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    • Jerry Pate Accepts Sponsor Exemption


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

    Jerry Pate Accepts Sponsor Exemption for Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic

    Biloxi, Miss. (March 11) - Jerry Pate of Pensacola, Fla., who sealed his win at the 1976 U.S. Open with a memorable 5-iron approach from the rough to 2 feet on the final hole at Atlanta Athletic Club, has accepted a sponsor's exemption into the inaugural Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in April at Fallen Oak. The PGA TOUR's Champions Tour event is set for April 28-May 2.

    Pate, 56, a Georgia native who is one of the region's most decorated golfers, won eight times during his PGA TOUR career. He was runner-up another 15 times. Since turning 50, he has won twice on the Champions Tour, but has battled injuries the last few years. Pate attended the University of Alabama and won the 1974 U.S. Amateur title, then turned professional the next year.

    "I am excited to have the chance to compete in my home region again on the Champions Tour," said Pate. "I love the Gulf Coast and have enjoyed my ties to the area, both professionally and personally. It means a lot to have this opportunity, and now that I am healthy I look forward to this being a fresh start and being competitive once again."

    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.

    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.

    Tickets are priced at $15 each and they can be used any day of the tournament. Children age 15 and under will be admitted free of charge with a ticketed adult. Order your tickets online now at

    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.

    About Fallen Oak
    Opened exclusively for the guests of Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, the Tom Fazio-designed Fallen Oak epitomizes the quiet elegance found in many of the world's great golf courses. Located 15 minutes outside of Biloxi at the edge of the DeSoto National Forest, Fallen Oak has earned 12 national honors for a masterful design that brings strategic play options on holes that wind through ever-changing terrain and environments. The 7,487-yard course features elevation changes rarely seen at a Gulf Coast course and five sets of tees designed to challenge golfers of all abilities. For more information on Fallen Oak, please visit or

    About Bruno Event Team
    Bruno Event Team is experienced in all facets of event management, employing a year-round staff of 60+ employees in eight offices around the country. Bruno Event Team services each client with expertise in strategic planning, marketing, advertising, public and media relations, ticket and merchandise sales, sponsor relations, hospitality consulting, event operations, event financial planning/accounting and volunteer coordination.