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Nature Valley Becomes New Title Sponsor of Pebble Beach Event

Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach2011 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach will be held in early July

MONTEREY, Calif. – The PGA TOUR’s Champions Tour, The First Tee and Monterey Peninsula Foundation announced Monday that Nature Valley®, a General Mills brand, will be the new title sponsor for the annual tournament at Pebble Beach. Traditionally held Labor Day weekend, this year’s Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach moves to July 8-10.Entering its eighth year, this unique event features The First Tee participants and amateurs competing side-by-side with Champions Tour players at the renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links and Del Monte Golf Course. The Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach serves as a showcase for The First Tee, a youth development organization dedicated to impacting the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through-golf.

“The Champions Tour is thrilled to welcome General Mills and its Nature Valley brand as title sponsor of the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach,” said Mike Stevens, President of the Champions Tour. “This is one of our players’ favorite events, showcasing the best of the Champions Tour and outstanding young people from The First Tee program.”

“Nature Valley is pleased to continue its long-standing relationship with the PGA TOUR and provide support for The First Tee event,” said Jon Nudi, President, General Mills Snacks Division. “We are also very excited to expand our relationship with The First Tee and help them advance their terrific initiatives.”

The 2011 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach will air on Golf Channel all three days. Ted Schulz is the defending champion, claiming his first career victory on the Champions Tour at Pebble Beach last year. Past champions include major championship winners Hale Irwin, Jeff Sluman, Craig Stadler and Scott Simpson.

“This tournament has been an incredibly important vehicle for The First Tee over the years, both in terms of creating an occasion for some of our most deserving participants to earn an opportunity of a lifetime, and the stage it provides to share participant stories and the mission of The First Tee,” said Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., CEO of The First Tee. “We are delighted that Nature Valley will come in as a multi-year title sponsor of the event, and thank them for their commitment to the event and to The First Tee. We’ve had the pleasure of working with them in years’ past and are excited to have this partnership as we launch our Nine Healthy Habits program curriculum.” 

“Nature Valley is a perfect fit for The First Tee Open at Pebble Beach,” stated Monterey Peninsula Foundation Vice Chairman Peter Ueberroth. “The folks at General Mills care about wholesome, healthy kids as much as we do and they embrace the Core Values that The First Tee is instilling in the next generation … as well as the new Nine Healthy Habits initiative.”
 
“We are thrilled they have decided to support this event and we look forward to a successful partnership well into the future,” added Board Chairman Clint Eastwood.

The tournament sponsorship expands Nature Valley’s involvement with the PGA TOUR. An official marketing partner of the PGA TOUR since 2000, Nature Valley is the “Official Natural Energy Bar of the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour.” Since entering the marketing partnership, Nature Valley has expanded its involvement through PGA TOUR-themed promotions, sampling opportunities at more than 35 tournaments and other PGA TOUR-related outlets each year, the PGA TOUR Caddy Hat Program and, most recently, the introduction of the “Nature Valley Amateur,” a series of national amateur golf events at 20-plus of the TOUR’s TPCs.

For more information or to purchase tickets for the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, please visit http://www.thefirstteeopen.com/.

About Monterey Peninsula Foundation
Monterey Peninsula Foundation (MPF) is a charitable foundation which disburses funds from the proceeds of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the PGA TOUR and the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach on the Champions Tour.  MPF focuses on improving the quality of life in Monterey County and surrounding areas. Since the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am came to the Monterey Peninsula in 1947, over $86 million has been raised for charity.
In 2004 the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach was introduced to serve as a showcase for The First Tee whose global mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.

About General Mills
One of the world’s leading food companies, General Mills operates in more than 100 countries and markets more than 100 consumer brands, including Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, Progresso, Yoplait, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills had fiscal 2010 global net sales of US$16 billion, including the company’s $1.2 billion proportionate share of joint venture net sales.

About Nature Valley
Nature Valley created the granola bar category in 1975 and brings great taste to active consumers looking for wholesome snacks. Nature Valley offers seven great-tasting granola snacks: Crunch Granola Bars, Sweet & Salty Nut Granola Bars, Chewy Trail Mix Bars, Granola Thins, Yogurt Granola Bars, Roasted Nut Crunch Bars, and Granola Nut Clusters. Nature Valley is also the Official Natural Granola Bar of the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour, the United States Ski and Snowboarding Association, Nature Valley NASTAR, Cross Country Ski Areas Association, Vail Resorts, Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday. In addition, Nature Valley is a sponsor of the Nature Valley Grand Prix and the National Parks Conservation Association.

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 www.pgatour.com, the No. 1 site for golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

About The First Tee
The First Tee (www.thefirsttee.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. With its home office at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., The First Tee reaches young people on golf courses, in schools and on military installations.   

Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has introduced the game of golf and its values to more than 4.7 million participants in all 50 United States and four international locations. The First Tee is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation and its Founding Partners are LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the USGA. President George W. Bush serves as honorary chair.

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Media Contacts
Chris Smith, PGA TOUR, (904) 273-3379, csmith@pgatourhq.com           
Mark Williams, Champions Tour, (904) 273-5058, mwilliams@pgatourhq.com
Lisa Tomassen, General Mills, (763) 293-2761, Lisa.Tomassen@genmills.com
Monique Smith, The First Tee (904) 940-4314, msmith@thefirsttee.org

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