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Padres sponsor PGA event at Torrey Pines 

SAN DIEGO — Since becoming CEO of the Padres, Jeff Moorad has often preached the importance of giving back to the San Diego community.

On Wednesday, the Padres announced a partnership with the Century Club of San Diego to become a regional sponsor of the PGA's Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, an event that begins next week.

The Padres will underwrite military appreciation activities during the tournament, which starts on Jan. 28.

The Padres' new relationship is centered on the tournament's military events, including sponsorship of the Military Appreciation Pavilion, participation in the Military Luncheon and support of the Military Pro-Am.

"I take our community involvement seriously and this is a step toward that," Moorad said.

The pavilion, located on the 14th green, has served as a popular free venue for military members attending the tournament and is open only to active duty military and their families.

All of the proceeds from any Padres merchandise sold at the tournament will be donated to the San Diego Fisher House.

The Fisher House, which is located at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, serves as a home away from home for families who are coping with the medical crisis of those who have served his/her country and have no local accommodations.

On Wednesday, the Padres Foundation donated the first $5,000 to the facility. That check was presented by Padres closer Heath Bell and Hall of Fame broadcaster Jerry Coleman.

"The Padres stepped up in a huge way," said Tom Wornham, the president and general chairman of the Century Club, noting PGA approval was needed for a regional sponsor.

Moorad, team president and COO Tom Garfinkel, Wornham, Tom Wilson, the executive director of the Century Club and rear admiral William French, the commander of the Navy Region Southwest, were in attendance Wednesday during a press conference at PETCO Park.

In conjunction with the military sponsorship, the Padres will extend and expand their military recognition efforts during the 2010 season.

Military appreciation pricing will be in effect for all games as it was in 2009. The Padres will continue to honor the military during Sunday home games — players will wear camouflage uniforms, the Marine recruits will be recognized and, new this season, military personnel in uniform will receive a 50 percent discount on tickets.

"In this new and unique endeavor, the San Diego Padres are continuing their long legacy of a strong commitment to the San Diego community," Moorad said. "This golf tournament has long been part of the fabric of San Diego, providing needed resources to many charities and recognizing and rewarding thousands of military families in our area. We are proud to link our brand to this jewel event in San Diego."

San Diego native Phil Mickelson, a three-time champion of the event, will make his 2010 PGA Tour debut at the Farmers Insurance Open.

"Being a San Diegan, I am a huge Padres fan," Mickelson said in a statement. "So when I heard about the partnership between the Padres and the Century Club, I couldn't have been more excited.

"It encourages me and shows me what a class organization the San Diego Padres are. I appreciate the Century Club for all they have done over the years in making the San Diego Open such a huge success. I hope to see all the Padres fans and golf fans out at Torrey Pines this year."



About the author: Steve Adler

Steve is the founder of the Friarhood