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March 18, 2011 > Rice returns to Hayward for Fresh Express Classic

Rice returns to Hayward for Fresh Express Classic

Submitted By TPC Stonebrae, Hayward

Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, the former San Francisco 49ers superstar, will return to Hayward as tournament host of the 2011 Fresh Express Classic and will take another swing at competing on the Nationwide Tour, when the event returns to TPC Stonebrae the week of April 11 to 17.

Rice, who played in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event for the first time as a professional at last year's Fresh Express Classic, will be in the field of 156 on a sponsor's exemption. He will try to make the cut in an event that benefits a variety of nonprofit organizations, including his very own Jerry Rice 127 Foundation.

"I love working with the Nationwide Tour, the players and all the people here at Stonebrae," said the 48-year-old Rice, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last summer. "I can't wait to do it again."

Although he missed the cut, with rounds of 83 and 76, Rice's participation and popularity brought national attention to the Fresh Express Classic. Throughout the week, Rice and the tournament were featured on national sports broadcasts, both TV and radio.

"The reaction was overwhelming," said Rice. "My main goal was to help the tournament be successful and I am happy that we're able to do that again this year."

Rice is particularly fond of the Nationwide Tour as a platform for aspiring golf pros to earn their way to the world stage. The top 25 money winners on the Nationwide Tour automatically qualify for the PGA Tour the following year, as in the case of the previous two winners at TPC Stonebrae - Michael Sim in 2009 and Kevin Chappell in 2010.

His unparalleled work ethic on the football field has been channeled into his competitive desire to play golf on the pro tour, a goal that he has pursued for several years. Rice has participated in numerous celebrity tour events, including the annual "Birdies for Charity Shootout" at this year's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Last year, he competed in the Nationwide Tour event in South Carolina and also participated in a made-for-TV match play tournament with several other sports and entertainment celebrities.

"I've never had something to really challenge me as much as golf," said Rice, who is a member of Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club in Menlo Park, and also practices regularly at TPC Stonebrae. "I love the game."

Rice - who played the better part of 20 season with either the 49ers or Oakland Raiders - holds the NFL records for most TD receptions (197) and total touchdowns (208), and his 22,895 receiving yards is nearly 8,000 more than the next closest player (former Raider Tim Brown).

Part of Rice's excitement about the Fresh Express Classic stems from the Jerry Rice 127 Foundation being the "primary recipient" of the charitable proceeds generated by the event.

Formed in 1994, the Jerry Rice "127" Foundation is designed to support various children's organizations. The relationship with the Fresh Express Classic allows Rice to re-launch his foundation, setting new goals and expanding its outreach. A champion of numerous organizations, Rice has become a national spokesman for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, relating his use and support of chiropractors.

To see Rice, who also garnered more fame in 2006 while part of the "Dancing with the Stars" cast, and the many stars of the Nationwide Tour, you'll need to purchase a daily or weekly grounds pass. Admission, unless otherwise stated, is $10 for a daily grounds pass; $20 for an all-week grounds pass; and free for ages 18 and under with ticketed adult. To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit either www.FreshExpressClassic.com or www.PGATour.com.


Stonebrae Fresh Express Classic schedule of events

Monday, April 11
Practice Rounds, all day
1 p.m. Classic Pro-Am Tournament
(Invitation only)

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

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