WINDERMERE, Fla., Dec. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two of Major League Baseball's biggest stars, reigning American League MVP Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays, and teammate and six-time All-Star, Jose Bautista, have committed to play next month in the Diamond Resorts Invitational (www.diamondresortsinvitational.com) benefiting Florida Hospital for Children.
Donaldson and Bautista join a field of over 70 stars from sports and entertainment competing for $500,000 in prize money from Jan. 13-16 at The Golden Bear Club in Windermere, Fla., near Orlando. The newly-minted tournament, airing live on Golf Channel, will be contested over three days among America's top celebrity golfers with a $100,000 first prize at stake. The four-day event will include the Brian Gay Invitational celeb-amateur competition and a Saturday night gala with a fundraising auction for Florida Hospital for Children.
The lineup of celebrities includes 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.
Donaldson, from Pensacola, Fla., has become one of the sport's biggest names, winning the American League MVP award with a .276 batting average, 41 home runs and 123 RBI. One of the game's best third basemen, he started for the American League in the 2014 and 2015 All-Star Games. He made his MLB debut in 2010 with the Oakland Athletics.
Bautista, from the Dominican Republic, found a home with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008. Since then, he has been awarded two Hank Aaron Awards, three Silver Slugger awards, was the MLB home run leader in 2010 and 2011 and in 2010 became the 26th member of the 50 home run club. Bautista has a lifetime batting average of .257 with 286 home runs and 793 RBI.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is a coveted invitation among top-tier celebrity golfers because of the pro tour-level format of the 54-hole competition. The tournament will use a Modified Stableford scoring system with players receiving six points for eagle, three for birdie, one for par, none for bogey and minus-two for double bogey or worse.
Tournament week competition begins on Wednesday, Jan. 13, with the Brian Gay Invitational presented by Diamond Resorts International®. The Brian Gay Invitational is a celebrity-amateur, 18-hole Stableford golf competition featuring foursomes comprised of three amateurs paired with one celebrity. The top ten amateurs will advance to play alongside the celebrities Thursday through Saturday in front of galleries and live TV cameras.
The tournament will provide two complimentary*, single-day passes to the Jan. 13-16 tournament for all active and retired military and active and retired police, fire and emergency medical technician (EMT) personnel. This offer is only valid with online registration at www.diamondresortsinvitational.com/tickets.
All service men and women and first responders can enter the promo code "Salute2016" on the website to locate the designated registration page and redemption instructions.
Information about tickets to the event for the public is also available at www.diamondresortsinvitational.com.
*Tickets will be available to the first 1,000 entrants.
SOURCE Diamond Resorts Invitational