Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - All you really have to say is Steve Stricker is coming to the Zach Johnson Foundation Classic, and golf fans will know the event has reeled in another marquee player.
The ZJFC hasn't lacked for name-players in its young history, with the likes of Davis Love III, Rickie Fowler and Stewart Cink among the several PGA Tour pros who have played in Johnson's charity event at Elmcrest Country Club.
Now, Stricker is headed to the July 29 Classic. He is the 11th-ranked player in the world, with 12 career Tour wins including a string of three John Deere Classic victories that was snapped by Johnson last July.
Stricker, 46, is Midwest through and through. He grew up in the Madison, Wis., area, and still lives there. He attended the University of Illinois.
He was ranked in the World Top Ten for 157 straight weeks between 2009 and 2012, and was in serious contention for the past weekend's U.S. Open championship after 54 holes. He was Johnson's Ryder Cup teammate last September.
The man Stricker beat by one shot to win the 2011 Deere is returning to the ZJFC. That's long-hitting Kyle Stanley, a 25-year-old who has a Tour victory on his resume.
Joining Stricker and Stanley in this year's field is Mark Wilson, another Wisconsin native. Wilson has five Tour victories, and had two in a four-week span in 2011. He finished third in this year's Arnold Palmer invitational.
Also appearing will be former Iowa/NFL kicker Nate Kaeding, recently retired from football and free to participate in Johnson's event for the first time.
"(Johnson's wife) Kim and I feel so fortunate to have a community that has really wrapped their arms around this event and our Kids on Course program," Johnson said. "We are really looking forward to this year's event and can't wait to announce even more names that will be coming to town."
Tickets for the Pro-Am tourney are available at www.zachjohnsongolf.com. Adult tickets are $20. Kids will get into the tournament free with a ticketed adult. Starting July 1, tickets will be on sale at Cedar Rapids and Marion Hy-Vee food and drug stores and Cedar Rapids and Marion Guaranty Bank locations.
Last year's event raised $1 million for Kids on Course, a pilot program finishing its second year at Van Buren Elementary and Harrison Elementary Schools. The Zach Johnson Foundation fully funds the program and developed it in coordination with the Cedar Rapids Community School District and United Way of East Central Iowa.