Major League Baseball Stars Make Celebrity Golf Debut in New Diamond Resorts Invitational Tournament in Orlando

Full Field of 81 Luminaries to Compete for $500,000 Purse, Live on Golf Channel

Jan 06, 2016, 13:30 ET from Diamond Resorts Invitational

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Major League Baseball stars including American League MVP Josh Donaldson and standout Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander headline an array of Hall of Fame sports and entertainment stars set to compete in the inaugural Diamond Resorts Invitational benefiting Florida Hospital for Children celebrity golf tournament (diamondresortsinvitational.com) January 14-16 at the Golden Bear Club in Windermere, Fla.

The tournament, featuring a $500,000 purse, will air live on the Golf Channel all three days.

Major League Baseball players, usually unavailable for summer celebrity competitions, will be out in force at the Golden Bear Club, where large public galleries are expected for the first-time event taking advantage of mild Florida winter weather.  Donaldson's Toronto Blue Jays All-Star teammate Jose Bautista, New York Yankees starting catcher Brian McCann, Cleveland Indians award-winning manager Terry Francona and Atlanta Braves players A.J. Pierzynski and Bud Norris are also in the field.

They are joined by Super Bowl MVPs Jerry Rice, Marcus Allen, Richard Dent and Mark Rypien; the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame pitching contingent of Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine; ESPN college football expert and former NFL quarterback Danny Kanell; baseball greats Reggie Jackson, Roger Clemens and Gaylord Perry; and entertainers Larry The Cable Guy and Colt Ford.

Country music superstar Jake Owen will compete in the tournament and entertain on Saturday night at the tournament's culminating event, the Champions Gala, a fundraiser and auction for Florida Hospital for Children.

The aggregate accomplishments of the 81-player field are prodigious.  They include 38 championships, 187 All-Star Games/Pro Bowls, 12 season-long MVPs, 21 Cy Young Awards, five no-hitters, nine Olympic medals and 10 Super Bowl/World Series MVPs.

Another notable celebrity in the field is Chad Pfeifer, the Iraqi war veteran who has pursued a pro golf career despite losing his left leg to an IED explosion in combat. Pfeifer, a three-time winner of President George W. Bush's Warrior Open and the 2011 National Amputee Tournament champion, is the first U.S. Army veteran amputee to compete on the Web.com Tour and is a Diamond Resorts Celebrity Ambassador. He recently starred in Golf Channel's Big Break The Palm Beaches, Fla. and won the 2015 National Amputee Tournament.

Tournament week begins Wednesday, January 13 with the third annual Brian Gay Invitational, presented by Diamond Resorts International®, an 18-hole celebrity-amateur competition featuring foursomes comprised of three amateurs and one celebrity. Gay, a PGA Tour player instrumental in establishing this major celebrity golf event, will be in Hawaii event week returning from injury to the PGA TOUR's Sony Open.  The competition is open to the public with ticket information available at www.diamondresortsinvitational.com/tickets.

With a $100,000 first prize at stake, the Diamond Resorts Invitational will utilize a modified Stableford scoring system with players receiving six points for eagle, three for birdie, one for par, zero for bogey and minus-two for double bogey and higher.

Golf Channel/Diamond Resorts Invitational programming schedule is:
Thursday, Jan. 14
2:30-4:30 p.m. ET (Live)

Friday, Jan. 15
2:30-4:30 p.m. ET (Live)

Saturday, Jan. 16       
2:30-4:30 p.m. ET (Live)

The tournament coverage will be replayed in primetime Monday, January 18 through Wednesday, January 20.

