INNISBROOK, Fla., Feb. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Transitions Optical, Inc., The Copperheads and Innisbrook Resort today announced an outstanding field for the 2011 Transitions Championship, comprised of several of the world's top golfers, and details of an exciting week-long tournament experience for players and spectators – all focused on the importance of healthy vision and the critical role vision plays as a part of optimum sports performance and an overall healthy lifestyle.
Led by 2010 FedExCup champion and PGA TOUR® Player of the Year Jim Furyk, all of the tournament's recent past champions are expected to compete again this year, including two-time winners Retief Goosen and K.J. Choi. Other TOUR favorites expected to return include Transitions Optical's ambassadors Kenny Perry and Trevor Immelman, as well as Steve Stricker, Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson, and Nick Watney.
Martin Kaymer, the number two player in the Official World Golf Ranking has received a commissioner's foreign exemption and will be making his Transitions Championship debut this year. Kaymer won the 2010 PGA Championship, plus three more tournaments on the European Tour since then.
In addition, the two best players in the world under 20 years of age, as measured by the Official World Golf Rankings, have committed. Ryo Ishikawa, who has already won nine times on the Japan Tour, will be back to compete for the third consecutive year. Also, a sponsor's exemption was extended to Italy's Matteo Manaserro, who at age 17 is even younger than Ishikawa. Manaserro is the youngest tournament winner in European Tour history, finished 36th in the Masters last year as an amateur, and is expected to compete next week in the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play.
Exemptions were also extended to Tampa Bay area-favorite John Daly and Alvaro Quiros of Spain, who made such a great impression at the Transitions Championship back in 2009.
"We are excited about the way the field is shaping up with the players who have committed so far," said Bob Banks, general chairman of The Copperheads. "The Transitions Championship is a premier event on the PGA TOUR and for the Tampa Bay community. The challenging Copperhead Course at Innisbrook ranks as a favorite among the players, and we look forward to another exciting tournament this year with world-class golf, family entertainment and raising funds for more than 100 local charities."
The Transitions Championship will kick off with the "Think About Your Eyes Family Walk" benefiting Prevent Blindness Florida on Sunday, March 13, during which participants will have the opportunity to walk the course the pros play and enjoy a family BBQ and entertainment for families with children by Radio Disney.
New to tournament week this year is the renaming of the former "Live Your Vision Pavilion" to the "Think About Your Eyes Pavilion," based on Transitions' affiliation with an optical industry-wide coalition called the Foundation for Eye Health Awareness and its "Think About Your Eyes" campaign, which focuses on the importance of regular, comprehensive eye exams for the entire family. The "Think About Your Eyes Pavilion," an exciting consumer destination for information, education and hands-on experiences, including sports-vision demonstrations, meet and greets with the pros, health and wellness screenings, and much more, will be located behind the 18th green in an area called the "Healthy Sight Village."
Other activities within the Healthy Sight Village include the "LensCrafters Kids' Zone," featuring complimentary vision screenings for children along with fun and exciting entertainment and games for the entire family; free books and read-alouds with mobile literacy unit "Bess the Book Bus"; tours of a mobile eye exam clinic called "Eyenstein," created by Transitions and VSP® Vision Care, for children and families to learn about the importance of proper eyecare and eyewear, such as Transitions® lenses; and the "Competitive Advantage" area developed by Nike, Transitions and VSP, where attendees will learn about the impact on vision and putting and have the opportunity to receive putting makeovers, tips and participate in putting drills.
Oakley will also be back again this year with its "Rolling O" golf experience and will also host an Oakley Pro-Am for local club professionals on Tuesday, March 15 on the Island Course at Innisbrook Resort. And, for the first time, Callaway will have a presence within the Healthy Sight Village and will offer demos and sales opportunities for Neox® Transitions® SOLFX(TM) in Callaway® eyewear, and will showcase the new Callaway RAZR driver.
"The cornerstone of our event and entire tournament week this year continues to revolve around the importance of healthy sight and its tie to an overall healthy lifestyle," said Dave Cole, chief operating officer, Transitions Optical. "Together with The Copperheads, Innisbrook, our ambassadors, and our optical industry partners, including the Foundation for Eye Health Awareness, Transitions Optical remains committed to educating people locally and around the world to 'Think About Your Eyes' and about the steps they can take to achieve lifelong healthy sight and a healthier way of living."
The Transitions Championship will benefit over 100 local Tampa Bay area charities. The tournament has made a charitable contribution of more than $25 million in the last 34 years. In addition to the charitable impact, the tournament has contributed more than $19 million to the local economy.
Tickets to the 2011 Transitions Championship – March 14-20 at Innisbrook Resort – are on sale now in participating Publix locations or by visiting www.transitionschampionship.com or calling (727) 942-5566.
About The Transitions Championship
The Transitions Championship is a 72-hole official PGA TOUR® event played on the famed Copperhead Course at Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort in Innisbrook, Florida. Transitions Optical is the title sponsor of the PGA TOUR's Tampa Bay event, which draws a field of 144 of the finest golfers from around the world. Past winners include defending champion Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, Sean O'Hair, and two-time winners Retief Goosen and K.J. Choi. The Transitions Championship benefits more than 100 Tampa Bay area charities and has contributed more than $25 million to charity in tournament history. The upcoming Transitions Championship will be the eleventh PGA TOUR event sponsored by The Copperheads since 2000 (the 2001 tournament was cancelled following the attacks of 9/11). The tournament tees off March 14-20, 2011 and will include a week of tournament-related activities reinforcing the connection between healthy sight and an overall healthy lifestyle.
SOURCE Transitions Optical, Inc.