Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Former Disney Champion Joe Durant Joins PGA TOUR Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic Field

Luke Donald - 2011 Champion
Former champion Joe Durant is the latest PGA TOUR pro to accept a sponsor exemption for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, Nov. 8-11, at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.

Following his 2006 win at Disney, Durant finished that year a career-best 13th on the money list and received Player of the Month honors for October/November for his five consecutive Top-10 finishes. Along with his Disney victory, Durant’s career wins include the Motorola Western Open (1998), the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic (2001) and the Genuity Championship (2001). He was also named the PGA TOUR Comeback Player of the Year in 2001.

Durant’s best finish this season has been a third place tie at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, his first PGA TOUR top-10 finish since the 2010 McGladrey Classic. He is currently 153rd on the PGA TOUR money list with $427,678.

Durant joins Boo Weekley as two of the four sponsor exemptions for the tournament. The remaining two exemptions will be announced in the coming weeks.

Former San Francisco Giants star Aaron Rowand and former light heavyweight boxing champion Antonio Tarver have entered the Disney Classic pro-am, held during the first two official rounds of the tournament on Disney’s Palm and Magnolia courses. The pro-am field also includes three-time American League batting champ and 2009 MVP Joe Mauer, former MLB all-star Johnny Damon, Tampa Bay Rays players James Shields and David Price, Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, former Atlanta Braves star Fred McGriff, future NFL Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks (Tampa Bay Bucs), former Green Bay Packers kicker Ryan Longwell and comedian Bill Engvall.

New to the tournament this year is a caravan of local food trucks near the Magnolia putting green as well as a jumbotron that will project live golf coverage during the week and NCAA and NFL football games on Saturday and Sunday.

The Golf Channel will televise the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic for the sixth consecutive year from Disney’s famous Palm and Magnolia courses. The Golf Channel will air live coverage each day.

Tickets for individual rounds ($20) and badges for Classic week ($30) are available at CMNHospitalsClassic.com or through ticketmaster.com. Proceeds benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, including the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando, and Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville, FL.