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GOLFEST WEEKEND PROMISES TO DELIVER FUN, EXCITEMENT

Appearances by LPGA star Brittany Lincicome and Win McMurry from Golf Channel; a $1-million Hole-in-One Shootout to benefit Thoroughbed Retirement of Tampa, Inc. (TROT); and a chance to win two tickets to the first 2013 major tournament in Georgia are among the highlights of Golfest Presented by Tampa Bay Championship, to be held the weekend of Feb. 9-10 at The Downs Golf Practice Facility at Tampa Bay Downs.
 
Admission is $10 for adults, with children 14-and-under getting in free.
 
Golfest Presented by Tampa Bay Championship is Tampa Bay’s largest demo day and golf expo, with golfers able to hit new clubs from such manufacturing companies as TaylorMade, Nike, Adams, Cobra, Callaway, Ping, Wilson and Mizuno, among others.
 
The event also features 20 golf lifestyle booths inside the Golf Expo Area, free 10-minute lessons from certified PGA teaching professionals and hourly prize drawings. Food and beverages will be available at the Golfest Diner and rounds of golf for four at area courses will be sold at discount prices.
 
There will also be a Kids Zone where youngsters can play mini-golf.
 
Saturday’s featured guest on the GOLFLocker.com stage at noon will be Seminole, Fla. resident Brittany Lincicome, who has established herself as one of the top players on the LPGA Tour, with five victories and more than $5-million in earnings since her 2005 rookie season.
 
Lincicome had six top-10 finishes in 2012 and led the tour with a 276-yard driving average. She also led the tour with two holes-in-one, at the Navistar LPGA Classic and the Kia Classic.
 
Lincicome became a major champion when she won the 2009 Kraft Nabisco Championship with an eagle on the 72nd hole. She also finished fifth that year in the U.S. Women’s Open. She won two events in 2011 – the CN Canadian Women’s Open and the ShopRite LPGA Classic – and competed on her third U.S. Solheim Cup Team.
 
Lincicome, whose parents operate a day-care center in nearby Pinellas Park, is also active in the community and is on the board of directors of The First Tee of St. Petersburg, a youth-development program that uses golf as a vehicle to teach life skills to children. She holds an annual fund-raising tournament each year called the Brittany and Friends Celebrity Pro-Am, which was held last month at The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club.
 
McMurry, Sunday’s special guest speaker at 1 p.m., joined Golf Channel in 2010. She reports for Golf Central, is a contributor on the “Grey Goose 19th Hole” and hosts her web exclusive, “Gone with the Win.”
 
The University of North Carolina graduate holds a degree from the Chapel Hill university’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a second major in communication studies. She had previously worked for CBS Sports in New York City and PGA Tour Entertainment.
 
Others set to appear during the weekend include Downs Golf Practice Facility professional Matt Mitchell, trick-shot artist Brad Denton, long-drive champion Mike Ziegler and several other instructors and golf-industry professionals.
 
All attendees at Golfest Presented by Tampa Bay Championship can register for a drawing for two tickets to the first major tournament in Georgia.
 
Everyone is also eligible to enter the TROT $1-Million Hole-In-One Shootout, with each entrant receiving a goody bag which incudes a free round at Westchase and other golf-related items.
 
Qualifying for the hole-in-one shootout will be held Saturday from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., with the semifinals and finals beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday. A $10 entry fee allows golfers to hit five shots from a distance of 167 yards, with anyone landing a shot within a 20-foot diameter circle advancing to the semifinals. Anyone making a hole-in-one in qualifying receives $250 in range balls.
 
Only the closest-to-the-hole golfer in the semifinals will advance to the finals and one shot for the chance to win $1-million by making a hole-in-one, with $500,000 going to the golfer and $500,000 going to TROT.
 
TROT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the safe retirement, rehabilitation and adoption of Tampa’s racing Thoroughbreds.
 
The Downs Golf Practice Facility is located at 10327 Race Track Road, just south of Tampa Bay Downs racetrack. For details on the Golfest Presented by Tampa Bay Championship event, call (813) 854-4946.

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