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Winn-Dixie and PGA TOUR have joined forces on a new Nationwide Tour event, the “Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open,” which will debut in the Jacksonville, Fla., area next October to benefit local charities.
The Jacksonville-based grocer will be the title sponsor of the tournament, which take place at The Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass, with all public ticket sales donated to local nonprofit organizations through the “TICKETS Fore CHARITY” initiative.
“This event not only brings another first-class golf event to our hometown, it also provides much-needed financial support to hundreds of local nonprofit organizations,” noted Winn-Dixie chairman, CEO and president Peter Lynch. “In these challenging economic times, TICKETS Fore CHARITY is an innovative way for the charities to raise a significant amount of money all year long.”
“We view the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open as a strong complement to THE PLAYERS Championship,” added PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem. “Many of the Nationwide Tour players [whom] fans will see at this event will return to Sawgrass as participants in THE PLAYERS, joining distinguished former Tour graduates such as Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink.”
Joining Lynch and Finchem at a press conference at the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse to discuss the upcoming event was 13-time PGA TOUR winner and former Nationwide Tour member Furyk, who urged all north Florida golf fans to attend.
Two out of every three current PGA TOUR members previously played the Nationwide Tour, a subsidiary of PGA TOUR, Inc., and alumni have gone on to win 257 PGA TOUR titles. The Nationwide Tour marks its 20th year in 2009.
“This will be the first time in our 20-year history a Nationwide Tour event will be played at the home of the PGA TOUR,” said Nationwide Tour president Bill Calfee. “Given the tournament’s proximity in the schedule to the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship and the built-in battle, season-long quest to earn one of the 25 PGA TOUR cards that culminates at season’s end, the intensity of the competition will be significantly elevated. It’ll be a great show for the fans.”
Beaverton, Ore.-based Jeff Sanders Promotions, Inc., manager of one of the Nationwide Tour’s most successful events in Boise, Idaho, since the tour’s inception in 1990, will also manage the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open.
The event will offer a purse of $600,000, with $108,000 being awarded to the winning professional. All four rounds of the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open will be shown on Golf Channel in the United States and distributed to an international audience as well.
The tournament will take place the second or third week of October 2010, with specific dates to come as soon as the Nationwide Tour’s 2010 schedule is finalized in the next few weeks.
Winn-Dixie operates 515 retail grocery locations, including over 400 in-store pharmacies, in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi.