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Greater Gwinnett Championship benefits local charities, businesses

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If you saw Stan Hall of the Gwinnett Sports Commission this past weekend, he had a serious look, but a smile protruding on his face.

It was for good reason.

In just two years, the Greater Gwinnett Championship, the Atlanta area stop on the PGA Champions Tour held April 18-20, 2014 has matured into one of the best events on the Champions Tour calendar and a big deal for the sports-minded Gwinnett County.

Miguel Angel Jimenez battled Bernhard Langer all day to win the Greater Gwinnett Championship on Sunday, making him just the third player to lead wire-to-wire in his debut on the Champions Tour.

That was great news for Jimenez Spain, the tournament, and the throngs of fans showing up at TPC Sugarloaf all weekend to catch the action.

From the pro ams to the Military Caddie Day to Kid's Day, the Novelis Challenge featuring John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Keving Butler the week couldn't have gone better with the exception of a little wetness on Friday and into Saturday.

"We had a great leaderboard and a great turnout on Easter Sunday," explained Hall. "But most importantly is the charitable component to hosting this event. It's obviously the reason we are all here and we have three great partners this year."

The tournament is also a boon to the Gwinnett economy and I expect hotels, restaurants, and retailers in the area reaped some benefits.

In the 2013, the economic impact number was said to be about $10 million, that figure will certainly be higher in 2014.

Even the champion enjoyed his time in Gwinnett County.

"Well, is nice, is nice being here," offered up Jimenez. "The people are so nice and coming for the first time and look of faces of 40 years old when I play the Tour, here is like see the same faces, no? Is nice, is nice to be able to play here this week."

This 54-hole stroke play golf event featured 81 Champions Tour pros playing for a $1.8 million purse at the beautiful TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, GA. All three official rounds were aired nationally on the Golf Channel and showing off everything this area of Atlanta has to offer. The events 2014 benefitting charities were Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation, and Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation- so everyone associated and that came out to the tournament were winners.

All the information about the tournament can be found at www.greatergwinnettchampionship.com.

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