St. Jude Classic 2009

St. Jude Classic brings big names and awareness for lifesaving mission

The PGA TOUR’s FedExCup visits Memphis, Tennessee for this week’s St. Jude Classic.  The tournament is celebrating its 52nd year with one of its strongest fields of golfers.

The world’s No. 2 player, Phil Mickelson, will return to Memphis for the first time since 2001 to compete against top players such as Sergio Garcia, Camilo Villegas, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington and defending St. Jude Classic champion Justin Leonard.

Adding to the excitement of this year’s tournament are a number of former major champions in the field including David Toms, Retief Goosen, Shaun Micheel, Rich Beem, Jose Maria Olazabal, David Duval, Rich Beem, Mark Brooks, Bob Tway, Steve Elkington and John Daly.

Don’t miss a minute of the action. Tickets for the St. Jude Classic at the TPC Southwind are on sale now at www.stjudeclassic.com or by calling (901) 748-0534. 

For Villegas, participating in the PGA TOUR stop that benefits St. Jude has added significance. Villegas also serves as an ambassador for the Eagles for St. Jude program, which raises funds for St. Jude based on the number of eagles made during the PGA and LPGA seasons. Villegas and fellow ambassador Vijay Singh have each pledged to donate $5,000 for each eagle they make during the season. LPGA golf ambassador Morgan Pressel has pledged $1,000 for each of her eagles putts. Memphis professional golfer Loren Roberts has also committed to support the Eagles for St. Jude program.

The Memphis stop on the PGA TOUR has been a supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since 1960, when officials from the then Memphis Open, presented a $600 check to hospital founder Danny Thomas to help with the construction of St. Jude.

In 1970, St. Jude became the sole beneficiary of the tournament, and since then, the event has raised more that $21 million for the hospital. Funds raised by the St. Jude Classic help ensure that St. Jude continues its cutting-edge research that could be a child's only hope for survival. It also means that the hospital can continue to keep its promise that no child is ever turned away because of a family's inability to pay.

“Since St. Jude became the sole beneficiary of the Memphis PGA TOUR event in 1970, we have improved the survival rate of the most common form of childhood leukemia from less than 50 percent to 94 percent,” said David L. McKee, chief operating officer and interim CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. “That incredible progress is possible only because of generous supporters who believe in our mission. In the PGA TOUR, we have such a supporter and we are immensely pleased to continue this relationship as we strive for the day when no child will die in the dawn of life.”

The Danny Thomas Pro-Am kicks off tournament week on June 8. On June 9, the St. Jude Women’s Club will host a golf-a-round where a number of golfers will play with patients and families of St. Jude in front of the Patient Care Center.

On June 10, the Cellular South Pro-Am will take place featuring golfers such as Tony Thomas, son of hospital founder Danny Thomas, Olympic-gold medal figure skater Scott Hamilton, Memphis Grizzlies Head Coach Lionel Hollins, University of Mississippi Head Coach Houston Nutt, sportscaster and retired Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann and a number of others.

Then on June 11, the St. Jude Classic begins, continuing until June 14. If you can’t be at the tournament, you can catch all the action on The Golf Channel and CBS. Check local listings.

 

June 2009

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