|May 16, 2011 -
Mayor Brown attended the announcement of the 2011 News Sentinel Open today. The Knoxville News Sentinel will enter into a partnership with Pilot to present the News Sentinel Open, one of the Nationwide Tour's four original events that is still on the schedule.
The official name of the 2011 tournament will be the "News Sentinel Open presented by Pilot." The tournament will be played the week of Aug. 22-28, 2011, at Fox Den Country Club in Farragut.
"This tournament has become a great summer tradition in Knoxville and we're always glad to welcome the Nationwide Tour back to town," said Mayor Brown. "We have a lot of golfers and golf fans here, so this is an event that brings a lot of joy to a lot people in this area."
Last year the proceeds from every ticket sold to the public were donated directly to local nonprofit organizations. The News Sentinel Open generated more than $56,000 in 2010, which benefited the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, News Sentinel Empty Stocking Fund, The First Tee, University of Tennessee Partners in Sports and Sports Management Scholarship in honor of Buck Jones, Shriners Kerbela Temple, East Tennessee Children's Hospital, UT Medical Center, Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville, Concord United Methodist Men and the Tennessee Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
The more than 40,000 people who attended last year's News Sentinel Open put Knoxville in the top ten cities on the Nationwide Tour. The tournament created a 6-8 million dollar economic impact for the community and involved hundreds of volunteers who helped to make the tournament a success.
Just as last year, tickets for the News Sentinel Open presented by Pilot will be priced at $10 per day or $25 for a tournament pass. Kids under 16 can attend for free, and active members of the military and their immediate family members also can attend free.
The Nationwide Tour has been a fixture on the Knoxville sports scene, welcoming the future stars of the PGA TOUR to eastern Tennessee every year since the Tour's inception in 1990. Fan-favorite John Daly tied for 42nd in last year's News Sentinel Open, but he'll be back in Knoxville come August to tackle the Fox Den course again.
"The course was great. It was a great venue. A lot of fans came out and watched," said Daly of the 2010 tournament. "[The Knoxville News Sentinel] sponsoring and Pilot being on board – it's just a great fit for them to want me here."
Past champions of the Knoxville event who have gone on to capture PGA TOUR titles are Jeff Maggert (1990), Brian Henninger (1992), Tom Scherrer (1995), J.J. Henry (2000), Heath Slocum (2001), Vaughn Taylor (2003) and Chez Reavie (2007).
Two of the last three Knoxville tournaments have ended dramatically in playoffs, with Jarrod Lyle (2008) and Kevin Johnson (2009) prevailing. In 2010, University of Georgia graduate Chris Kirk, born in Knoxville, beat out Travis Bertoni for the title.
Knoxville is joined by Boise, Idaho, Springfield, Mo. and Wichita, Kan. in having hosted a Nationwide Tour event every year since 1990. Fox Den Country Club has been the host venue in Knoxville every year since 1999.
For more information about sponsorships and tickets, individuals may call 865-966-7693.