FedEx St. Jude Classic set for early tee time

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (ALSAC)
Monday, 17 May 2004

It's an early tee time for the FedEx St. Jude Classic this year.

The 47th annual FedEx St. Jude Classic is set to take place next week at the Tournament Players Club at Southwind in Memphis, Tenn. It marks the earliest that the tournament has ever begun in almost 30 years and will start a three-year stretch for the tournament to be played over Memorial Day weekend.

A number of top golfers have committed to play in the tournament including defending champion David Toms, John Daly, Loren Roberts, Notah Begay III and Mark O'Meara.

Last year, the tournament raised more than $679,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, raising the tournament's total contribution to almost $15 million since St. Jude became the tournament's sole beneficiary.

"Our earlier dates are already paying big dividends," said tournament director Phil Cannon. "Our field is much stronger than the past few years and our sales are up from last year. We're heading for a great Tournament Week."

In addition to the early tee time, tournament officials are excited about the new Birdies for Charity campaign.

Through the Birdies for Charity contest, golf fans can make a direct contribution to help continue the work of St. Jude. Simply predict the number of birdies that will be made during the tournament and pledge an amount for each birdie scored. All entries will be included in a random drawing for many valuable prizes. A 2004 Buick Rainier will be awarded to the person who comes closest to guessing the correct number of birdies. All monies raised through the contest will go directly to St. Jude, where doctors and scientists are advancing the research and treatment for childhood catastrophic diseases.

Cannon said the Birdies for Charity campaign is off to a fast start. "We hope to significantly affect our donation to St. Jude with this grassroots fund-raising approach," he said.

For more information about how to enter the contest, visit the FedEx St. Jude Classic Web site at www.hushyall.com and watch the tournament on USA Network and your local CBS station.

For more information, or to contact St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (ALSAC), see their website at: www.stjude.org

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