Lakeland resident Brad Bryant is donating 10 percent of his 2012 winnings on the Champions Tour to Uniting Hearts Fund, partnered with Florida Baptist Children's Home, to help families in their efforts to adopt children.
Bryant, 57, has three top-10 finishes in five tournaments this year, winning $181,470 heading into today's start of the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am at the TPC Tampa Bay.
"We want to be able to build forever families,'' said Bryant, flanked by wife, Sue, and Jerry Haag, president of the Florida Baptist Children's Homes. "We're raising money so people can afford to adopt children. That way, if they come to the Florida Baptist Children's Home and they don't have enough money to adopt a child but they want to, that money will be provided.''
Bryant and his wife adopted a boy, Jamison, who is now 21.
"My oldest son will never share my DNA, but I'm the guy that got up and changed his dirty diapers in the middle of the night," Bryant said. "He's the kid that I had to spank. He's the kid who told me to go jump in the lake. He's my son.''
This year marks the 25th anniversary of a Champions tournament in Tampa, and the 20th consecutive year the tournament is at TPC Tampa Bay, the longest streak on the 2012 Champions Tour schedule.
Dale Douglass won the inaugural tournament in 1988, leading the GTE Suncoast Open wire-to-wire on the way to a two-stroke victory. He turned 50 in 1986 and posted four of his 11 Champions Tour wins in his rookie season on the circuit.
"When you're 50, you have the advantage on everybody in the field," Douglass said. "You are the youngest and you should be playing the best.''
Kirk Triplett hopes Douglass is correct.
Triplett, a three-time winner in 500 career PGA tournaments, turned 50 on March 29, and this is his first eligible event on the Champions Tour.
"Hopefully, I can break some of the barriers that I couldn't break through on the regular tour,'' Triplett said. "Maybe I can do it out here, but there are a lot of guys in the same boat. Let's be honest, those guys were beating me 20 years ago, so I'll have to do something different or it's going to turn out the same way.''