Shoal Creek will host Regions Tradition in 2011August 23, 2010
PGA TOUR staff
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Champions Tour announced, along with Regions Financial Corporation, that the Regions Tradition, a major championship on the Champions Tour, will be played at Shoal Creek in May 2-8, 2011. Also present for the announcement was World Golf Hall of Fame member Lee Trevino, winner of the 1984 PGA Championship at Shoal Creek and winner of the 1992 Tradition at Desert Mountain.
The GOLF Channel will televise the tournament exclusively each of the four days to more than 133 countries, reaching more than 117 million households.
"We're very excited to move this major championship to Alabama and Shoal Creek," said Mike Stevens, President of the Champions Tour. "The Greater Birmingham area has embraced and shown tremendous support for the Champions Tour over the years and delivering a major championship to this community was a natural fit. Having the opportunity to conduct the event at Shoal Creek - one of the nations finest golf courses with a proven history of delivering exciting major championships - will propel the Regions Tradition to a new level of major championship status."
After an amendment to the existing agreement between Regions Financial and the Champions Tour, Regions Financial will become the title sponsor of the Regions Tradition, having formerly been title sponsor of the Regions Charity Classic, a Champions Tour event played annually at Robert Trent Jones Trail at Ross Bridge in Hoover, Ala.
"Since 2006, Regions has supported Alabama charities and communities through our partnership with the PGA TOUR and we are pleased to honor our existing commitment while also bringing a Champions Tour Major to Alabama for the first time," said Grayson Hall, President and CEO of Regions Financial. "Most importantly, the tournament will benefit the children and families across the state who rely on Children's Hospital of Alabama -- the primary beneficiary of the 2011 Regions Tradition."
The Regions Tradition will be the first of five major championships on the 2011 Champions Tour season, with a history dating to 1989 when Don Bies won the first Tradition at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz. After 14 years in the Grand Canyon state, the Tradition relocated to Oregon for the next seven years before finding a home at Shoal Creek.
Some of the biggest names in golf, including World Golf Hall of Fame members Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Raymond Floyd, Tom Kite and Tom Watson, are past champions of the Tradition and the field for the Regions Tradition should be exceptional. In fact, Fred Couples, who finished second to Wayne Grady in the 1990 PGA Championship at Shoal Creek, is one of seven winners on the Champions Tour this year who also made the cut in that Championship. Also, around half of the field who made the cut at the 1984 PGA Championship are now Champions Tour members.
"Shoal Creek provided a fantastic test when I won in 1984 and it will be just as challenging for the players at the Regions Tradition next year," said Lee Trevino, winner of 29 Champions Tour events, including the 1992 Tradition. "That was my final win on the PGA TOUR, so I have fond memories of the course."
Shoal Creek is a proven venue that has stood the test of time, having previously hosted two PGA Championships in 1984 and 1990. The 7,234-yard, par 72, Jack Nicklaus designed layout provided three-stroke victories for both Trevino in 1984 and Wayne Grady in 1990.
"Shoal Creek is honored to be hosting another major golf championship," said Tournament Chairman Mike Thompson. "Our members are eager to showcase our outstanding club to golf fans around the world. We will work hard to provide the players, spectators, sponsors and volunteers a first class experience. The Regions Tradition will certainly be well received by the Birmingham community."
The Champions Tour has a significant impact on the communities which host events. The Children's Hospital of Alabama will be the primary beneficiary of charitable contributions generated by the Regions Tradition, encouraging greater community support and participation. It is anticipated the economic impact on the region will be significant due to increased awareness of the tournaments status as a major championship.
"Children's Hospital of Alabama is grateful to Regions and The Champions Tour for designating Children's as the primary charity of the Regions Tradition. Bringing the Regions Tradition to the Birmingham area underscores Regions' commitment to communities throughout Alabama and it will magnify the impact Children's will make on the lives of children and families throughout our state," said Mike Warren, President and CEO.
The Bruno Event Team, the Birmingham, Alabama based events management company, has been hired to manage the event, including sponsorship sales, marketing, volunteers and operational set-up. The tournament website is www.RegionsTradition.com.