The Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am Embraces First Ever Back-To-Back Champion

The Outback Steakhouse Pro-AmAt the 2008 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, Tom Watson successfully defended his title making him the first back-to-back champion in tournament history. This also marked the first time Watson has defended a title in his Champions Tour career.

After being 0-for-93 in the Sunshine State, Tom Watson’s losing streak has seen a change. A year after ending his drought, Watson won the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am for the second time. The defending champion won the 2008 tournament at nine-under with a one-stroke victory over Jay Haas and Scott Hoch. “I’m on a streak,” Watson said. “I need to buy a house down here.”

This year the “Best of the Best” on the Champions Tour have set their sites on the back-to-back champion, Watson. With a stellar professional field and high profile celebrities, 2009 looks to be the biggest year yet.

Tampa Bay’s own Derrick Brooks will be defending his 2008 Amateur Title. Comedian/Actor George Lopez and NBC’s Stone Phillips will be back for their second consecutive appearance.

Other notable sports personalities and stars of movies and television are expected to participate. Bill Murray, Kevin Costner, Mark Wahlberg, Vince Gill, Huey Lewis, Fred McGriff, Shelton Quarles, Ray Knight, Ronde Barber, Boomer Esiason, Jim Courier, Joe Theismann, Emmitt Smith and Carson Daly are among the celebrities who have participated in the tournament in its first five years. These celebrities excite spectators with their “up close and personal” crowd interaction as they play golf.

Two-Time Champion Tom Watson and Amateur Winner Derrick Brooks Scheduled To Defend Title at the 2009 TournamentThe 2009 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am will be played at TPC Tampa Bay in Lutz, FL, April 13-19 and will be broadcast on The Golf Channel (Friday 4/17) and NBC Sports (Saturday, 4/18 and Sunday 4/19).

In its first five years, the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am Foundation, Inc. has raised more than $3 million through corporate sponsorships and other charitable donations. Since its inception 21 years ago, this tournament has contributed more than $8 million to Tampa Bay area charities. The charities for 2009 include Child Abuse Council, Diabetic Charitable Services, Everyday Blessings and Judeo Christian Health Clinic.

The Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am offers an experience unlike any other tournament on the Champions Tour. The Green-Hopper Party Pass allows entrance into three different hospitality venues on Holes No. 11, 16 and 17. Each venue offers VIP golf viewing and spectacular hospitality including featured drinks and light Aussie-Tizers®.

Hole 11, a par 3, is the Coke Zero Soda Shack offering Coca-Cola products and featured drinks. Under the new sponsorship of Beam Global Spirits and Wine, the Par-4 16th will host the Hornitos Agave Garden with complimentary Hor-nitos specialty drinks. Finally, the Par-3 17th hole, home of the Michelob Watering Hole, serves up a variety of Anheuser-Bush products.

Number 6, the shortest par-3 at 144 yards, is a birdie opportunity.The party atmosphere will carry forward to the finishing hole as the famous Billabong Club will continue to be located on the 18th green on the golfer’s right side. This venue is one of the most popular choices for corporate hospitality.

Spectators will feast on food from the various OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC. concepts. Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and Bonefish Grill will create a “Food Court” behind the practice range where golf fans will be able to sample the various specialties of each of the restaurant concepts.

TPC Tampa Bay

So why is TPC Tampa Bay such a popular facility among locals, visitors and touring professionals alike? Legendary players including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, Tom Watson, Raymond Floyd and many others have routinely called TPC Tampa Bay “a beautiful golf course,” and “one of the better TPC courses we play.” High praise, indeed, from the world’s best golfers.

TPC Tampa Bay was designed by renowned golf course architect Bobby Weed along with Champions Tour professional consultant Chi Chi Rodriguez. This signature design team not only created a golf course that tests the best players in the world, but it also provides a challenging and fun experience for golfers of all levels. This year at the 2009 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, the course will truly put these Champions Tour professionals to the test.

The course’s design is highlighted by strategic bunkering, gentle undulations and dramatic spectator mounding. Playing to 6,900 yards from the back tees, the wide fairways meander through natural lakes, wetlands and Cypress heads, which are home to abundant wildlife.

Combine unique playability with consistently exceptional PGA Tour-quality course conditioning and it’s easy to see why TPC Tampa Bay has been awarded a four and a half star rating in Golf Digest’s Places To Play. The facility has also been recently ranked the No. 18 public golf facility in the nation by Golfworld Magazine’s 2009 Reader’s Choice Poll.

The 574-yard, par-5 14th will be a key hole on the back nine Sunday.

Now you too can enjoy TPC Tampa Bay. You’ll not only get to play a great tournament-quality golf course, but you’ll also get to enjoy the PGA Tour experience for yourself. From the well-stocked golf shop, to the Champion’s Locker Room, to the world-class practice facilities and the professionalism of the golf staff, you’ll receive the kind of service that makes TPC Tampa Bay truly memorable.

TPC Tampa Bay is more than a great place to play golf. It’s also the ideal place to hold that special party, shower, wedding or golf event you’re planning. The professional event staff currently hosts more than 100 private events and golf outings each year, including the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am and Tampa’s America Supports You Military Tournament held in December.

While TPC Tampa Bay is a public facility, annual play plans are available. The Vantage Partner Program allows you to play TPC Tampa Bay for just cart fees year-round among other benefits and privileges.

For more information, visit www.tpctampabay.com. To reserve your starting time up to 60 days in advance, or for more information regarding outings or annual play plans, call (813) 949-0090 or toll free 1-866-PLAY-TPC.

For Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am tournament and ticket information, call the Tournament Office at (813) 265-4653 or go to www.outbackproam.com.

2009 Schedule of Events April 13th - 19th TPC Tampa Bay

Monday, 13th
•   Carrier Corporation Pro-Am........12:30 pm Shotgun
•   Champions Tour Professional Practice Rounds

Tuesday 14th
•   Nestle Professional Kids Day........9:30-11:30 am
•   Champions Tour Professional Practice Rounds

Wednesday 15th
•   FINS & SKINS Fishing Tournament........8:00am Tampa Bay Watch
•   Hornitos Challange........10:00 am Shotgun

Thursday 16th
•   Hornitos Challange........10:00 am Shotgun

Friday 17th
•   Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, Round 1, 7:20am, Golf Channel Live Coverage 1-3pm

Saturday 18th
•   Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, Round 2, 7:20am, NBC Sports Live Coverage 4-6pm

Sunday 19th
•   Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, Round 3, 7:20am, NBC Sports Live Coverage 1-3pm


 

 

 

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