The Country Club of Oxford will be hosting the North Mississippi Classic Web.com Tour tournament April 16-22. HottyToddy.com’s Steve Vassallo caught up with Steve Jent, executive director of Century Club Charities, which is the host organization.
Steve Vassallo: Steve, it must be exciting for your team to be bringing such a prestigious event to Oxford.
Steve Jent: We are very excited to be doing this. Currently, we host the Sanderson Farms Championship PGA Tour tournament in Jackson. This will be our inaugural venture into the northern part of the state. When you add in the Rapiscan Classic Champions Tour event on the coast, Mississippi is now one of only five states to host all three levels of PGA Tour championships.
Vassallo: Who all will be participating?
Jent: Approximately 156 professional golfers who are focused on joining the PGA Tour will be competing for prize money totaling $550,000 with the winner’s share at $99,000.
Vassallo: How can the Oxford community best assist Century Club Charities in this endeavor?
Jent: We are going to need some 350 volunteers to serve as marshalls, standard bearers and walking scorers. Anyone interested can go to our website at www.northmsclassic.com to sign up.
Vassallo: Are you in need of sponsors?
Jent: Yes, we are. For several months now, we have been working with local companies on their sponsorship activities, but we are looking for more! Nikki Paine, our sponsorships manager, has been actively recruiting sponsors. Nikki can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on her cell at 662-603-4861.
Vassallo: We have heard that there will be an extra special Pro Am on Wednesday.
Jent: Yes! We just announced that Archie and Cooper Manning will be hosting the Manning Pro Am on Wednesday April 18, which provides amateurs an opportunity to play alongside the pros. Sponsorships are available for this as well including hospitality venues, signage and branding.
Vassallo: The economic impact on the local community can be significant.
Jent: Typically, a Web.com tour event will generate $2 to 4 million for the local community involving hotels, restaurants and other local expenditures.
Vassallo: Century Club Charities also conveys proceeds back to local and area charities.
Jent: Century Club is a 501(c)(3) entity, which provides us a forum to support numerous charitable agencies and organizations throughout the state. If the tournament is successful, and we have every reason to believe it will be, then local charities will benefit as well.
Vassallo: Will there be any Mississippians competing in the tournament?
Jent: Matt Fast, MSU alum, will be participating along with a number of others. The field is still in the process of being formed and closer to April 16, we will have the complete list of participants.
Vassallo: What about securing tickets?
Jent: These can be purchased online on our website and also the day of the tournament. Parking for the tournament will be accommodated, utilizing the old Baptist Hospital lot at Lamar and Belk Road. Shuttles will transport our patrons to the course and back.
Vassallo: What are your expectations?
Jent: Because this is a first year event, we are hopeful that the Oxford community will go all out in supporting the tournament. It would be fantastic to see the North Mississippi Classic become an annual event here in Oxford! I’ve spoken with several players, and they are very excited to visit Oxford and all it has to offer.
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at email@example.com or call him at 985-852-7745.
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