PINE BLUFF, Ark., May 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Simmons Bank announced today it has signed agreements with four professional golfers currently on the Korn Ferry Tour, the development tour for the U.S.-based PGA TOUR. The brand ambassadors, collectively known as Team Simmons Bank, include Will Zalatoris, Braden Thornberry, Kevin Dougherty and Dawson Armstrong.
The multiyear player sponsorship agreements follow the announcement in February of this year that Simmons Bank has assumed title sponsorship of the Korn Ferry Tour Nashville event, renamed the Simmons Bank Open for The Snedeker Foundation. The event was scheduled to begin this week, April 30 – May 3, with 156 players competing for a $600,000 purse. It has since been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result of the tournament's cancellation, Simmons Bank also announced today Drive, Putt, Do Good, a new initiative to help offset the charitable fundraising component for the Snedeker Foundation that was eliminated with the event's cancellation. Simmons Bank will make a $50 donation to the Snedeker Foundation for every birdie Zalatoris, Thornberry, Dougherty and Armstrong make. The Snedeker Foundation, founded by PGA TOUR player and FedEx Cup winner Brandt Snedeker and his wife Mandy Snedeker, supports a variety of charities, including Our Kids, which provides expert medical evaluations and crisis counseling services in response to concerns of child sexual abuse. To further increase the charitable contribution to the foundation, Simmons Bank will also make a donation for every birdie Snedeker makes this year.
According to Freddie Black, chief business development officer for Simmons Bank, moving forward with Team Simmons Bank and the charitable component allows the company to join with the players to help offset the financial hit the charity would have incurred. "Now, more than ever, with the Nashville Korn Ferry Tour date canceled, it's important for us to continue our support so that both the players and the charity can thrive. These players have all demonstrated that dreams are realized through hard work, focus and dedication, characteristics that drive our business as well. Supporting these players so they can achieve their own dreams, and, at the same time, help raise money and awareness for the Snedeker Foundation is vital and fits with our mission of Dreams Realized," he said.
Zalatoris, a graduate of Wake Forest University, is currently 12th on the Korn Ferry Tour points list and turned pro in 2018. He is a former Walker Cup Team member, First-Team All-American, ACC Player of the Year and U.S. Junior Amateur Champion. "I'm excited to sport the Simmons Bank brand. From the moment I met the team, I could tell it's the kind of company that has substance and integrity behind its logo," said Zalatoris.
Braden Thornberry, a graduate of the University of Mississippi, turned pro in 2018 and is currently 51st on the Korn Ferry Tour points list. He is fully exempt for the entire Korn Ferry Tour season based on 1st place finish at the final stage of the tour's Q-School in December. He is a former NCAA Champion, Walker Cup Team member, World #1 Amateur, Haskins Award winner and All-American. "I'm careful to partner with sponsors and brands that mirror my own priorities. Simmons Bank has a long history of giving back to the community, and that spoke volumes to me," said Thornberry.
Kevin Dougherty turned pro in 2014 after graduation from Oklahoma State University. Entering his third season on the Korn Ferry Tour, Kevin finished 32nd and 26th on the points list in his previous two seasons, highlighted by seven top-10 finishes. "I'm delighted to become a brand ambassador for Simmons Bank. They are all about helping people realize their dreams, and we can all use a little help in reaching our full potential," said Dougherty.
Dawson Armstrong, a graduate of Lipscomb University, turned pro in 2014. He won the Mackenzie Tour in 2019 and ended the season No. 8 on the Order of Merit to earn 2020 Korn Ferry Tour membership. Armstrong also played in four events on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica, making two cuts and posting one top-10 to finish his year 100th on the Order of Merit. He is currently ranked 86th on the Korn Ferry Tour. "These are definitely strange and difficult times, and the fact that Simmons Bank is willing to support my goals as a professional golfer, and help the charity out as well, says a lot about what they are made of," said Armstrong.
About Simmons Bank Simmons Bank is an Arkansas state-chartered bank that began in 1903. Through the decades, Simmons has developed a full suite of financial products and services designed to meet the needs of individual consumers and business customers alike. Simmons has grown steadily and today operates more than 200 branch locations throughout Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Simmons is the subsidiary bank for Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ: SFNC), a publicly traded bank holding company headquartered in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, with total consolidated assets of $20.8 billion as of March 31, 2020. For more information, visit https://simmonsbank.com/.
About the Korn Ferry Tour Founded in 1990, owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Korn Ferry Tour identifies and develops those players who are ready to compete and win on golf's biggest stage. In 2013, the Korn Ferry Tour became The Path to the PGA TOUR with all 50 available PGA TOUR cards coming through the Tour and the season culminating at the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. This season marks the 31st year of competition on the Korn Ferry Tour. Three out of four PGA TOUR members are Korn Ferry Tour alumni. Tour alumni have won more than 500 PGA TOUR titles, including 24 major championships and eight PLAYERS Championships. To learn more about the PGA TOUR, the Korn Ferry Tour and to follow the season-long quest for a PGA TOUR card, visit PGATOUR.COM, or follow the Tour on social media via Instagram (@KornFerryTour), Twitter (@KornFerryTour) and Facebook (facebook.com/KornFerryTour).