BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The $1.6 million Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic takes the spotlight this week at Fallen Oak in Biloxi. More than 75 players.. age 50 and older will be vying for the winner's share of $240,000. The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic is the fifth of 26 official events in 2017 on the PGA Tour Champions circuit.
The 8th annual MGRC is the fifth of 26 official events on the 2017 PGA Tour Champions circuit.
Tournament Director Steve Nieman says this year's field is probably the most competitive to compete for the winner's share of $240,000.
"We just announced last week Steve Stricker who is the upcoming U.S. Captain for the President's Cup, Miguel Angel Jimenez, who is the defending champion is coming back. We added a two-time Masters Champion and World Cup Hall of Fame member Jose Maria Olazabal, David Toms who went to school at LSU, and Jerry Kelly. All the new guys on our tour are actually playing here. So, we're excited."
Jay Don Blake began his pro career on the PGA Tour in 1981 and has been competing on the PGA Tour Champions since 2009. In previous years while playing in the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Pro-Am, Blake has done a little fishing.
Blake said, "You know I like to break it up a bit. We get so focused on golf that I try to bring a fishing rod with me, kind of get my mind off golf. Go out and throw it a little bit out in the lakes. Believe it or not they've got some great fish out here. Really good fishing and pulled some really good size fish out here . It's been a lot of fun. I just throw them back in."
Blake and his wife will read to a group of preschool children Tuesday morning at 10:30 at Kreole Elementary in Moss Point.
The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Pro-Am are set for Wednesday and Thursday mornings with split-tee times beginning at 7 at Fallen Oak.
The field of 79 players open the first-round beginning Friday morning at 10. Second-round and final round action is slated to begin Saturday and Sunday morning at 9.
Daily tickets to watch the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic are $15. Children age 16 and under will be admitted free with an adult who has a ticket.