Story: Tournament week exceeds Tour expecations
By Garry Smits
Originally published by the Florida Times Union, October 24, 2010
The inaugural Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open was a success by any measure, said tournament director Jeff Sanders.
“It exceeded our expectations on every level,” he said Sunday as the final round was being played at the TPC Sawgrass Dye’s Valley Course. “We’re very pleased and Winn-Dixie has let me know they’re very happy.”
Sanders said an experienced volunteer base of 600 people ensured the week ran smoothly.
“Most of them have been volunteers at The Players Championship, and our general chair [Anne Nimnicht] is one of the best out there,” Sanders said. “I don’t know of any problems that came up. Anne’s people know what they’re doing.”
Two major goals were reached, Sanders said. The ticket sales goal was $100,000, and he said it was in the neighborhood of $150,000. Every dollar of ticket sales went to charity under the Tickets for Charity program.
In addition, further charitable proceeds, mainly from the pro-am, reached $1.6 million — the highest of any Nationwide Tour event in history and triple the previous record for a first-year event.
The Nationwide Tour signed a three-year deal with Winn-Dixie as the title sponsor, so the tournament will continue in roughly the same late October time slot in 2011 and 2012.