Aug. 21, 2008
IOWA CITY – 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson will headlinean exhibition at the University of Iowa’s Finkbine Golf Course on Friday, Sept. 12, that will raise funds for disaster relief across the state of Iowa.
The Zach Johnson Iowa Disaster Relief Challenge presented by AEGON USA will feature Johnson, a native of Cedar Rapids and a graduate of Drake University in Des Moines, Chris DiMarco, and Quad Cities-area native Todd Hamilton in a nine-hole challenge that will also feature three of professional golf’s rising stars.
Johnson, DiMarco and Hamilton each will be paired with one of the “young guns” of professional golf in a Ryder Cup-like competition that will cover nine holes of the UI’s award-winning facility. The competition will begin at 4 p.m. and will start at Finkbine’s No. 1 tee.
Tickets to the exhibition will cost $10 with 100 percent of the cost being directed to disaster relief. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at hawkeyesports.com, the official world wide web site of the Iowa Hawkeyes, at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and by telephone by calling 1-800 IA-HAWKS.
Tickets will also be available for purchase at the UI Athletics Ticket Office location at historic Kinnick Stadium on Aug. 30 when Iowa opens its 2008 season against Maine and again Sept. 6 when the Hawkeyes entertain Florida International.
Earlier in the day and immediately prior to the exhibition as many 32 teams of four amateurs will be paired with an Iowa PGA professional in a pro-am event. The cost of a foursome is $5,000 with 100 percent of the total revenue from the sale of pro-am positions being directed to disaster relief. The winners of the event will be invited “inside the ropes” during the exhibition and to a private dinner after the event.
“We are delighted to be working with Zach to stage an event that can be both entertaining and impactful. Our goals are simple and straightforward. We want to sell out the pro-am and maximize the amount of spectator tickets sold so that we can maximize the contribution made to disaster relief,” said Gary Barta, the UI’s director of athletics.
“We are delighted to be working with Zach to stage an event that can be both entertaining and impactful. Our goals are simple and straightforward. We want to sell out the pro-am and maximize the amount of spectator tickets sold so that we can maximize the contribution made to disaster relief.”
UI Director of Athletics
“We think it’s the perfect addition to what is arguably the biggest weekend in sports each year in the state of Iowa,” added Barta, noting that the golf event will be staged the afternoon before the football game between Iowa and Iowa State.
“I am very excited to team with AEGON and the University of Iowa to bring professional golf to my home state,” added Johnson.
“I am very excited to team with AEGON and the University of Iowa to bring professional golf to my home state. I am also very grateful for the incredible support of my fellow PGA TOUR players, Chris and Todd, for their commitment to participate in this exhibition and to help us raise much needed money for disaster relief in Iowa. It should be a day of great golf and fun and all for a great cause.”
2007 Masters champion
“I am also very grateful for the incredible support of my fellow PGA TOUR players, Chris and Todd, for their commitment to participate in this exhibition and to help us raise much needed money for disaster relief in Iowa. It should be a day of great golf and fun and all for a great cause.”
Corporate sponsors – a group that currently includes AEGON USA, The Gazette, KCRG-TV9, U.S. Bank and RSM McGladrey – will be responsible for all expenses associated with the event. This means that 100 percent of the revenue generated from the sale of positions in the pro-am and ticket sales will be directed to the 2008 Iowa Disaster Fund, a fund created to receive contributions from individuals, businesses and organizations to benefit Iowans who have experienced significant hardship as a result of the storms and flooding of 2008. The fund is held at the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation.
Johnson has won three events and has finished in the Top 10 20 different times in his first five years on the PGA Tour. His wins include the 2007 Masters, a victory that propelled him onto professional golf’s highest stage and, ultimately, a position on the 2007 President’s Cup team. His professional achievements also include being a member of the 2006 Ryder Cup team.
DiMarco is a 14-year veteran of the PGA Tour and has also won three different times. He also has 12 second place finishes including three runner-up finishes in “Majors,” and 59 Top 10 finishes in his career. DiMarco has been a member of two US. Ryder Cup teams and two President’s Cup squads.
A native of Galesburg, Ill., Todd Hamilton is also a five-year veteran of the PGA Tour and the 2004 British Open champion, one of two victories he’s claimed as a professional. He was the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year in 2004, the same year the he won the Honda Classic. Hamilton has also won 14 times internationally.