Wednesday, July 13, 2011
In 2009 the Viking Classic was cancelled to due rain and Mississippi missed out on hosting its only PGA event. This 2011 edition of the Viking Classic is a make up for the missed 2009 tournament.
This will be the final year of a PGA sponsorship for the Viking Classic, which was extended a year because of the rainout year. That does not mean this tournament will not be a PGA event next year but good crowds can go a long way to making it automatic, the classic will stay a PGA event.
For the first time the Viking Classic will also be a FedEx Cup event, golf's version of a playoff at the end of the year determined by points earned in events. The winner will receive 250 FedEx points.
While most of the best known players will be in England for the Open Championship (British Open) there will be a few name players at the Annandale Golf Club. Five past champions are in the field, Will MacKenzie (2008), D.J. Trahan (2006), Heath Slocum (2005), Cameron Beckman (2001) and Steve Lowery (2000).
Defending champion Bill Hass (2010) will not be in the field. Hass will be playing in the Open Championship and it means there is guaranteed to be a new champion this year.
Other notable players are Ricky Barnes (66th in FedEx points), Chris DiMarco (93rd in FedEx Points), Charles Howell III (23rd in FedEx points and highest ranked player), Keegan Bradley (27th in FedEx points) and D.A. Points (24th in FedEx points).
A few more names you might have heard of if you follow golf: Lee Janzen, Bo Van Pelt, and Boo Weekley. Both Michael Connell and Alex Rocha are Mississippi State alumni, if you're a Bulldog fan.
There will also be several events going on at the Viking Classic for both golf and non-golf fans. On Thursday, celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, whose wife Alden Lovelace is a native of Gulfport, Mississippi, will have a cooking demonstration in the morning.
Louis Bruno will have a demonstration on Thursday afternoon. Plus, throughout Friday there will be several chefs doing demonstrations.
Saturday is Ladies Day at the Viking Classic. All ladies attending the tournament will receive free parking and free admission all day long. There will be events all day for ladies, including cooking demonstrations, a breakfast, cheese/wine samples, and Mississippi native Whitney Miller, winner of Fox's season one of MasterChef.
One final thing to remember, all proceeds of the Viking Classic will go to benefit Friends of Children's Hospital. Friends of Children's Hospital are a non-profit group that benefits Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children.
While it might be summer and hot, Mississippians are used to the heat. Randy Watkins told me that the PGA players love the hospitality and people of Mississippi.
Everyone needs to come out and support a positive event in the Jackson area. The Viking Classic will be seen on the Golf Channel daily, so we have a chance to show our state's diverse makeup.
Follow @jfpsports and jfpsports.com for tournament updates from Thursday until a champion is crowned Sunday.
From JFP Sports: A look back at day one of the Viking Classic and a look ahead to day two. Enjoy. http://www.jfpsports.com/2011/07/15/viking-classic-day-one-recap/
- Bryan Flynn
The hell with golf, a cissy boy game anyway that lazy old men covets and plays. Who in the hell wants to ride as they play ball? When is pro football, a man's game played by gladiators, coming back? I'll likely die of Steeler deprivation if I don't see Big Ben "the lover" Roethlberger and the Steelers putting their feet to somebody's tails in a couple of months. We need revenge against the Packers. We won't rest until the job is done. I makes me very sick to hear Packers' fan say they beat us in the Super Bowl. Bryan, where is Casey Anthony? What happened to the column concerning her acquittal? I know some guys who are looking for her since she has been acquitted for trumped up charges and locked up and deprived of all kinds of stimuli and necessities for almost three years. The guys want to do their part to welcome her back into society since she is fine and has has been locked away so long rather unfairly. They say they want to make one small step for mankind on her behalf.
Walt, The NFL lockout is nearly over and you should not miss any Steelers games. All NFL fans should start putting pressure on the players if they want a deal done quickly. It is the players holding things up right now. As for Casey Anthony. I only write about sports and issues that pertain to sports. I only voice political and social issues in my private life. Sorry, I can't help you with Casey Anthony.
- Bryan Flynn
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