Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at Walt Disney World November 8-11

Filed under: Golf,Orlando Golf,Walt Disney World |

Former Ryder Cup team member and two-time PGA TOUR winner Boo Weekley (pictured below) received the first sponsor exemption into the season-ending Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, Nov. 8-11, at Walt Disney World Resort it was announced yesterday.

Boo Weekley at 2012 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic

 Weekley and other PGA TOUR pros will be playing alongside several sports celebrities such as 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, Baltimore Oriole Joe Saunders, former Atlanta Braves star Fred McGriff, future NFL Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks (Tampa Bay Bucs) and former Green Bay Packers kicker Ryan Longwell (pictured below). Outside of the sports world, comedian Bill Engvall will also be a part of the Disney Classic pro-am, held during the first two official rounds of the tournament on Disney’s Palm and Magnolia courses.

 Ryan Longwell (Green Bay Packers) at Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic

Weekley, a native of Milton, Fla., is a popular choice although his record sees just two victories on the PGA TOUR, both at the Verizon Heritage (2007-08) in Hilton Head Island, S.C. This season, Weekley has had two top 10 finishes, and currently ranks 121st on the money list with $660,709.

 “We’re excited to add Boo to our field, and as PGA Tour fans know, he’s one of the most infectious personalities in the game,’’ tournament chairman Kevin Weickel (pictured below right) said. “Most importantly, he provides another talented player to what we expect to be a strong Fall Series field.’’


In last year’s exciting finale, Luke Donald strung together six straight birdies to pass Webb Simpson on the leaderboard and on the PGA TOUR money list. Donald finished with an 8-under 64 for the Classic win on his way to capturing TOUR player of the year status. In doing so, Donald joined a marquee group of former winners at Disney that includes Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Jack Nicklaus, Payne Stewart, Davis Love III and Raymond Floyd.

While the event is centered around the golf, there is also a cause to champion and that is why for the fifth year in a row, the event is known as the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. Starting in 2007, it became the final event in the PGA Tour Fall Series as well as the final official event of the PGA Tour season and it is the opportunity for the Tour to give something back. Every year a “Miracle Child” is selected to represent the thousands of children who have overcome or who are fighting health battles. This year Chandler Fullman, an Alabama native, who has battled back from a massive brain bleed known as arteriovenous malformation (caused by a ruptured tangle of blood vessels) has been selected.

Chandler Fullman - 2012 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic Miracle Child

Chandler (pictured above with his father) recounted what happened to him at yesterday’s press conference: “I was just a normal 14 year old  lifting weights training trying to earn a spot on the Hoover High School golf team and all of a sudden I collapsed.  My coach yelled at me to get back off the ground and I told him I couldn’t feel my legs. He knew that there was a problem and he sent for the nurse. She was asking me some questions and I just blacked out from September 14 to October 25th (2010) and I have no memory of what happened at all. I came out of hospital on November 8th…after 56 days.  On November 11th or 12th I went to the golf course for the first time and I remember my Dad just holding me by my waist as I made some 15 degree swings, like a chip with my driver and I could only hit it 20 yards. I remember getting all depressed and down that night and thinking I’d never get back to where I was. I cried that night… but my parents and the hospital told me that everything would be alright. Today I’m now shooting mid 90’s high 90’s and today that’s just amazing in itself.”

The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals are 170 non profit children’s hospitals treating millions of kids every year. They depend on donations to fund the medical care, research and education that help children and families in their communities. Donations are accepted at

The tournament is also one of the players’ favorites because many players maintain homes in Florida, and whether or not they live in Florida, they often bring their families who love to visit the Walt Disney World parks during the week. For a number of golfers however, there is some serious business to attend to as it is a final chance to earn or retain a Tour Card through winning or getting into the Top 125 on the Tour’s money list.

Tickets for individual rounds ($20), badges for Classic week ($30) are available at or through 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. The event starts on 8th November and runs through 11th when the winner will pick up a check for $846,000.

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