The Buffalo Bills have teamed up with the Turning Stone Resort Championship in Verona, NY in an effort to further regionalize their team's outreach into upstate New York.
The upgraded PGA Tour golf event, which will take place the week of August 2 – 8, kicked off their tournament and held a media day/golf outing on July 20, and the Bills were represented by former All-Pro special teams ace Steve Tasker. Sharing the media spotlight with Tasker was four-time PGA Tour winner and tournament ambassador Notah Begay III, and Ray Halbritter, the CEO of Nation Enterprises for the Oneida Nation.
Halbritter, an excellent golfer himself who played golf earlier in the day with Tasker, was thrilled with the prospects of the Turning Stone Resort Championship moving their tournament from the fall to the spring, and was equally excited about the tournament's community outreach and new partnership with the Buffalo Bills.
"Turning Stone is delighted to enter into this partnership with the Buffalo Bills," said Halbritter. "We are pleased to be associated with such a fine organization that has attracted loyal fans from throughout the country during its remarkable history. While The Turning Stone Championship prepares to embark on its fourth year, we look forward to working with the Buffalo Bills in presenting an event that will make all of Upstate New York proud."
Tasker noted that the Bills were impressed with Turning Stone's community outreach endeavors and were interested in regionalizing their franchise and obtaining additional exposure in the Upstate New York market.
"The Buffalo Bills are very excited about this partnership with Turning Stone," said Tasker. "Working with the PGA and Turning Stone gives the Bills a special way to partner with them and gives the region a chance to embrace all three."
The Oneida Nation's Atunyote Golf Club venue, designed by Tom Fazio, has hosted a PGA Tour event for the past three seasons and moved to the summer in order to combat the poor weather they have previously experienced. Begay was complimentary of the course, the staff and volunteers that run the Turning Stone Resort Championship, the amenities for the players and their families, and the efforts of outreach into the Upstate New York community.
"The Resort Championship, as it has grown and developed over the last few years, has really become a benchmark for a lot of other tournaments in the way that it encompasses community outreach initiatives," said Begay, who has his own community foundation, the Notah Begay III Foundation. "I'm very proud to be the ambassador for this event and I speak highly of this venue."
Tasker will be joined by his teammate Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, and eight-time Pro-Bowl offensive lineman Ruben Brown at the Buffalo Bills Pro-Am contest on August 4. The event will pair PGA tour players with amateur golfers from around the area. Fans will have the chance to interact and ask questions during a pre-round Q&A of the Bills participants. The Buffalo Jills Cheerleaders will also be making a special guest appearance to cheer on the golfers.
Regarding playing with Kelly, Tasker jokingly commented, "Jim Kelly my buddy is going to be here, I know I can beat him." Tasker on playing with Ruben Brown, "I can probably beat him, but I'll keep that to myself."
Among the 132 tournament players joining Begay in the Turning Stone Resort Championship are; David Toms, Stuart Appleby, Brad Faxon, Steve Flesch, Stephen Ames, Vaughn Taylor (last year's runner-up), Rocco Mediate, Woody Austin, Chris DeMarco, David Duval and more.
The tournament's purse is $4.0 million with the winner's share at $720,000. Last year's winner was Matt Kuchar.
Spectators at Atunyote throughout Championship week will have the opportunity to enjoy the family-friendly Buffalo Bills Fan Zone, including Bills-related interactive displays. This newly expanded area will also feature other great activities including the CNY PGA Learning Center with hitting nets for fans to work on their golf swing and a nine-hole putting challenge presented by US Kids Golf.
The Turning Stone Resort Championship provides complimentary admission for children 12 and under to attend with a ticketed adult. A special family package offer, featuring two adult tickets, two youth credentials and two kids' meal vouchers along with VIP parking for only $60, is available by calling the Turning Stone box office at 315.361.7469.
For more information on The Turning Stone Resort Championship, log onto www.turningstonechampionship.com.