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    • California native, PGA TOUR rookie Bramlett earns 2011 Northern Trust Open exemption

    California native, PGA TOUR rookie Bramlett earns
    2011 Northern Trust Open Exemption
    Created to advance diversity in professional golf, exemption goes to first
    African-American Q School graduate since 1985

    LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Joseph Bramlett, the first black golfer to advance through the PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament since 1985, was named Monday as the recipient of this year's Northern Trust Open Exemption.

    With the 2011 Northern Trust Open three weeks away, tournament officials announced that Bramlett, a 22-year-old 2011 PGA TOUR rookie from Saratoga, Calif., was chosen from a pool of applicants to receive the exemption, sponsored by Northern Trust (Nasdaq: NTRS). Each year, the Northern Trust Open Exemption provides a playing opportunity for a top golfer who represents the advancement of diversity in golf.  The 2011 Northern Trust Open will be held February 15-20 at the Riviera Country Club. 

    "Joseph is a talented golfer with a bright future.  He's already proving himself as a role model and inspiration to those with a dream of succeeding in professional golf," said Northern Trust Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frederick H. Waddell. "This exemption, unique in professional golf, reflects Northern Trust's long-standing commitment to promoting diversity. We look forward to welcoming Joseph to the 2011 event and following his success throughout his rookie year and beyond."

    Bramlett is third recipient of the Northern Trust Open Exemption (2009 - Vincent Johnson; 2010 - Joshua Wooding), and the first PGA TOUR member to receive the honor.

    "Being a part of the PGA TOUR has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, and to tee it up at historic Riviera Country Club at the Northern Trust Open is going to be a highlight of my rookie season," said Bramlett.  "I am grateful to Northern Trust for this opportunity and would like to thank them for implementing an exemption that further encourages diversity in golf.  I hope my presence on the PGA TOUR and my participation in the Northern Trust Open encourages other African-Americans and minorities to pursue their dreams of competing on golf's highest stage."

    Bramlett began playing golf at the age of 7 and quickly showed an immense talent for the game.  In 2002, at 14 years old, he became the youngest player to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship, and he earned San Jose's Male High School Athlete of the Year honors as a senior at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif.

    In college, Bramlett followed in Tiger Woods' footsteps, attending Stanford University and helping the Cardinal capture its first NCAA title in 14 years.  That same year, he was named to the Golf Coaches Association of American All-Freshman Team.  He earned Second Team All-American honors, was a two-time All-Pac10 Conference selection and was voted captain as a senior, the first African-American to captain the Stanford men's golf team. 

    One week after graduating from Stanford, Bramlett played in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.  He carded rounds of 67-73-69-69-72-68 to finish T16 at the 2010 PGA TOUR Final Qualifying Tournament, becoming the first black golfer to advance through q-school since Adrian Stills in 1985. He is the second-youngest of 35 rookies on the PGA TOUR this season; in his rookie debut at the Sony Open in Hawaii, Bramlett finished T68.

    Now in its third year, the Northern Trust Open Exemption is an extension of Northern Trust's commitment to diversity. Northern Trust has received multiple awards for corporate excellence and diversity, including being named a "Best Company for Working Mothers" by Working Mother Magazine for 19 years in a row, a "Best Company for Diverse Graduates" by Diversity Edge Magazine, a "50 Best Companies for Latinas" by LATINA Style Magazine and one of the top 40 companies for diversity by Black Enterprise magazine.

    Candidates for the 2011 Northern Trust Open Exemption were be identified through a number of sources including the PGA TOUR, PGA of America through the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, Nationwide Tour, The First Tee, World Golf Foundation, USGA and the Bill Dickey Scholarship Association, with additional efforts to include potential recipients of Hispanic and Asian decent through national and international outreach efforts.  Candidates were asked to provide general biographical information, details of their golf accomplishments and an explanation of how they have represented the advancement of diversity in golf.  In order to qualify for the exemption, applicants must have a USGA handicap of zero or better.

    The Northern Trust Open has a long history of promoting inclusion among minorities. In 1952, the tournament welcomed Joe Louis as the first African-American to compete in a PGA sanctioned event. In 2009, the inaugural tournament exemption was named in honor of Charlie Sifford on the 40th anniversary of his victory at the 1969 Northern Trust Open. 

    About the Northern Trust Open
    What started as the Los Angeles Open is now the Northern Trust Open, one of the longest-running tournaments on the PGA TOUR.  Debuting in 1926 at Los Angeles Country Club, the event had been staged at various courses throughout the Los Angeles area before permanently settling at Riviera Country Club in 1973. Outside of the major championships, the Northern Trust Open is the fourth-oldest event on TOUR, trailing only the BMW Championship, the Canadian Open and the Valero Texas Open.  The 2010 Northern Trust Open raised $1.48 million for non-profit organizations in the Los Angeles area, bringing the total generated for Los Angeles charities since the event's inception to nearly $52 million.  For ticket information, visit

    About Northern Trust
    Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of investment management, asset and fund administration, banking solutions and fiduciary services for corporations, institutions and affluent individuals worldwide. Northern Trust, a financial holding company based in Chicago, has offices in 18 U.S. states and 16 international locations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of December 31, 2010, Northern Trust had assets under custody of US$4.1 trillion, and assets under investment management of US$643.6 billion. For 121 years, Northern Trust has earned distinction as an industry leader in combining exceptional service and expertise with innovative products and technology. For more information, visit