From Standard Bearer to Top of the Leader-Board

Jax Native New Director of THE PLAYERS

Not many of us can say we have the picture that defines our career path any better than the largest photo on the wall in Ron Cross’ office at the TPC Sawgrass. The focal point of the well-known picture is Jerry Pate diving into the pond off the 18th green after winning the 1982 PLAYERS Championship contested for the first time at the controversial Pete Dye design in Ponte Vedra.

Standing greenside, and lakeside, in shorts and still holding the scoring standard he’d carried that week, Ron Cross knew he was involved in something special. Twentyfive years later, he’s running the show. The Jacksonville native was named Executive Director of THE PLAYERS Championship in July, succeeding Brian Goin, who was promoted to the PGA TOUR’s Championship Management department.

Jax Native New Director of THE PLAYERS

Cross has the rare distinction of never working for anyone but the TOUR since interning there while pursuing his degree in Sports Administration at the University of Florida. He’s been involved in operations and tournament management for over 45 tournaments under the TOUR’s umbrella ever since.

In TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem’s words, “Ron is ideally suited to build upon the strong foundation of THE PLAYERS as we move forward from a year of significant change and transition for the event.”

Cross has made it his objective to continue to improve the on-site experience for visitors to the tournament with the goal of making Jacksonville a national “destination” site on PLAYERS week, not unlike the Final Four or Super Bowl, involving the entire metro area above and beyond the 1,900 volunteers who’ve made THE PLAYERS so successful that it raised over $2.8-million for area charities, a new record, in 2007.

Cross and his staff are creating unique packages that invite companies of every size to be involved in the hospitality and charitable aspects of THE PLAYERS, which blossomed in its new date in mid-May of ’07 and should “cross” the $30-million mark in charitable funds raised this coming May.

For more information on ticket or hospitality packages at THE PLAYERS, visit or call (904) 285-PUTT.


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