Stadion Classic at UGA returning to Athens in 2013

November 21, 2012 Tour staff

ATHENS, Ga. -- The Tour professional golf tournament will be returning to the UGA Golf Course in 2013 and Stadion Money Management has extended its title sponsor agreement, the University of Georgia and the PGA TOUR announced Wednesday.

"I am pleased that the Stadion Classic will return to the UGA Golf Course in 2013," UGA President Michael F. Adams said. "This is a great event for a great cause, and it has been embraced by the Athens community as one of the highlights of the spring. I am grateful to the PGA TOUR for its partnership and support of this event."

The Stadion Classic at UGA will take place April 29-May 5, according to the PGA TOUR.

This will mark the fourth straight year that UGA has hosted the Stadion Classic. The tournament was known as the Athens Regional Foundation Classic from 2006-09. Watkinsville-based Stadion Money Management has been the title sponsor since the event moved to the UGA Golf Course in 2010.

The Stadion Classic at UGA continues to be the only PGA TOUR-sanctioned event that is owned and operated by an institution of higher education. The South Georgia Classic in Valdosta is the only other Tour event played in Georgia.

The tournament will be operated by UGA's Auxiliary Services Division. Net proceeds from the event will benefit the University's need-based scholarship program. Additionally, the Stadion Classic at UGA supports TICKETS Fore CHARITY, which benefits non-profit organizations in communities where PGA TOUR, Tour and Champions Tour tournaments are held.

"Stadion is proud to once again serve as the title sponsor for the Tour's tournament at the UGA Golf Course," said Jud Doherty, the President of Stadion. "The Stadion Classic at UGA has been a tremendous success and a great opportunity to see some of the best golfers in the world compete right here in Athens. The best part is through the TICKETS Fore CHARITY program almost $310,000 over the last three years has been invested in the Athens community. We hope this year local charities will be able to raise even more."

The Stadion Classic at UGA has developed into a showcase for the success of the UGA men's golf program. Twenty-five players with connections to the Bulldogs have teed it up in Athens over the past three years. On the final day the last two years, a Bulldog -- Russell Henley in 2011 and Hudson Swafford in 2012 -- has held the Stadion Classic at UGA trophy. Henley won the 2011 event as an amateur, becoming just the second man in Tour history at that time to do so. He had secured his place in the field with one of the two sponsor's exemptions given to current members of the UGA team with the season's best scoring averages. Swafford won the 2012 tournament by ending with three consecutive birdies, including a hole-out from a greenside bunker with his final shot.

"The Tour is delighted to announce its return to the University of Georgia," Tour president Bill Calfee said. "We've enjoyed a wonderful partnership with the University since making the move to UGA in 2010 and, with their leadership and the support of Stadion Money Management, the tournament continues to grow. The UGA Golf Course has become a real favorite among the players. Having Russell and Hudson win the last two years made for some great storylines and did a lot to energize everyone involved with the Stadion Classic at UGA. We think the Tour has a very bright future in Athens."

Former Bulldogs Henley and Justin Bolli finished third and ninth, respectively, on the 2012 Web.Com Tour money list to earn PGA TOUR cards for 2013.