proceeds from THE PLAYERS benefit Northeast Florida charities and have totaled more than $100 million since it began in 1974 and moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977. For more on THE PLAYERS, visit For more on the surrounding areas, visit or

About Optum

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