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Tennessee Big Shots long-drive event benefiting Niswonger returns to Kingsport Aug 10-12

Following the success of last year’s event, the World Long Drive Association is returning to Cattails at MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort and Convention Center in Kingsport for the Tennessee Big Shots benefiting Niswonger Children’s Hospital, which will air live on  Golf Channel.

The long-drive golf event will take place Saturday-Monday, Aug. 10-12 and feature a Men’s Division and Women’s Division. The qualifying rounds will occur Aug. 10-11, with the finals on Aug. 12 broadcast live on  Golf Channel beginning at 6 p.m. ET.

Tennessee Big Shots is part of the Niswonger Children’s Hospital Classic, a signature golf tournament that attracts top players each year from the PGA, LPGA and PGA Champions tours.

Last year, the free event attracted a standing-room-only crowd of an estimated 2,000 people. More than 100,000 others watched it live on Golf Channel in 66 different countries.

Reigning Tennessee Big Shots Open Division champion Justin James (Jacksonville, Fla.) described it as the “best crowd” of last year’s tour.

“Last year, we had a turnout of thousands of people from throughout the region, and there were even folks who traveled from far away to Kingsport for the inaugural event,” said Alan Levine, chairman and chief executive officer of Ballad Health. “We believe this event showcases the best of our region in front of a nationally televised audience. What a great story for our region!”
Those attending this year’s event can expect expanded viewing options, as well as food trucks, beverages and vendors in the Fan Experience Zone presented by Delta Dental of Tennessee.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have this event back in Kingsport again this year. The spotlight Tennessee Big Shots shines on Kingsport and our region is fantastic! We look forward to the continued success of this event and our partnership with Ballad Health and Niswonger Children’s Hospital,” said Jud Teague, executive director of Visit Kingsport.
Tennessee Big Shots will feature drives 100-plus yards farther than the competitors’ LPGA and PGA Tour counterparts. This will be World Long Drive’s final tour stop of 2019 before the season-culminating Volvik World Long Drive Championship, Aug. 30-Sept. 4 in Thackerville, Okla.

The competition will include 54 men based on World Long Drive rankings, along with up to 18 women. Preliminary rounds will narrow the field down to eight men and four women who will participate in the live broadcast Aug. 12 on Golf Channel.

“Our World Long Drive community was overwhelmed with the enthusiasm from the Kingsport community in fully embracing last year’s inaugural event,” said Matt Farrell, executive director, World Long Drive Association. “We’re eager to continue our partnership with Niswonger Children’s Hospital and Cattails as we gear up to return in August for what has quickly become one of the favorite Tour stops for our hitters.”
The event benefits Niswonger Children’s Hospital, which serves more than 200,000 children in a four-state, 29-county region in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. As the area’s only children’s hospital, Niswonger Children’s Hospital offers more than 20 pediatric subspecialties, including pediatric cardiology, pediatric surgery, pediatric endocrinology and pediatric gastroenterology.

“Niswonger Children’s Hospital is committed to offering the highest quality of care to children and teens, and that’s why we’re so passionate about Tennessee Big Shots and the Niswonger Classic. This event directly benefits the children’s hospital, and in turn, helps the children and families it serves,” said Lisa Carter, chief executive officer of Niswonger Children’s Hospital.

“It also brings local, regional and national attention to the amazing work done every day at the children’s hospital, as well as raises awareness about the multitude of services provided there.”

Meadowview Marriott Conference Resort and Convention Center will serve as the official hotel for competitors and Golf Channel at the event. For more information, visitwww.worldlongdrive.com or www.tennesseebigshots.com.

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Jason Headen