INNISBROOK, Fla., March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Transitions Championship, in only its third year, today announced a field with 25 of the top 60 players according to the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), including #1 Martin Kaymer making his Transitions Championship debut and 2010 Transitions Championship winner and Player of the Year, Jim Furyk.
"I've heard it is a fantastic tournament on a great course," said Kaymer in explaining why he is making one of his rare appearances on the PGA TOUR®.
Kaymer and Furyk are joined in the field by Paul Casey, Bubba Watson, Nick Watney and Retief Goosen as members of the OWGR top 20. Goosen, along with K.J. Choi, is one of two players in the field who have won the tournament twice. All other past winners of the Transitions Championship – Sean O'Hair, Mark Calcavecchia, Carl Pettersson, Vijay Singh and John Huston – are also in the field among a top group of PGA TOUR pros that includes Transitions Ambassadors Trevor Immelman and Kenny Perry.
Other players of interest include the two best players under age 20 in the world – 17-year-old Matteo Manassero of Italy and 19-year-old Ryo Ishikawa of Japan. Another exciting young player is an amateur, Peter Uihlein who won the 2010 U.S. Amateur championship.
"We are thrilled to welcome this outstanding field of players to the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area," said Bob Banks, General Chairman of the Copperheads, the organizing group for the charity-based tournament. "Thanks to our hard-working staff and volunteer base, we are confident they will experience a first-class tournament. With a great week of weather, we are anticipating our finest Transitions Championship."
In addition to the Transitions Championship Pro-Am that takes place today and tournament play that runs from Thursday through Sunday, the entire tournament week features family-friendly on-site experiences and activities aimed toward educating consumers to think about their eyes and the connection between healthy sight, sports performance and an overall active, healthy lifestyle. Located behind the 18th green, the Healthy Sight Village will bring together leaders in the optical industry – particularly in the Think About Your Eyes Pavilion – which is named for an optical industry-wide coalition called the Foundation for Eye Health Awareness and its Think About Your Eyes campaign, focusing on the importance of getting regular, comprehensive eye exams for the entire family.
The Healthy Sight Village will host many consumer education experiences including eyewear fashion shows, a swing simulator, product demos, meet and greets with PGA TOUR pros and trainers, golf clinics, and daily raffles in the Think About Your Eyes Pavilion; putting makeovers in the "Competitive Advantage" tent sponsored by Nike, Transitions and VSP; the opportunity to demo Callaway's new RAZR Hawk driver and Neox® Transitions® SOLFX™ sun lenses in the "Callaway Experience" tent; Oakley® Transitions® SOLFX™ sunwear and clothing displays in the "Oakley Rolling O Lab"; free vision screenings and activities and games with Radio Disney in the "LensCrafters Kids' Zone"; and tours of mobile eyecare clinic "Eyenstein," developed by Transitions and VSP and free books from mobile literacy initiative Bess the Book Bus.
Each day throughout tournament week will also features specific themes and events:
- Wednesday, March 16 – "Youth Wellness Day – Brought to you by Transitions Optical and the Essilor Vision Foundation": Nearly 2,000 local school children will attend Youth Wellness Days, the first of which was held on Monday, March 14. All children will receive a free vision screening, participate in an Improve Your Vision, Improve Your Game swing clinic and visit the Think About Your Eyes Pavilion. The PGA TOUR Wives Association will volunteer at Wednesday's Youth Day.
- Thursday, March 17 – "Ladies Day presented by Fifth Third Bank": Ladies attending the Championship will experience a day of festivities including a social breakfast, seminars geared toward getting more enjoyment out of the game, a demonstration with a professional from the LPGA and a fitness seminar from personal trainer and author Pete Cerqua.
- Friday, March 18 – "Improve Your Vision, Improve Your Game Day": TOUR swing coach, Matt Killen demonstrates the connection between healthy sight and sports performance.
- Saturday, March 19 – "Protect Your Skin, Protect Your Sight Day": BayCare Health System will demonstrate sun safety measures and provide skin screenings; Transitions will highlight the latest in SOLFX performance sunwear.
- Sunday, March 20 – "Healthy Lifestyles in Sight Day": BayCare Health System will demonstrate healthy living tips and meal choices and will provide free diabetes screenings and talking about the connection between healthy sight and an overall healthy lifestyle.
In making the Transitions Championship much more than a week-long golf event, Transitions is once again bringing together many of partners to create an industry movement aimed toward educating consumers on both a local and global level about the importance of healthy sight.
"As a leader in the optical industry, it is Transitions' goal to make the Transitions Championship the largest consumer education event focused on eye health and wellness in the entire optical industry," said Dave Cole, chief operating officer, Transitions Optical. "Through our association with the PGA TOUR both as a title sponsor and as the Official Eyewear – together with our industry partners, we are committed to furthering our mission of educating consumers here locally and around the world about the importance of healthy, quality sight."
Transitions and many of its partner organizations involved in this industry movement are featured within the Healthy Sight Village, including the American Optometric Association, Carl Zeiss Vision, Essilor, OneSight, Optos, Transitions SOLFX, VisionWorks, Foundation for Eye Health Awareness and BayCare Health Systems.
The Transitions Championship will benefit over 100 local Tampa Bay charities. The tournament has made a charitable contribution of more than $25 million throughout the past 34 years. In addition to the charitable impact, the tournament has contributed more than $19 million to the local economy. Tickets for the Transitions Championship are on sale now by visiting www.transitionschampionship.com or by 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