JACKSON — The Viking Classic not only brought some of the biggest names on the PGA TOUR and as many as 50,000 golf fans to Annandale Golf Club in Madison, but, according to estimates by the tournament director, the event also had an economic impact of nearly $20 million on the state.
In addition, more than $500,000 was raised for Mississippi charities, thanks to two sold-out cooking demonstrations that featuring title sponsor Viking Range of Greenwood and renowned Chef Emeril Lagasse.
Bill Haas prevailed inside the ropes, carding a 15-under-par 273 for his second victory of the year. The win earned the son of former Tour winner Jay Haas a $648,000 piece of the $3.6-million purse as well as a full Viking Range kitchen.
Haas’ triumph also came against what many are calling the most impressive field the event has ever drawn. Major championship winners John Daly, David Duval, Lee Janzen, Trevor Immelman, David Toms and Steve Elkington made the trip to the Magnolia State for the event, which was the first of the Tour’s 2010 Fall Series. Other notable players included Henrik Stenson, Rocco Mediate, Boo Weekley, Woody Austin, Chris DiMarco and former winners of the event, Chad Campbell and Heath Slocum.
The Viking Classic was the second professional golf event to come to Mississippi this season. Last spring, the PGA’s Champions Tour hosted its inaugural Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic at Fallen Oak in Biloxi. Both events are slated to return to Mississippi next year.