Golf News for Thursday, August 18, 2005 | Events

Players named for '05 Special Olympics Golf Invitational

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- A roster of nearly 200 golfers has been announced for the sixth annual Special Olympics Golf National Invitational Tournament, Sept. 16-19, at the Ames Golf & Country Club and Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, Iowa. The tournament will feature Special Olympics golfers and, in team play, their non-Special Olympics partners from 28 states competing in one of five levels of competition.

Special Olympics golfers, ranging in age from 14 to 67 years old, will travel to Ames from as far as Spokane, Wash., and as close as Davenport, Iowa. Coldwater Golf Links will showcase competitors' abilities in the individual skills competition and nine-hole alternate shot team play while the Ames Golf & County Club will host 18-hole alternate shot team play and nine-hole and 18-hole individual stroke play. Olympic-style Opening Ceremonies will be held Sept. 16 with three competitive rounds played Sept. 17-19. Awards will be presented immediately following the final round. Nearly 400 Special Olympics golfers, partner players, volunteers, coaches, staff and family members will participate in the tournament.

The PGA of America and USGA return for the sixth consecutive year as presenting sponsors and are joined in 2005 by the PGA TOUR in this sponsorship designation. The LPGA and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America are supporting sponsors. Bayer Environmental Science and Brokers International LTD are Special Olympics North America are gold medal sponsors for the tournament. Silver medal sponsors include: Nicklaus Golf, The Top-Flite Golf Company, V1 Swing Analysis, the Greg Norman Collection, The Perfect Club, Event Partners, Blistex and Ocean Potion.

Special Olympics golf, part of a worldwide sports program for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, offers five levels of play for athletes with different golf abilities. Level I consists of an individual skills contest for entry-level Special Olympics athletes which tests six skills similar to on-course play, including a wood shot, an iron shot, a pitch shot, a chip shot, a long putt and a short putt. Level II is Unified SportsÃ’ alternate shot team play where a Special Olympics athlete is paired with a non-Special Olympics athlete of more advanced skill for a 9-hole competition. Level III is Unified SportsÃ’ team play pairing Special Olympics and non-Special Olympics players of similar ability for an 18-hole competition. Levels IV and V are individual stroke play 9-hole and 18-hole competitions, respectively. All levels are in accordance with the USGA Rules of Golf.

About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without intellectual disabilities. Through year-round sports training and athletic competition and other related programming for more than 1.7 million children and adults with intellectual disabilities in more than 150 countries, Special Olympics has created a model community that celebrates people's diverse gifts. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. There is no cost to participate in Special Olympics. Visit Special Olympics online at www.specialolympics.org.

Presenting Sponsors

About The PGA
The PGA of America, founded in 1916, is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the game of golf while continuing to enhance the standards of the profession. The Association is comprised of more than 28,000 men and women PGA Professionals who are dedicated to growing participation in the game of golf. For more information, visit www.pga.com.

About the USGA
The United States Golf Association has served as the national governing body of golf since it was founded in 1894. The USGA sponsors programs that serve everyone who plays the game. The USGA conducts 13 national championships, of which ten are strictly for amateurs. The Association, in conjunction with the Royal and Ancient in St. Andrews, Scotland, writes and interprets the Rules of Golf. Further, it oversees a handicapping system, improves the playing conditions of golf courses through its Green Section, tests equipment to assure that golf remains a game of skill, runs the nation's oldest sports museum at Golf House to preserve the game's heritage and funds a variety of programs to make golf available and accessible to everyone. More than 9,000 private and public golf courses, clubs and facilities make up the USGA and the Association has more than 800,000 individual Members.

About the PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers. Its primary purpose is to provide competitive earnings opportunities for past, current and future members of the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour; to protect the integrity of the game; and to help grow the reach of the game in the U.S. and around the world. Nearly 110 events are being contested on the three Tours in 2005, for approximately $320 million in prize money. In addition to providing competitive opportunities for its membership, TOUR events also generate significant sums of money for charity. To date, TOUR events have raised more than $970 million for charity since 1938, the first year such records were kept. The PGA TOUR's Web site address is www.pgatour.com.

Supporting Sponsors

About the GCSAA
Since 1926, GCSAA has been the leading professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the United States and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to more than 21,000 individual members in more than 72 countries. GCSAA's mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.org.

About the LPGA
Featuring the world's best women golfers, the LPGA's membership includes touring, teaching and club professionals. The LPGA Tour in 2005 features 34 events, with total prize money of $45.1 million. Since 1981, the LPGA and its tournaments have raised approximately $160 million for charity. From the dreams of its 13 founders in 1950, the LPGA has evolved into the world's preeminent women's professional sports organization. The LPGA has grown from its roots as a playing tour into a non-profit organization involved in every facet of golf. The LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) membership boasts a total of nearly 1,200 women golf professionals who serve as teachers, golf professionals, club managers and coaches. Through the LPGA T&CP membership, the LPGA is working to increase the involvement of women and youth in golf, as well as contribute to the growth of the sport overall. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla. For more information on the LPGA, log on to www.LPGA.com.