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Regions Tradition is first major championship of 2011 Champions Tour season

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - The Honorable Condoleezza Rice has accepted an invitation to be Honorary Chairperson for the Regions Tradition, the first major championship of the 2011 Champions Tour season, to be contested May 2-8, 2011 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 as Honorary Chair of the Regions Tradition. As an avid golfer and Shoal Creek member, her support adds even more stature to the repositioning of the Regions Tradition," 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 a pro-am in Los Angeles last month with PGA TOUR professional Steve Stricker. Dr. Rice is expected to hit the opening ceremonial tee shot at the Regions Tradition to commence the tournament.

"It is a privilege to serve as the Honorary Chairperson for the Regions Tradition. This major championship is creating enormous interest in the community, and stands to make a significant charitable and economic impact in Birmingham and the state of Alabama," Rice said.

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.

Shoal Creek is a proven venue that has previously hosted the 1984 and 1990 PGA Championship, the 1986 U.S. Amateur Championship and the 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. The 7,234-yard, par 72, Jack Nicklaus designed layout provided three-stroke victories for both PGA Championship winners - Lee Trevino in 1984 and Wayne Grady in 1990.

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. Fred Funk is the defending champion.

The Golf Channel will televise the tournament exclusively each of the four days to more than 133 countries, reaching more than 117 million households.

The Children's Hospital of Alabama will be the tournament's prime charitable beneficiary.

The tournament website is

About The Champions Tour
Collectively, the Champions Tour has the most recognizable and accomplished players in the game with many of its 29 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame competing regularly in its events and numerous other major championship winners among its members. The Champions Tour is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older. Conceived in 1980 as the Senior PGA Tour, it started with just four events and purses totaling $475,000. Points earned in official Charles Schwab Cup events in 2011 will determine the Charles Schwab Cup champion, the season-long competition designed to recognize the Champions Tour's leading player. The Champions Tour's primary purpose is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, protect the integrity of the game and generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays. In 2010, tournaments on all three Tours (PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour) generated $120 million for local charitable organizations, bringing the TOUR's all-time total of charitable contributions to more than $1.6 billion. The Commissioner of the PGA TOUR is Tim Finchem. Mike Stevens is President of the Champions Tour. The PGA TOUR's website is, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.

About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation, with $132 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 100 Index and one of the nation's largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, trust, securities brokerage, mortgage and insurance products and services. Regions serves customers in 16 states across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,800 banking offices and 2,200 ATMs. Its investment and securities brokerage trust and asset management division, Morgan Keegan & Company Inc., provides services from over 300 offices. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at

About Shoal Creek
Shoal Creek is a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, which was established in 1977. It is located in Shelby County, some 15 miles from downtown Birmingham, Ala. Shoal Creek has hosted the 1984 and 1990 PGA Championships as well as the 1986 United States Amateur Championship.

About Children's Hospital of Alabama
The Children's Hospital of Alabama is the only hospital in the state dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children and one of the 10 busiest pediatric medical centers in the U.S. One of only about 45 freestanding acute care hospitals of its kind in the nation, Children's Hospital is home to Alabama's only Level I pediatric trauma center. Children's campus includes the largest pediatric burn center in the Southeast, one of the largest pediatric outpatient centers in the country and a leading pediatric hematology/oncology center and bone marrow transplant program. Although Children's is the primary site for all pediatric educational programs and patient care activities within the UAB Medical Center, Children's Hospital is a private, not-for-profit hospital governed by a volunteer board of trustees. Children's will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2011. Children's experiences an excess of 600,000 outpatient and 14,000 inpatient visits each year.

Mark Williams
Director, Communications, Champions Tour