Regions Tradition to remain in Shelby County
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer
BIRMINGHAM — Shelby County will play host to the Regions Tradition until at least 2018, the PGA Champions Tour and Regions Financial Corporation announced in a press conference March 18.
The two entities announced a five-year extension between Regions and the event, which came to Alabama in 2011 after a 14-year run in Arizona.
“Over the years, the Regions Tradition has been much more than a world-class golfing event,” Regions Chairman, President and CEO Grayson Hall wrote in a release. “It’s also been a source of community pride, supported numerous charities and generated millions in economic impact. Regions is pleased to partner with the Champions Tour and keep this major championship in the Birmingham area for years to come.”
Champions Tour President Mike Stevens said at the conference the players were excited about the announcement as well.
“I can tell you it was met with much enthusiasm,” he said. “This has become one of the favorite events on the Champions Tour. The players really like to come here each and every year.”
Stevens went on to say that the prestige of the event drew many of the Champions Tour favorites to the area.
“This tournament will see the best field all year,” he said. “All of our top players will be here. We’re excited to continue this tenure here.”
It was also announced that the event will be hosted at Shoal Creek in 2014 and 2015, but will move to Greystone for 2016-2018.
“I look over at this banner on the wall, and it says ‘Regions 360,’” Stevens said. “When you think about where we’re going with the event, we’ve pretty much come 360 (degrees). Champions Tour golf started here in Birmingham at the Greystone Country Club.”
The event started out as a one-year event at Shoal Creek, but after the success of the first event, has been a reoccurring event at the course.
Shoal Creek president Mike Thompson said he and the staff were looking forward to the rest of their tenure as host.
“Shoal Creek has really enjoyed our partnership,” he said. “(We’re) excited to host two more Regions Traditions. We know Greystone will do fantastic job carrying on this tradition.”
Greystone president Dr. Jeff Clinton said Greystone will undergo renovations in preparation for the event.
“We’re thrilled to host a major championship at Greystone,” he said. “We know there’s a lot to do to get ready. We will be upgrading our facility and our golf course.”
The 2014 edition of the Regions Tradition will be held May 14-18, where defending champion David Frost will look to repeat as winner of the event.