Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nationwide Event on for 2010; Dye's Valley Course to Be Site of Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nationwide Event on for 2010; Dye's Valley Course to Be Site of Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open

Article excerpt

Byline: GARRY SMITS

The coming stars of the PGA Tour and an underpublicized gem of a golf course will take center stage this time next year when the Nationwide Tour's Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open will be played at the TPC Sawgrass Dye's Valley Course.

The formal announcement was made Wednesday on the back lawn of the palatial TPC Sawgrass clubhouse. PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem took note of the sunny, 75-degree day that is common on the First Coast this time of year and commented, "This is the weather we're going to have."

What else will the tournament have?

- A three-year commitment from Winn-Dixie as the title sponsor. Although specific terms weren't disclosed, the standard for title sponsorships on the Nationwide Tour is between $500,000 to $750,000 per year, depending on whether the event is televised and how many secondary sponsorships can be sold. That means Winn-Dixie's investment for the duration of the contract will be as much as $2.25 million.

- Four days of live coverage by The Golf Channel, which will give hard-core golf fans a good look at Dye's Valley, originally designed by Pete Dye and Bobby Weed. The sister track to the Stadium Course is a par-72 layout, with fewer water hazards, wider fairways, larger greens, but more undulations in those fairways.

- A peek at the future of golf. Graduates of the Nationwide Tour have won 258 times on the PGA Tour, including 13 major championships and three Players Championships. Two of every three players currently exempt on the PGA Tour spent time on the Nationwide Tour.

- A new charity model. Borrowing a page from events such as the Boise Open, any First Coast-based nonprofit group can apply to be a part of the "Tickets Fore Charity" program. Those charities can sell Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open tickets and keep 100 percent of the revenue.

Winn-Dixie CEO Peter Lynch said that 100 percent of ticket sales outside that program also will go to charity.

"The main focus is on charity and branding with the PGA Tour," Lynch said. …

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