The full field of celebrity players follows:

"Larry The Cable Guy"

Comedian

Marcus

Allen

NFL Hall of Famer '03

Jose

Alvarez

Retired MLB Pitcher, Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Jose

Bautista

6-time MLB All-Star

Josh

Beckett

Marlins ('03) and Red Sox ('07) World Series Champion

Robert

Beckham

Country Music Executive

Joe

Carter

Toronto Blue Jays '92 and '93 World Series Champion

Roger

Clemens

7-time MLB Cy Young Award Winner

Stephen

Cloobeck

Founder & Chairman Diamond Resorts International

Vince

Coleman

2-time MLB All-Star

Lisa

Cornwell

Host of Golf Channel's Golf Central

Johnny

Damon

Red Sox ('04) and Yankees ('09) World Series Champion

Mark

DeRosa

Retired MLB Player and MLB Network Analyst

Richard

Dent

NFL Hall of Famer '11

Ryan

Dempster

2-time MLB All-Star Pitcher

Eric

Dickerson

NFL Hall of Famer '99

Josh

Donaldson

2015 American League MVP

Mike

Eruzione

Captain of the "Miracle on Ice" U.S. Olympic Hockey Team

Mardy

Fish

Former #1 American Pro Tennis Player and Olympic Silver Medalist

Colt

Ford

Country Music Artist and Songwriter

Terry

Francona

Manager, Boston Red Sox '04 and '07 World Series Champion; Cleveland Indians Manager

Eric

Gagne

2003 National League Cy Young Award

Troy

Glaus

Anaheim Angels 2002 World Series Champion

Tom

Glavine

MLB Hall of Famer '14

John

Hart

President and GM, Atlanta Braves, 2-time MLB Executive of the Year

Oliver

Hudson

Actor, Rules of Engagement & Nashville

Reggie

Jackson

MLB Hall of Famer '93

Dan

Jansen

US Winter Olympics Gold Medal Winner

Danny

Kanell

ESPN College Football Analyst

Pierre

Larouche

Montreal Canadiens '78 and '79 Stanley Cup Champion

Heather

LeMaster

Woman's Long Drive Champion '13

Ryan

Longwell

Green Bay Packers All-time Scoring Place Kicker

Derek

Lowe

Boston Red Sox '04 World Series Champion

Greg

Maddux

MLB Hall of Famer '14

Brian

McCann

7-time MLB All-Star

Kevin

Millar

Boston Red Sox '04 World Series Champion

Bode

Miller

US Winter Olympics Gold Medal Winner

Mike

Modano

 NHL Hall of Famer '14

Mark

Mulder

2-Time MLB All Star Pitcher & Winner of 2015 American Century Championship

Phil

Nevin

MLB All-Star '01

Bud

Norris

Atlanta Braves Starting Pitcher

Blair

O'Neal

Golf Channel Personality

Bo

Outlaw

Retired NBA player and Orlando Magic Community Ambassador

Jake

Owen

Country Music Superstar

Gaylord

Perry

MLB Hall of Famer '91

Chad

Pfeifer

US Military Iraqi War Hero Amputee and Two-Time Winner of George W. Bush's Warrior Open

Scott

Phillips

Musician and Co-Founder of Creed

AJ

Pierzynski

Chicago White Sox '05 World Series Champion

Dan

Plesac

3-time MLB All-Star Relief Pitcher

Rick

Rhoden

Retired MLB Pitcher & 8-Time Winner of American Century Championship

Alfonso

Ribeiro

Actor, Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Winner, Dancing with the Stars, Host of America's Funniest Home Videos

Jerry

Rice

NFL Hall of Famer '10

Jeremy

Roenick

9-time NHL All-Star

Mark

Rypien

Super Bowl XXVI MVP and 2-Time Winner of American Century Championship

Bret

Saberhagen

'85 and '89 American League Cy Young Winner

Sterling

Sharpe

5-time NFL Pro Bowler

Gary

Sheffield

Florida Marlins '97 World Series Champion

Ozzie

Smith

MLB Hall of Famer '02

John

Smoltz

MLB Hall of Famer '15

Kordell

Stewart

Retired NFL Player and AFC Champion

Joe

Theismann

Washington Redskins Super Bowl XVII Champ and NFL MVP 1983

Billy Joe

Tolliver

Retired NFL QB and 4-time Winner of American Century Championship

Brian

Urlacher

8-time Pro Bowler and '05 NFL Defensive Player of the Year

Justin

Verlander

2011 American League Cy Young Award Winner and MVP

Jack

Wagner

Actor, Recording Artist and 2-time Winner of American Century Championship

Tim

Wakefield

Boston Red Sox '04 and '07 World Series Champion

Michael

Waltrip

2-time Daytona 500 Winner

 

 

SOURCE Diamond Resorts Invitational



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