Former British Open Champion Lehman Receives Sponsor Exemption for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic

Former PGA TOUR Player of the Year joins Joe Ogilvie in golf classic field at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Oct. 7, 2011) — Tom Lehman, a five-time champion on the PGA TOUR and three-time Ryder Cup participant, has accepted the second sponsor’s exemption for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, Oct. 20-23, at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.

Along with the 1996 British Open, Lehman has also claimed the TOUR Championship (1996), Phoenix Open (2000), Memorial Tournament (1994), the Colonial National Invitation (1995) and is a former national team captain. He has three top 10 finishes at Disney – 1997 (T10), 2004 (T6) and 2005 (T10).

Lehman has won five times on the Champions Tour, including three wins this past year (Allianz Championship, Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic and Regions Tradition), and is the tour’s leading money winner this year ($1,837,109). He is also a recipient of the Payne Stewart Award, presented annually by the PGA TOUR to the player who best exemplifies the traditions and charitable heritage of the game.

‘We’re proud to add a player of Tom’s caliber to this year’s field. Dating back to 1984, he’s been one of the most loyal players here at Disney, and year after year proves to be one of the most popular pairings for our Pro-Am participants.’
— Kevin Weickel, Tournament Chairman

Former Super Bowl star Jerome “The Bus” Bettis (Pittsburgh Steelers), ex-NBA player Alonzo Mourning (Miami Heat), Tampa Bay Rays star Johnny Damon, future NFL Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks (Tampa Bay Bucs), and popular MLB players Brian Wilson and Aaron Rowand (SF Giants) headline the Pro-Am played during the first two official rounds of the Classic on Disney’s Palm and Magnolia courses.

Other notable Pro-Am entries include Steve Young (ex-49ers QB), James Shields (Tampa Bay Rays), David Price (Tampa Bay Rays) and Carlos Pena (Chicago Cubs).

The defending champion of the 128-player event is TOUR veteran Robert Garrigus. He joins a marquee group of former winners at Disney that includes Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Jack Nicklaus, Payne Stewart and Raymond Floyd.

This year’s Classic takes place nearly a month earlier. The Golf Channel will televise the tournament for the fifth consecutive year. The Golf Channel is scheduled to air live coverage each day.

Tickets for individual rounds ($10), badges for Classic week ($20) and one-day Wine & Dine tickets are available at or through The Wine & Dine ticket is good for five entrees and one beverage near the putting green. Net proceeds go to Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, including the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando, and Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville.

Tony Morreale, Walt Disney World Public Relations—407/566-6397

[Note to Reporters and Editors: To apply for working media credentials for the 2011 Children’s Miracle Network Classic, visit]

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