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Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday After The Masters, Myrtle Beach's Tournament!

Monday after the Masters in North Myrtle Beach gets Furyk

Strand keeps tourney for three more years

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH -- Reigning FedExCup champion and PGA Tour Player of the Year Jim Furyk has committed to make his second consecutive appearance in the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am on April 11.

And he'll have an opportunity to return to the Barefoot Resort Dye Club for several more years if he chooses.
Tournament organizers and marketing cooperative Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, a primary sponsor of the tournament, have agreed to a three-year extension to stage the event on the Grand Strand through 2014.
The 17-year tournament originated in Columbia and will be held for the ninth consecutive April at Barefoot Resort, where it moved from Kiawah Island in 2003.

"Walking up here to the Dye course today, it honestly feels like coming back home," Hootie & the Blowfish bassist Dean Felber said. "Of all the places we've been with the tournament, it just feels so good to have a place we can come back to every year that is absolutely wonderful. I don't think it could get any better."
The "Mike & Mike in the Morning" radio show, which is broadcast on ESPN Radio and simulcast on the ESPN2 television station every weekday from 6 to 10 a.m., will broadcast live from the tournament this year.
"This event has been such a perfect marriage between the band and everything this event brings to Myrtle Beach and what we're able to do promotionally, it's such a great marriage and a great match for our destination that we don't want to see this event go anywhere," Golf Holiday President Bill Golden said.
"That [extension] allows us to plan long-term promotional opportunities, something like 'Mike & Mike.' It really gives us flexibility to get real aggressive and leverage the event with all the things we do."

Other early 2011 commitments include longtime tournament supporters and PGA Tour members John Daly and Woody Austin, as well as Conway native and LPGA Tour member Kristy McPherson.

Tournament director Paul Graham believes Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey and Clemson alum D.J. Trahan will be added to the field, and he hopes Myrtle Beach resident and four-time PGA Tour winner Dustin Johnson will return for a second year. The tournament pairs a professional golfer with a celebrity and four amateurs in each competing group.

"We've gotten a lot of interesting e-mails from a lot of different actors and football players and things like that," Graham said. "...We always look to get new names, and a lot of times they're coming to us, which has been great. We're just trying to keep the pedal to the metal."

It was announced at a news conference Friday at the Dye Club that the event in 2010 raised $300,000 for charity, which nearly doubled 2009 proceeds.

Graham said sponsors decreased their involvement in 2009, but increased it back to previous levels in 2010 and are equally if not more supportive this year.

"We continue to be blown away by the support we receive in this economy, especially from the Myrtle Beach community," Graham said. "We were very pleased with the [donation] we were able to put up. I think there are a lot of tournaments that just want to have that $155,000, so the fact that we could do $300,000 or more is unbelievable."

A check for $10,000 was presented Friday to The First Tee of Myrtle Beach, an organization that provides character building and golf instruction and opportunities to area youths.

The Hootie MAM has raised more than $4 million in its 16 years for the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation, which supports South Carolina education and junior golf causes. The tournament, a live and silent auction on the eve of the tournament, and a concert the night of the tournament are part of the fundraising.

The Hootie MAM has sold out both playing spots and spectator tickets for the past five years, and $5,000 playing spots are again sold out in 2011 with more than 30 teams registered.

"Our commitment has been as strong this year as it's ever been," Graham said. "It's a daily e-mail or phone call, 'Can we play in the tournament?' At this point I don't have any spots to sell."

Spectator tickets to the golf tournament are $15 for adults and free for children 12 and younger, and will become available at 11 a.m. on Feb. 26 at the House of Blues, Barefoot Resort pro shops and Ticketmaster outlets. Up to 6,000 tickets will be sold.

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