April 26, 2011

Meet John Zimmer, Trivia Challenge Winner

John Zimmer, 43, from Victoria, Minn., is the winner of the Golden Ticket, the grand prize of the Hall of Fame Trivia Challenge competition devised in conjunction with the Champions Tour and the World Golf Hall of Fame. Fans participated via their respective Facebook pages.

The Trivia Challenge, part of the Champions Tour’s 2011 “Come to Play” social media initiative, was a seven-week-long challenge that required fans to answer a series of 10 questions related to Champions Tour history and World Golf Hall of Fame members. Fans were awarded points for choosing the correct answer in the least amount of time. A participant’s best score each week counted towards weekly prizes, while their top three weekly scores counted towards the grand prize — The Golden Ticket — a trip for Zimmer and his guest to the 2011 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in St. Augustine, Fla.

In the Trivia Challenge, Zimmer recorded two weeks of the perfect score of 1000, and one week of 996 to secure the top spot.

The trip also includes airfare, car rental, a three-night stay at the Renaissance Hotel, golf at the Slammer and Squire, practice-round tickets to THE PLAYERS Championship, along with entry into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Zimmer, a 12-handicap golfer, will be joined on this trip of a lifetime by his 75-year-old father, John, who plays to a 17-handicap.

When Zimmer was notified of his win recently it was almost like he anticipated the good news. Zimmer and his Dad had just returned home after attending the Wednesday practice round of The Masters Tournament at Augusta National.

“I got tickets to The Masters through the lottery, so I took my Dad. Seeing the ‘Big Three’ at the Par-3 competition was a highlight for us,” said Zimmer, referring to TOUR legends Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. “To get home and get the call about The Golden Ticket, well, it’s been a great couple of weeks. I guess I’m on a bit of a winning streak.”

When asked about his success in the trivia game Zimmer revealed his strategy.

“Some of the aspects of the game were repetitive,” he said. “The first time I played it I was surprised at how many answers I knew. I Googled and searched for answers and then probably played over 1,000 times, maybe closer to 2,000.”

Finding the time to play was also imperative and Zimmer had flexibility in his work schedule to enable him to do so. Sometimes he played from 8 p.m. until midnight. His wife, Tina, was also extremely supportive of his playing.

“I invited her on the trip when I discovered I’d won and after I explained the details to her she said, ‘If there’s no spa then I’m not interested,’ so she’ll stay home with our boys (sons Andrew, age 7, and Matthew, age 6). I also confided in a few friends during the competition, but didn’t want to share too much in case they outplayed me,” added Zimmer.

Not surprisingly, Tom Lehman, also a Minnesota native and a two-time winner on the Champions Tour this year, is Zimmer’s favorite player.

“I like understanding the personalities of the players,” said Zimmer, who regularly attended the 3M Championship before it moved to TPC Twin Cities in 2001. “Of the current PGA TOUR stars, I really like Bubba Watson. He shows a lot of emotion on the course and in interviews and he reveals his personality and I like seeing that.”

There will be plenty of other things for Zimmer to see on his trip, and he and his Dad will have front-row seats for another unforgettable experience.

“Perhaps seeing some of the things that go on behind the scenes will be the most interesting aspect for me.”

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