40th Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Walt Disney World

Filed under: Florida News,Golf,Vacation Tips,Walt Disney World |

Hall of Famer and 2003 Disney champion Vijay Singh returns to Disney for the first time in four years at this week’s Children’s Miracle Network Classic, Nov. 11-14, joined by two more members of the U.S. Ryder Cup squad.

Rickie Fowler, who made Ryder Cup history as the first PGA Tour rookie to land a U.S. roster berth, was announced last week by tournament officials and by the time the entry window closed Stewart Cink and Jeff Overton also appeared on the 124-man list.

Stephen Ames, Disney’s champion in two of the past three years, will sit out this edition with back problems that flared up two weeks ago in Las Vegas. Doctors have advised him to spend the rest of the year healing.

Four other former champions will make their returns – Davis Love III (2008), Joe Durant (2006), Ryan Palmer (2004) and Jeff Maggert (1993).

The entry list also features three winners from the Fall Series’ other four events. Jonathan Byrd, whose playoff ace ended the Las Vegas event, joined the field along with Rocco Mediate (Frys.com Open) and Heath Slocum (McGladrey Classic).

A strong contingent of Orlando-based pros includes Chris DiMarco, Brian Gay, J.B. Holmes, Charles Howell, Lee Janzen and Chris Couch. Golf Channel’s Big Break Disney Golf winner Mike Perez received sponsor’s exemptions and will now compete against his brother, Pat Perez, ranked 103rd on the money list.

“The DiMarco family has long been a part of the Disney Classic, dating back to Chris’s father, Rich, who played in the Pro-Am, and continues to this day with Chris and his kids participating in the traditional father-child event here at Disney,” said tournament chairman Kevin Weickel. “Mike Perez obviously knows our course well after winning Big Break Disney Golf, and we look forward to seeing his dream come true of playing in a PGA TOUR event here at Disney.”

The two-day pro-am field, which will compete the Thursday and Friday of tournament week, is headlined by Julius “Dr. J’’ Erving, White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, San Francisco Giants outfielder Aaron Rowand and Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Carlos Pena and pitcher James Shields.

Once again, guests also will have the opportunity to experience the Wine & Dine Walk, throughout the back nine of Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course. Patterned after the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, five specialty locations will offer culinary pairings of tapas-sized appetizers, entrees, desserts and wines especially for the event.

Tickets for individual rounds ($10), badges for Classic week ($20) and a new one-day Wine & Dine ticket ($45) are available at www.ChildrensMiracleNetworkClassic.com or through www.ticketmaster.com. The new Wine & Dine ticket is good for five entrees, one at each location, and one beverage, along the back nine of the Magnolia Golf Course. Net proceeds go to 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.

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