AKRON, Ohio — Eighty-one of the top golfers ages 50 and over are gathering in northeast Ohio this week for the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. The championship is the third of the five majors on the senior tour. 

Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Fred Couples are among the former PGA Tour major champions in the field. 2020 champion Jerry Kelly and 2019 winner Retief Goosen are also in the field. 

This is the third year the tournament has been held in Akron at Firestone Country Club. Prior to 2019, Bridgestone hosted the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational of the PGA Tour.

Since the 1980s, tournaments played at Bridgestone have contributed more than $30 million for northeast Ohio charities. Earlier this year, the tournament distributed $772,000 to a number of charities. 

The first round begins Thursday with the final round coming on Sunday. 

The tournament is offering free admission for first responders in addition to current and former members of the armed forces. The tournament also is permitting fans to enter for free after 4 p.m., space permitting. 

As part of the festivities, concerts will be held during the final three rounds.

The Sunrise Jones will perform starting at 5 p.m. Friday; the Shoutouts will play starting at 6 pm. Saturday; and the Akron Symphony Orchestra will conclude the festivities with a performance at 6:15 p.m on Sunday.