Rascals Flatts'Joe Don Rooney Debuts at The Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith an

Today, the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am announced that Joe Don Rooney, the guitarist and a background vocalist in the award-winning country vocal group Rascal Flatts, will make his debut at the 2011 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and Two-Time US Ryder Cup team member Scott Hoch will also tee-off April 11-17 at TPC Tampa Bay.

“The 2011 celebrity commitment list is stacked with pure talent,” said Amy Hawk, tournament director of the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. “With chart topping country music artists, high profile actors, as well as, Hall of Fame athletes, this year’s tournament appeals to everyone.”

Joe Don Rooney is the guitarist and a background vocalist in the award-winning country vocal group Rascal Flatts. The band debuted their first album in 2000 and recently hit the top of the charts with current CD Nothing Like This on Big Machine Records late last year. Nothing Like This landed at #1 on the country album sales chart and pushed Rascal Flatts to become one of only four country acts to debut six consecutive studio albums at #1. In their ten-year career, they have sold 20 million albums and 25 million digital downloads and delivered 12 #1 singles to the top of the chart. Rascal Flatts is the most awarded country group of the past decade with nearly 40 trophies from the American Country Awards, Academy of Country Music, American Music Awards, Country Music Association, People’s Choice Awards and more and they have sold over 6 million concert tickets. The band will launch a new tour this summer on June 18 called "Flatts Fest."

Class of 2010 Hall of Famer and Florida Gator, Emmitt Smith is a former American football running back. He played for the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals and is the NFL's all-time rushing leader, a record formerly held by his childhood hero, Walter Payton. He is the only running back to ever win a Super Bowl championship, the NFL Most Valuable Player award, the NFL rushing crown and the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award all in the same season (1993).

Rooney and Smith will join other celebrity commitments including Craig T. Nelson, Vince Gill, Joe Theismann, Rondé Barber, Stone Phillips, John O'Hurley, Derrick Brooks and Sterling Sharpe. Champions Tour professional Scott Hoch is ranked number four on the All Time Money List. He represented the United States on the Ryder Cup team in 1997 and 2002. Hoch won 11 events on the PGA TOUR. In May 2007, Hoch won his first Champions Tour event, the FedEx Kinko's Classic. In February 2008, he won his second and third events in consecutive weeks. He received both the Vardon Trophy and Byron Nelson Award in 1986.

Other notable Champions Tour professional commitments include - Tom Watson, Fred Funk, Mark Calcavecchia, Russ Cochran, John Cook, Dan Forsman Nick Price, Jay Haas, Tom Lehman, Hale Irwin, Tom Pernice, Jr., and Loren Roberts.

Two unexpected surgeries will prevent Michael J. Fox and Bernhard Langer from playing in the 2011 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. Due to an unforeseen shoulder surgery, Michael J. Fox is unable to play. He will be attending the event to support Tampa’s premier Champions Tour stop and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (with contributions going to the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative at University of South Florida) is one of the 2011 benefiting charities. Defending champion Bernhard Langer underwent successful surgery on his left thumb and will be out of action for approximately two months as he works through the necessary rehabilitation and training schedule. “We are obviously disappointed that our 2010 champion will be unable to defend his title, but we wish Bernhard a speedy recovery,” Hawk commented. “We know he would love nothing more than to be competing in this year’s event.”

The 2011 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am will take place on April 11-17 at TPC Tampa Bay in Lutz, FL. Tickets are available for purchase by calling the tournament office at 813-265-4653 or visiting www.outbackproam.com.

About the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am & Tournament Format
The Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am won the 2010 Tournament Business Affairs Award. The Champions Tour Tournament Business Affairs department rates and grades several different categories that determine what makes a successful event, and the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, played for the 19th consecutive year at TPC Tampa Bay in Lutz, Florida, earned the highest overall score.

In its first seven years, the Tampa Bay Pro-Am Foundation, Inc. has raised over $3.7 million through corporate sponsorships and other charitable donations. Since its inception 23 years ago, this tournament has contributed over $8.7 million to Tampa Bay area charities. The 2011 recipients are The Special Operations Warrior Foundation and Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (with contributions going to the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative at University of South Florida).

The Tampa Bay Pro-Am Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization founded in October of 2003.

Bernhard Langer was crowned the 2010 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am champion after finishing 36-holes.

The 2011 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am will be played at TPC Tampa Bay in Lutz, FL, April 11-17 will be broadcast on the Golf Channel (Friday, 4/15) and NBC Sports (Saturday, 4/16 and Sunday, 4/17).

 

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