LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — There will be celebrities, Disney characters and a musical fanfare when the PGA TOUR “goes to Disney World” for the season-ending Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic Oct. 20-23, 2011. There’s also likely to be some drama: The $4.7 million tournament Oct. 20-23 on Disney’s Magnolia and Palm courses will determine the final TOUR money rankings and which players have full exemptions in 2012.
Retired Tampa Bay Bucs linebacker Derrick Brooks is the first celebrity announced as an amateur participating in the Classic during the first and second rounds, played as a pro-am. Nine-time All-Pro Brooks’ National Football League career included 11 Pro Bowl appearances and selection as Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year in 2002, when the Bucs won the Super Bowl.
A tradition of the Classic during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s is returning in 2011: A cadre of characters and the red-and-white-clad Walt Disney World Band will gather at the 18th green to celebrate the tournament winner.
Tournament Chairman Kevin Weickel said adding classic sounds from the legacy of Disney music “is part of making the moment truly unique and special. For many of our champions over the years, the Classic has been their first entrance to the PGA TOUR’s winner’s circle–and that is a memory you really want to make memorable with some pomp!”
That was the case in 2010 when Robert Garrigus came from behind on Sunday to claim his first PGA TOUR win. He became the 17th player to notch his first TOUR victory on Disney’s historic courses, which have hosted the Classic since 1971.
A field of 128 professionals will tee off in the quest for the $846,000 winner’s check. After two rounds, the field will be trimmed to the low 70 scores for the weekend rounds.
A one-day grounds ticket is $10; the weekly tournament badge providing admission to the grounds Oct. 17-Oct. 23 is $20. Parking is free and youth ages 17 and under are free when accompanying a paying adult.