Mississippi to Host PGA TOUR’s True South Classic, July 16-22

(JACKSON, Mississippi) – The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) will partner with the PGA TOUR to host the True South Classic at Annandale Golf Club in Madison next week (July 16-22) as part of the chase for the FedEx Cup.

The True South Classic – formerly the Viking Classic – has been on the Tour schedule since 1968 and has raised more than $6.8 million for statewide local charities. It was renamed this year to fit in with Mississippi’s slogan, “Find Your True South.”

“This event has been a staple on the PGA TOUR for decades and provides a great opportunity to showcase Mississippi golf and other attractions,” said Brent Christensen, director of the MDA. “We look forward to the players and their families, the media and the fans experiencing the state’s natural beauty, wide array of activities and our exceptional golf.”

An impressive field of players has committed to the True South Classic, including Boo Weekly, Stuart Appleby, Lee Janzen, Shaun Micheel, Jerry Kelly, Ricky Barnes, Chris DiMarco and local favorite Heath Slocum. Past winners include defending champion Chris Kirk, reigning FedEx Cup Champion Bill Haas and the current No. 1- ranked golfer in world Luke Donald.

The total purse for the tournament is $3.7 million and it will be televised worldwide on Golf Channel.  The Jack Nicklaus designed Annandale Golf Club began hosting this event in 1994 and has received high praise from players, caddies and media.

A full week of events – including two Pro Am Tournaments – begins on Monday, July 16. The four medical practice sponsors will staff a pavilion along the 18th fairway during the tournament, offering health related services and education to visitors.

Tickets and volunteer opportunities are still available by visiting www.truesouthclassic.com or by calling 1.866.898.GOLF. For information on special stay-and-play package deals to Mississippi visit www.visitmississippi.org/golf.aspx  or call toll-free 1-866-801-8551 to receive a free Golf Travel Guide and suggested play-and-stay itineraries.

Four Mississippi medical practices – NewSouth NeuroSpine, Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, Jackson Heart Clinic and GI Associates and Endoscopy Center – along with Trustmark, are the consortium sponsors of the event, which is the second professional golf tournament to visit Mississippi this year. The Champions Tour has played the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic at Fallen Oak in Saucier the last three years.

About Mississippi Golf:
Attractions contributing to Mississippi’s growing popularity as the preferred golf-and-travel destination include:
More than 170 courses offering a variety of price points and designs from world-class architects such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Jerry Pate and Tom Fazio
Year-round golf weather with temperate conditions throughout five distinct regions — The Hills, The Delta, The Capital/River, The Pines, The Coastal
Home to two annual PGA TOUR events: The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic of the Champions Tour, played at Fallen Oak in March and the True South Classic of the PGA TOUR, played at Annandale Golf Club, July 16-22, 2012
Third-largest gaming destination in North America, featuring exciting gaming, upscale shopping, live entertainment, luxurious spas and internationally acclaimed golf courses
Birthplace of blues, rock ‘n roll and country music. Mississippi Blues Trail and Country Music Trail markers are placed at key sites around the state to honor musicians and give visitors insight into the state’s diverse musical heritage
World-famous, authentic southern cuisine offering savory barbecue, fresh seafood and French-Cajun delicacies
A busy calendar of more than 400 unique events scheduled throughout the year
A host of non-golf activities including boating, fishing, bird-watching, hiking, biking, hunting, camping and more

For more information, visit www.visitmississippi.org or call toll-free 1-866-801-8551.