LOS ANGELES, Calif. – As part of an effort to promote and increase diversity in professional golf, the application process for the Northern Trust Open Exemption is now underway. The annual exemption, created and sponsored by Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS), provides an opportunity for a top golfer who represents the advancement of diversity in golf and wouldn’t otherwise be eligible to compete in the 2015 Northern Trust Open, to be held February 18-22 at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Now in its seventh year, the Northern Trust Open Exemption is an extension of Northern Trust’s commitment to diversity. Northern Trust has received multiple awards for corporate excellence and diversity, including being named a “Best Company for Working Mothers” by Working Mother Magazine for 20 years, a “Best Company for Diverse Graduates” by Diversity Edge Magazine, a “50 Best Companies for Latinas” by LATINA Style Magazine and one of the “40 Best Companies for Diversity” by Black Enterprise magazine.

“We are pleased to once again support the Northern Trust Open Exemption as a way to highlight our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion. Since beginning this exemption in 2009, we have extended playing privileges to top minority golfers who would not otherwise be eligible to compete in the tournament,” Northern Trust Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frederick H. Waddell said.“The Northern Trust Exemption promotes inclusion in golf and is consistent with how we do business at Northern Trust, where diversity is integral to our business model.”

Candidates for the 2015 Northern Trust Open Exemption will be identified through a number of sources including the PGA TOUR, PGA of America through the PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, Web.com Tour, The First Tee, World Golf Foundation, USGA and the Bill Dickey Scholarship Association, with additional outreach efforts to potential recipients of Hispanic and Asian descent both in the United States and internationally. Candidates are asked to provide general biographical information, details of their golf accomplishments and an explanation of how they have represented the advancement of diversity in golf. In order to qualify for the exemption, applicants but have a USGA handicap of zero or better.

Candidates can now apply via the tournament’s Web site (www.northerntrustopen.com). Entries must be received by January 12. The winner will be announced on January 19.

Previous Northern Trust Open Exemption recipients include Vincent Johnson (2009), Joshua Wooding (2010), Joseph Bramlett (2011), Andy Walker (2012), Jeremiah Wooding (2013) and Harold Varner III (2014).

The Northern Trust Open has a long history of promoting inclusion among minorities. In 1948, the tournament welcomed Bill Spiller and Ted Rhodes as the first African-Americans to play in a sponsored PGA TOUR event. In 2009, the inaugural tournament exemption was named in honor of Charlie Sifford on the 40th anniversary of his victory at the 1969 Northern Trust Open.

For more information, visit www.northerntrustopen.com.


Graham J Gordon, The Editor and Owner, GolfblogspotUK

The GolfblogspotUK website is owned and run by former Walker Cup player and European Tour card holder, Graham J Gordon, from Scotland, the Home of Golf. The owner is a golf fanatic who had to retire early from competitive tour play due to a back injury that required surgery. Graham wishes to share his knowledge and own experiences of the game with the GolfblogspotUK community and to receive your feedback on all aspects of the sport. Graham has been playing the game for over 20 years and received a great deal of pleasure from the sport. He has met several friends and visited many different places around the world, thanks to playing the great game of golf. Time to put a little back into the game to help others.

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