John Daly, one of the most popular PGA TOUR Champions players, will bring his swashbuckling style, adventurous nature and long drives to the Diamond Resorts Invitational™ benefiting Florida Hospital for Children, January 12-14, 2018 at Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort.
The winner of two majors, the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 Open Championship, Daly will join 27 of his TOUR Champions compatriots, five talented and beautiful LPGA stars, and 52 sports and entertainment celebrities in golf’s most unique competitions, airing live three days on Golf Channel.
PGA TOUR Champions and LPGA players will compete for $750,000 over the 54-hole tournament, while the celebrities will play for a $500,000 purse. Threesomes will include one PGA TOUR Champions Tour or LPGA professional and two celebrities. The singular format allows for a distinct competition, as all professionals and celebrities play their own ball and compete from the same tees for 54
Joining Daly from the PGA TOUR Champions are major championship winners Mark Calcavecchia, 1989 Open; Lee Janzen, 1993 and 1998 U.S. Open; Jeff Sluman, 1998 PGA Championship; as well as Scott Hoch, 11-time PGA TOUR winner; Billy Mayfair, five-time PGA TOUR winner; Jeff Maggert, a three-time PGA TOUR and five-time PGA TOUR Champions winner; and defending champion Woody Austin who holds the course record with a 59 shot last year in the first round.
The LPGA Tour will be represented by five well-known players: Lexi Thompson, a two-time winner in 2017; Paula Creamer, 2010 U.S. Women’s Open champion, making her 2018 debut following wrist surgery; Brittany Lincicome, a 7-time champion; Brooke Henderson, 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship winner; and Brittany Lang, 2016 U.S. Women’s Open victor.
The celebrity field will include sports Hall of Famers and All-Stars including John Smoltz, Ray Allen, Marcus Allen, Roger Clemens, Terry Francona, Jeremy Roenick, Brian Urlacher, Michael Waltrip, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Brian McCann, Mike Modano, Mardy Fish and defending celebrity champion Mark Mulder.
Hollywood glitters with Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor; Larry the Cable Guy; Willie Robertson, Alfonso Ribeiro, and Jack Wagner.
Last year’s combination of golf professionals and celebrities competing together captured the golf world’s imagination and sparked a high demand among players for limited spots at this year’s tournament.
“We caught lightning in a bottle,” said Michael Flaskey, Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Resorts International®. “The tournament has been an enormous hit, being nationally televised on Golf Channel, becoming part of the PGA TOUR Champions Challenge Season schedule and the best part of all is that we’ve raised some serious money for Florida Hospital for Children.”
Flaskey created the event and utilized his relationships with professional golfers, PGA TOUR officials, colleagues at Golf Channel and in Major League Baseball to achieve its current stature. The Diamond Resorts Invitational™ is now nationally televised on Golf Channel for all three days, is the first PGA TOUR Champions Challenge Season event of the 2018 calendar year and has raised more than $2.3 million for Florida Hospital for Children since 2013. Those attributes make it a coveted invitation among golf pros, Major League Baseball players and other golf-loving celebrities.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational™ is the PGA TOUR Champions final Challenge Season tournament before the Regular Season opening event the following week, January 18-20 at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai at Hualalai Golf Club in Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawaii.
Tournament week will begin Thursday, January 11 with the fifth-annual Brian Gay Pro-Am presented by Diamond Resorts International®. Gay, a four-time PGA TOUR winner and longtime Orlando resident, will serve as host of the 18-hole celebrity-amateur competition, which will feature foursomes comprised of three amateurs and one celebrity or PGA TOUR Champions player. An evening dinner and concert at Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club, one of Diamond Resorts’ flagship resorts in Orlando, will complement Thursday’s events.
Saturday evening will be a highlight of the tournament with a gourmet dinner and headliner concert by country star Cole Swindell.
The tournament site, Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Orlando, is unique to Central Florida for its varying elevation, abundant wildlife and protected wetlands. Originally built in 1992 and designed by Tom Fazio, the golf course was enhanced by Fazio for its October 2014 reopening. The course is a par 71 and plays to 6,901 yards.
For more information on the Diamond Resorts Invitational™, please visit DRIGolf.com.
About Diamond Resorts International®
Diamond Resorts International® (Diamond Resorts) is a worldwide leader in the hospitality and vacation ownership industries with a network of more than 370 vacation destinations located in 35 countries throughout the continental United States, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, Central America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.
Diamond Resorts offers its members the opportunity to create priceless memories through innovative vacation choices including once-in-a-lifetime excursions to world-renowned landmarks, unforgettable guided tours to dream destinations, and access to exclusive VIP concert experiences, high-energy sporting events and exciting shows. With high-quality resorts in desirable destinations, we provide the kind of vacation experiences that help our members, owners and guests reconnect with loved ones, collect a lifetime of meaningful memories and keep that Stay Vacationed® feeling all year long.
About Florida Hospital for Children
Florida Hospital for Children is committed to delivering world-class programs, extraordinary patient care and clinical excellence. Our flagship hospital is the heart of a children’s network that includes primary care pediatricians, specialty clinics, emergency departments and Kids Urgent Care. With the help of Walt Disney Imagineering and input from patients, families and clinicians, Florida Hospital for Children features a seven-story, technologically advanced facility with a child-centered healing environment. We’ve assembled a world-class team of doctors, specialists, nurses and healthcare professionals who are second to none. At their disposal are some of the most advanced technologies, therapies and treatments available. We lead the way, not only in our approach to healthcare, but in research as well, finding new methods for treating children so we can improve outcomes. One of the premier children’s health systems in the nation, Florida Hospital for Children sets the standard for innovation, quality and comprehensive care.