Tournament Update - Wednesday Evening

14 Mar

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WITH SUNSHINE EXPECTED THROUGH THE WEEKEND, TAMPA BAY CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY EVERBANK STARTS THURSDAY

After a sunny Wednesday Pro-Am that is expected to be the start of a run of great weather, the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank begins Thursday with Luke Donald ready to defend his title. The world’s number three ranked player spoke about his respect for the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort.  “It really does test all parts of your game from tee shots to really getting the iron shots in the right positions on the greens,” Donald said, “which are some of the most slopey and fast greens we play all year.” Jim Furyk, a winner on the Copperhead added, “I’ve liked this golf course since I was a kid,” he said having first played the course as a teenager. “I think it’s the best course we play in Florida.”  Furyk added that the course played especially difficult in the windy conditions of Wednesday’s Pro-Am. Another former Tampa Bay Championship winner, Vijay Singh, led the team that won the Pro-Am.  Along with amateur partners Doug Graska, Michael Lewers and Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinee Darrell Green, they shot 12-under par 59 and won a match of cards for first place with the teams of John Daly and Kevin Stadler.
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Action begins on the Copperhead at 7:40 a.m. on Thursday with Daly among those playing in the opening groups.

Other feature groups include Donald and Furyk off the 1st tee at 8:30, along with another past winner of the tournament K.J. Choi who triumphed in 2002 and 06.

Right behind them at 8:40 will be Sergio Garcia, Webb Simpson and Martin Kaymer.

National television coverage on Golf Channel is from 3 to 6 and viewers will be sure to get plenty of looks at the all-Australian pairing of Adam Scott, Jason Day and Geoff Ogilvy that tees off at 1:30 on the first hole.

There were no changes in the field on Wednesday.  The PGA TOUR announced pairings for the first two rounds which can be seen here.
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Tickets for tournament rounds, priced at $40, are available at the gate or TampaBayChampionship.com.  For information on Weekly Ticket Booklets or Hooters Owl’s Nest tickets go to Tampa Bay Championship.com.

Kids 15 and under are admitted free with a paying adult.  Active and retired military with a valid common access card are admitted free.
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The Chi Chi Academy has announced that the Monday Chi Chi Pro Am raised $126,300.    The event was held at Innisbrook Resorts as a part of the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank.  The proceeds help fund the Academy’s First Tee of Clearwater junior golf activities and educational program.  Chairman Scott Curtis says “On behalf of the Chi Chi Academy and especially the students, we sincerely appreciate the partnership and support provided by the event sponsors and the PGA Tour participants.  We enjoyed a great afternoon while helping improve the learning environment for Chi Chi’s kids.”    PGA TOUR players Brian Harman and George McNeill visited the Chi Chi Sports Complex to present a check as well as conduct a demo and Q and A session for over 100 Academy students, parents, board members and volunteers.   The privately supported public school is a dropout prevention partnership for grades 4-8 in collaboration with the City of Clearwater, the Pinellas County School District and The First Tee of Clearwater.    This collaboration provides critically needed programming to children who are at risk of failure both academically and personally. For more information contact Cary Stiff at (727) 726-8829 or cary@chichi.org.

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