Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Christmas Gift for Charities

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Christmas Gift for Charities

Article excerpt

Sixteen PGA Tour and Senior PGA Tour players who reside on the First Coast will use golf to help brighten Christmas for area charities.

The Jingle Bells Charity Pro-Am, set for the TPC at Sawgrass Stadium Course Dec. 18, is an idea hatched by Tour player Fred Funk, a Ponte Vedra Beach resident. The PGA Tour's Championship Management division, which operates The Players Championship, Tour Championship and Presidents Cup, is handling the logistics.

Among the players committed are Funk, David Duval, Vijay Singh, Bob Duval, Jim Furyk and Charles Raulerson. The format calls for an amateur group to play with a different pro each six holes.

A portion of the proceeds will be designated by each professional player to a charity of his selection, and the remainder will go to one local charity, to be decided by the players.

The event will not be open to spectators, but there are amateur playing spots still open. For information, call (904) 285-PUTT.

COMING OF AGE -- The National Car Rental Classic, which will be played Oct. 26-29 at Walt Disney World, turns 30 years old at that time, and appears to be getting better with age. An afterthought among PGA Tour events in Florida for much of its existence, the event has received a boost in recent years because of its high-profile winners: Tiger Woods last year and 1996, David Duval in 1997 and John Huston in 1992 and 1998.

"It's more or less my new home, it's neat to have a lot of my friends out there following it and supporting it, and it's kind of neat to see little old Mickey at the end,'' Woods said Monday. "When you're at home, you usually play much better because of the surroundings."

In addition to his two victories at Disney, Woods won the Bay Hill Invitational in Orlando earlier this year. He made last year's National Car Rental Classic the third of his string of six consecutive victories at the end of 1999 and the beginning of 2000.

Duval and Vijay Singh of Ponte Vedra are also tentatively scheduled to play, which means the field could contain the winners of all four majors in 2000 (Woods and Singh). …

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