Heritage Classic Foundation to Sponsor AJGA Event in Hilton Head, S.C.

The Heritage Classic Foundation, which conducts the PGA TOUR’s Verizon Heritage, has agreed to a three-year sponsorship of the Heritage Junior Championship to be held July 24-27, 2007, at Hampton Hall Club in Bluffton, S.C., the American Junior Golf Association announced Monday.

The 84-player, 54-hole event will feature the nation’s top junior boys and girls, ages 12-18. The first round will be held Wednesday, July 25, with the second and final rounds being played Thursday, July 26 and Friday, July 27, respectively.

In the 13-year history of the event, some of the nation’s top juniors have made the trek to Hilton Head Island. Past champions include Cristie Kerr, Beth Bauer, Virada Nirapathpongporn and Julieta Granada.

"We are excited about our new relationship with the AJGA,” said Steve Wilmot, tournament director for the Verizon Heritage. “Supporting junior golf in our area is just one of the ways we support our mission for the Heritage Classic Foundation. We look forward to another successful AJGA event on Hilton Head Island.”

The Heritage Classic Foundation was formed in 1987 as a 501 (c)(3), not-for-profit organization. It has served as the operational and financial oversight group for the Hilton Head PGA TOUR event as well as the oversight group for the distribution of all charitable funds that have grown from $139,000 in 1987 to $1.9 million in 2006 — more than $15 million in all. The Foundation also supports The Players Amateur and the Verizon Junior Heritage.

The Verizon Heritage, South Carolina’s only PGA TOUR event, is recognized as one of the premier golf tournaments in the country. Played at the famed Harbour Town Golf links in The Sea Pines Resort since 1969, the event has rich history in the lowcountry that continues to flourish year after year. Past champions of the event include Nick Faldo, Hale Irwin, Bernhard Langer, Johnny Miller, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Nick Price, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and the late Payne Stewart. The 39th edition of the Verizon Heritage took place April 9-15.

“The AJGA is very pleased to announce this new agreement with the Heritage Classic Foundation,” said Jason Etzen, AJGA executive vice president of corporate partnerships. “The Foundation has supported our tournament in various ways for several years, but now with its three-year commitment to the event, we will be able to elevate the tournament even more. The Heritage Junior Championship will be a great way for juniors in the Southeast to gain exposure for college golf scholarships.”