Memphis' 2009 TOUR stop renamed St. Jude ClassicMarch 19, 2009
PGA TOUR staff
This summer's PGA TOUR event in Memphis will be called the St. Jude Classic (SJC), tournament officials announced Thursday. The event, formerly called the Stanford St. Jude Championship, will be played June 8-14, 2009 at TPC Southwind.
"Our focus is on producing a great PGA TOUR event for golf fans of the Mid-South and raising awareness and funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital," said Wes Kraker, president of Children's Champions for Hope, Inc., the tournament's host organization. "We have lots of work to do, but with the continued help from a dedicated group of volunteers and strong support from the community, we will succeed."
David L. McKee, chief operating officer and interim CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude, said: "Since St. Jude became the sole beneficiary of the Memphis PGA TOUR event in 1970, we have improved the survival rate of the most common form of childhood leukemia from less than 50 percent to 94 percent. That incredible progress is possible only because of generous supporters who believe in our mission. In the PGA TOUR, we have such a supporter and we are immensely pleased to continue this relationship as we strive for the day when no child will die in the dawn of life."
Rick George, PGA TOUR Chief of Operations, said: "The PGA TOUR has been part of the fabric of the Memphis sports scene since 1958 and we look forward to returning in June. We are confident that with the continued support of our fans and the Memphis corporate community, along with the volunteers and the leadership of Children's Champions for Hope, the tournament will deliver another significant fundraising effort for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital."
Ryder Cup hero Justin Leonard will be back to defend his crown at the SJC, which is being played the week prior to the U.S. Open for the third straight year.