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April 12, 2011 > Sponsor's exemptions for Fresh Express Classic

Sponsor's exemptions for Fresh Express Classic

Submitted By Jody Brothers and Ed Vyeda

Unrestricted sponsor's exemptions have been awarded to Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and Wes Homan, while restricted sponsor's exemptions have been given to Todd Fischer and Billy Hurley III for the Fresh Express Classic to be played April 12-17 at the PGA TOUR's TPC Stonebrae in Hayward.

The Fresh Express Classic will showcase the talents of 156 aspiring TOUR players competing in 72 holes of stroke play, with a cut after 36 holes. The tournament is part of the 2011 Nationwide Tour, the official proving ground of the PGA TOUR, which awards TOUR cards at season's end to its 25 leading money winners. All four rounds of the Fresh Express Classic will be televised on Golf Channel, the exclusive television home of the Nationwide Tour.

Jerry Rice's prolific professional football career includes 20 seasons in the NFL, during which time he distinguished himself as one of the greatest wide receivers ever, having set the all-time record in virtually every statistical category for this position - including being the all-time leader in the NFL for touchdowns with 208. His 15 years with the San Francisco 49ers (1985 - 2000) earned him three Super Bowl rings, while he also won an AFC Championship while playing with the Oakland Raiders (2001-2004).

Rice is an accomplished golfer in his own right and competed as a professional in two Nationwide Tour events last year (Fresh Express Classic and BMW Charity Pro-Am). His 127 Foundation benefits numerous charitable organizations in the Bay Area and is a major beneficiary of the Fresh Express Classic.

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Wes Homan played golf at Southern Methodist University, where he competed in the NCAA Championships. He turned pro after graduation and, in 2009, posted a career low of 63 during the 86th Ohio Open where he made a double eagle. As a junior player, Homan won two national championships and was a three-time Southwest Ohio Player of the Year.

Winner of the Nationwide Tour's Fort Smith Classic, University of San Francisco alum Todd Fischer was a member of the Nationwide Tour from 2001-02 and 2007-11, and of the PGA TOUR from 2003-06, never making fewer than 32 starts in a season. Most recently, Fischer, a resident of Pleasanton, made 21 Nationwide Tour starts and made eight cuts, with a top-10 finish at the Price Cutter Charity Championship.

A 2005 Walker Cup team member, Billy Hurley III won seven college titles while at Navy and has earned professional victories on the 2010 NGA Hooters Tour, eGolf Tour and Florida Professional Golf Tour. In 2006, he made two of six cuts on the PGA TOUR, including a T43 at the Bay Hill Invitational in his first career start.

An officer in the U.S. Navy after graduation from the Academy (2004-09), Hurley was a lieutenant aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer for part of 2010 in the Persian Gulf, helping to protect Iraqi oil platforms. A native of Leesburg, Va., Hurley will be making his first Nationwide Tour start since 2007. He has made two starts on the PGA TOUR this year (AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and Arnold Palmer Invitational).

"We are excited that these four gentlemen are competing in what is shaping up to be one of the most exciting Nationwide Tour events of the year," said Fresh Express Classic Executive Director Jody Brothers. "We greatly appreciate the support we've received from our sponsors Fresh Express and Stonebrae Club Partners as we try and achieve our goal of raising more than $250,000 for local Bay Area charities."

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, April 12
Family Day
Practice Rounds, all day
12:00 p.m. Youth Activities
1:30 p.m. Dennis Walters Golf Show
(Free admission)

Wednesday, April 13
Practice Rounds, all morning
Jerry Rice Charity Pro-Am driven by Audi
7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Double shotgun

Thursday, April 14
7:15 a.m. 1st Round, Early Wave
1:30 p.m. 1st Round, Late Wave
3:30 p.m. TV: Golf Channel

Friday, April 15
7:15 a.m. 2nd Round, Early Wave
1:30 p.m. 2nd Round, Late Wave
3:30 p.m. TV: Golf Channel
Live Music at the completion of play

Saturday, April 16
8:30 a.m. 3rd Round
3:30 p.m. TV: Golf Channel
Live Music at the completion of play

Sunday, April 17
8:30 a.m. 4th Round
4:00 p.m. TV: Golf Channel
Awards Presentation following play

Admission, unless otherwise stated, $10 (Daily Grounds Pass), $20 (All-Week Grounds Pass), free for ages 18-under with ticketed adult. For tickets and more information, visit and

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