Rice returns as Honorary Chair at Regions Tradition

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Stan Badz/PGA TOUR
Condoleezza Rice played with Tom Watson in a pro-am at the 2011 Regions Tradition.
May 06, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The Honorable Condoleezza Rice has accepted an invitation to return as Honorary Chairperson for the Regions Tradition, a role she performed at last year's event.

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The Regions Tradition, the second major championship of the 2012 Champions Tour season, will be contested June 5-10 at Shoal Creek, near Birmingham, Ala.

Dr. Rice served as the 66th U.S. Secretary of State in the administration of President George W. Bush. She was the first African-American woman secretary of state. Before serving as Secretary of State she was President Bush's national security advisor, the first woman to hold that position.

"The Champions Tour is extremely proud and very fortunate to have Condoleezza Rice return as Honorary Chair of the Regions Tradition. As an avid golfer and Shoal Creek member, her support of this championship is extremely important and it was certainly evident that her presence and involvement last year elevated and enhanced the stature of this major championship," said Mike Stevens, President of the Champions Tour.

Dr. Rice, a native of Birmingham, took up golf in 2005 and joined Shoal Creek as a non-resident member in 2009.

The 20-handicapper played in last year's Regions Tradition pro-am with World Golf Hall of Fame member and fellow Stanford graduate Tom Watson.

"Last year, the Regions Tradition set a fine example of assisting those affected by the devastation of the storms before last year's tournament. I was proud to be part of those efforts and I look forward to serving as the Honorary Chair again this year," Rice said. "The tournament will again make a significant charitable and economic impact in Birmingham and in the state of Alabama and will continue to create enormous interest in the community."

Dr. Rice is currently the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, a professor of political economy in the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a director of its Global Center for Business and the Economy. She has served as a senior advisor to the Board of Directors of Regions Financial Corp., title sponsor of the Regions Tradition, since 2009.

Last year, the Regions Tradition was named by Stevens as the recipient of the Presidents Award, a most prestigious award which captures the criteria of all the Champions Tour's annual awards plus the intangibles that make it stand out from the rest. Children's of Alabama, the tournament's primary charitable beneficiary, was named as the 2011 Champions Tour Charity of the Year. Further kudos came from the readers of Birmingham Magazine who last year voted the Regions Tradition the 'Best Charity Event in Birmingham."

This year, the Regions Tradition will feature a text-to-donate program as another avenue for people to support the tradition of giving. When a donation of $10 is made by texting the word "children" to 50555, people can choose to receive tournament updates.

"The text-to-donate program supports the charitable commitment by Regions Financial and the tournament and provides the community with another way to become involved in the Regions Tradition," said Bill Horton, Regions North Central Alabama Area President. "Children from every county in Alabama and from 47 different states have been treated by the people at Children's of Alabama. This program gives the community an easy way to help children when they need it most. The more support we can get, the more funds we can generate for Children's of Alabama."

Shoal Creek is a proven venue that has previously hosted the 1984 and 1990 PGA Championship, the 1986 U.S. Amateur Championship, the 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and the 2011 Regions Tradition. The 7,234-yard par 72, Jack Nicklaus-designed layout provided a thrilling playoff victory for Tom Lehman at last year's Regions Tradition when he defeated Australian Peter Senior at the second extra hole of sudden death. Lehman went on to win the season-long Charles Schwab Cup and was named 2011 Champions Tour Player of the Year.

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.

The Golf Channel will televise the tournament exclusively each of the four days with a worldwide distribution to more than 186 countries and territories, reaching more than 200 million households.

The tournament website is www.RegionsTradition.com.

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