Merrill Lynch Open Benefits Cancer Center

Adams Golf Pro Tour Series Set for May 1-4


(Baton Rouge, La.) Spring is officially here and that means the Merrill Lynch Open, presented by the Law Offices of Steven J. Moore, is almost ready to tee off!  Proceeds from this annual event benefit Mary Bird Perkins –Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center by supporting its mission to lessen the burden of cancer. The professional tournament begins Wednesday, May 1 and continues through Saturday, May 4 at Santa Maria Golf Course.

“Twenty-three years ago, community volunteers started this tournament to help make a difference in the lives of local cancer patients,” said Todd Stevens, CEO and president, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “We are so grateful to the volunteers, sponsors and players who have come together to make this deeply meaningful and fun event possible yet again.”

The Merrill Lynch Open is affiliated with the Adams Golf Pro Tours Series and remains the only professional tournament in the Baton Rouge area.  “We have really enjoyed our partnership with the Cancer Center over the last decade. The relationships built by players and staff within the Baton Rouge community is something that has had a great impact,” said Adams Golf Pro Tour Series director, Tyler Wolford. The event has seen several past players move to the next level of professional golf. This includes 2008 champion Dawie Van Der Walt who recently won his first European Tour event March 3 in his home country of South Africa.

This year the stakes are being raised. The Merrill Lynch Open will be the highest guaranteed purse on the Adams Series schedule at $125,000 with a first place prize of $20K. “This is a testament to the Center, tournament sponsors and the city of Baton Rouge on running a quality event,” said Wolford. “We look forward to bringing the pros back to town in early May. Come out and watch some of the future stars on the PGA Tour. Admission is free!”

Other activities held in conjunction with the tournament include the Hillar C. Moore, Jr. Memorial Pro-Am tournament and the Junior Clinic.

The Hillar C. Moore, Jr. Memorial Pro-Am tournament takes place one day before the professional tournament on Tuesday, April 30 at Santa Maria Golf Course. An Adams pro golfer is placed with each sponsored three-man team to play in a “shamble” format Food and cold drinks will be available, along with prizes for holes-in-one, closest to the pin and longest drive. A few sponsorships with pro-am teams are still available.

On Friday, May 3 from 4 – 5 p.m. Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Company, in association with BREC’s The First Tee and Adams Pro Golf Tour Series Professionals, will sponsor a free Junior Clinic at the Santa Maria Golf Course driving range for children 6-16. No reservations are necessary.

For additional information on the Merrill Lynch Open, contact Randy Haddad at (225) 215-1208 or by email at

Mary Bird Perkins—Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center is the most comprehensive cancer center in Louisiana offering patients the convenience of receiving high-quality, advanced care close to home. The Cancer Center is part of the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP), a group of competitively selected cancer centers that is developing a national model for community cancer care.