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    • Ian Woosnam Accepts Sponsor Exemption

    Craig Smith
    Director, Media and Promotions
    Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic
    228-896-6365 office
    228-236-7709 cell

    Biloxi, Miss. (March 30) - Ian Woosnam, the 1991 Masters champion and victorious captain of the 2006 Ryder Cup team, has accepted a sponsor's exemption into the inaugural Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic April 28-May 2 at Fallen Oak.

    A native of Wales, Woosnam split his playing time between the Champions Tour in the United States and the European Senior Tour in 2009. He won the Irish Seniors Open and was the second leading money winner on the European Senior Tour last season. His best finish on the Champions Tour in eight starts was a tie for 13th at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.

    Woosnam, 52, claimed 44 victories worldwide as a member of the regular European Tour. He twice was that Tour's leading money winner (1987 and 1990) and was the European Tour Player of the Year in 1987. He played on eight consecutive European Ryder Cup teams from 1983-97, with a career record of 14-12-5.

    "I am playing in my 22nd Masters Tournament in early April and I am keen to play a run of tournaments before heading home," said Woosnam. "It is an honor to come to Mississippi and play in your event as I always enjoy playing in the stronger field events."

    Woosnam is the 14th major champion to commit to playing in the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. There are also six members of the World Golf Hall of Fame in the field.

    "We are thrilled that Ian has made himself available to strengthen our field even more for the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic," said Steve Nieman, tournament director. "Our field is a "Who's Who" in the game of golf and it is without a doubt one of the best fields on the Champions Tour this year."

    Tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster online for $15 each and they can be used any day of the tournament. Children age 15 and under will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Order your tickets online now at or call the tournament office at (228) 896-6365.

    The Classic is one of 26 official events on the Champions Tour for 2010, and the field of 78 players will compete for the $1.6 million purse and a $240,000 winner's share. Competitive rounds in the 54-hole event are set for Friday through Sunday. The popular pro-am tournaments will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, and they are open to the public with paid admission.

    The tournament will be broadcast for 17 1/2 hours by the Golf Channel and the benefiting charity is Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

    Fallen Oak is the exclusive home course for the guests of Beau Rivage Resort and Casino. The Tom Fazio-designed course, which was opened in 2006, has earned 12 national honors and is ranked the second best gaming resort course in the country.

    About the Champions Tour
    Collectively, the Champions Tour has the most recognizable and accomplished players in the game with 16 World Golf Hall of Fame members actively competing in its events and numerous other major championship winners among its members. The Champions Tour is a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older. Conceived in 1980 as the Senior PGA Tour, it started with just four events and purses totaling $475,000. The Champions Tour will conduct 26 official Charles Schwab Cup events in 2010, offering $51.5 million in official prize money, with the average tournament purse of $1.98 million. The Champions Tour also generates significant monies for charity.

    About the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic
    This Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic is one of three new tournaments on the Champions Tour for 2010. It will be played April 28-May 2 at Fallen Oak. The tournament is uniquely funded by a dozen title sponsors, who see this event as an ideal way to showcase the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The tournament will be administered through the MGRC Foundation, Inc. The tournament will benefit Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Inc.