ORLANDO, FL – The Diamond Resorts Invitational™ benefiting Florida Hospital for Children expanded the most unique field in golf with the addition of three active National Football League stars: Arizona Cardinals All-Pros Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson, as well as Jacksonville Jaguars Bryan Walters. They’ll join 27 PGA TOUR Champions, three LPGA stars and 45 other sports and entertainment celebrities vying for separate purses totaling $1.25 million at Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, Jan. 13-15. (www.DiamondResortsInvitational.com)
The NFL will also be represented by Hall of Famers Marcus Allen and Richard Dent; former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, Green Bay Packers receiver Sterling Sharpe and Washington Redskins Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien.
Active Major League Baseball standouts feature Justin Verlander, Josh Donaldson and Brian McCann, as well as Jon Lester and John Lackey of the World Champion Chicago Cubs. Roger Clemens and Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson, John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Gaylord Perry will also be on hand. Former All-Stars and World Series champions include a tournament favorite Mark Mulder, a two-time celebrity golf winner at Lake Tahoe, Tim Wakefield, Eric Gagne and Kevin Millar.
Entertainers and television personalities include Larry the Cable Guy, Alfonso Ribeiro, country music stars Jake Owen, Colt Ford and Cole Swindell, Jack Wagner and Golf Channel’s Blair O’Neal.
National Hockey League participants feature Mike Modano and Jeremy Roenick. Former U.S tennis star Mardy Fish is defending champion.
PGA TOUR Champions include John Daly, Colin Montgomerie, Kenny Perry, Mark Calcavecchia, Ian Woosnam, John Cook, Lee Janzen, Scott Hoch, Jeff Sluman, Tommy Armour III, Gil Morgan and Billy Mayfair.
The LPGA Tour will feature three of its top American players Lexi Thompson, Brittany Lang and Brittany Lincicome.
All three rounds will be nationally televised live on Golf Channel: Friday, Jan. 13 and Saturday, Jan. 14 from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET, and Sunday, Jan. 15’s final from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET. Competition will utilize a Modified Stableford scoring format which awards points as opposed to strokes – similar to the PGA TOUR’s Barracuda Championship. 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 holes. LPGA players and PGA TOUR Champions 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 Champion or one LPGA professional and two celebrities.
The fun continues off the course during evening activities throughout the week at special dinners and concerts. A super-charged country flavor will prevail as stars Jake Owen, Colt Ford, Jana Kramer and Cole Swindell will be stepping out of golf shoes into cowboy boots to entertain players, celebrities, sponsors and guests with live performances at Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club.
Golf tournament tickets are available online atwww.DiamondResortsInvitational.com or at any of 200 participating Walgreens stores throughout Central Florida. Online, the 1-Day Grounds Pass, good for any of the three days (Friday-Sunday), is $30; a 3-Day Grounds Pass, good all three days, is $60. If purchased at Walgreens stores, the 1-Day Grounds Pass is $20 and the 3-Day Grounds pass is $40. Pre-purchased tickets are required as tickets will not be available at the gate.