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Seven Weeks and Counting – The countdown continues…the inaugural Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open presented by Planters is now only seven weeks away…Oct. 18-24.

Junior Players Winner Michael Johnson Earns Tournament Invitation – Michael Johnson of Birmingham, Ala. captured the 4th Junior PLAYERS Championship on Sunday with a 4-under-par 212 total on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. The 17-year-old who is Auburn bound next year now finds himself making plans for a return trip to PGA TOUR headquarters and next month’s inaugural Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open presented by Planters. Johnson made a 20-foot bogey putt on the last hole to defeat Jordan Speith of Dallas, Texas and Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo by a shot.

Starting the week, Johnson and his parents were headed to the AJGA event at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. A call late Wednesday afternoon changed everything. Someone had dropped out and Michael became the sixth alternate and last player to get into the Junior PLAYERS field. His family scrambled to rearrange their travel plans. “It just shows how many good players there are in the country who don’t get the chance to play in invitationals,” young Johnson said.

One of the AJGA’s premier events, the Junior PLAYERS mirrored conditions and the 7,215-yard, par-72 layout used at THE PLAYERS in May. Johnson posted scores of 68-72-72. The Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open presented by Planters will be played on Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass.

Johnson is friends and has competed often with fellow Alabamian Bobby Wyatt of Mobile, who won last year’s Junior PLAYERS. The two talked on the weekend with Wyatt offering encouragement to his friend. Johnson was playing with Wyatt in late July when the University of Alabama freshman shot 57 in the Alabama Boys State Junior Championship. “I flipped his numbers…I shot 75,” he said.

All-new Dye’s Valley Twosome Package – The Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open presented by Planters has just launched a new ticket package that will enable golf lovers to attend the tournament, then play the course the pros will play. The Dye’s Valley Twosome Package includes two weekly tickets to the tournament, free on-site parking, TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse privileges and two vouchers for $100 off golf at Dye’s Valley (a total of $200 in golf savings). The package sells for $50, and like all of the tournament’s ticket sales, 100% of the purchase price will go directly to a local non-profit. The package is on sale exclusively at the tournament’s website, www.winndixiejacksonvilleopen.com.

This Week on the Nationwide Tour – The Tour is in Salt Lake City, Utah this week for the Utah Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission, the first of four straight western stops (Boise, Idaho; Midland, Texas and San Jacinto, California). The Utah Championship features “Mustache Week.” Nationwide Tour players have been growing their whiskers the last few weeks to determine the best mustache on Tour. The judging was Tuesday night. The winner was Joe Affrunti.

Did You Know? – The top four leaders in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup – 1) Matt Kuchar, 2) Charley Hoffman, 3) Steve Stricker and 4) Jason Day – are Nationwide Tour alums.

KEY TOURNAMENT INFORMATION

  • Oct. 18-24
  • Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass at PGA TOUR headquarters, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
  • Final full-field event of 2010 (28th of 29 events)
  • 144 players
  • $600,000 purse / $108,000 first prize
  • Dole Pro-Am, Wed. Oct. 20, Dye’s Valley & PLAYERS Stadium courses, 108 teams
  • Golf Channel coverage – Thursday through Sunday (10 hours live, 10 hours of re-air)
  • Tickets via PepsiCo TICKETS Fore CHARITY™, www.winndixiejacksonvilleopen.com


Media Contacts:

Darin Linnman
Marketing & Communications
Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open presented by Planters
Tel: 904-567-5094 ext. 205
Email: darin@jspgolf.com

Chris Reimer
Communications Manager
PGA TOUR
Tel: 904-273-3286
Email: chrisreimer@pgatourhq.com

Jeff Adams
Director of Communications
Nationwide Tour
Tel: 904-273-3397
Email: jeffadams@pgatourhq.com

Frank Eaton is CEO of Frank B2B Communications, a business-to-business marketing and consulting company in Jacksonville, Fl. www.frankb2b.com

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