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RBC and RCGA name Mike Weir Foundation as national charity partner for RBC Canadian Open

Mike Weir Charity Classic to be held Monday of RBC Canadian Open tournament week; RBC expands relationship with Canadian golf icon; PGA TOUR stars confirm their intent to compete for Canada's national Open championship

March 9, 2009

Toronto, Ont. (RCGA) — RBC and the Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA) today announced the Mike Weir Foundation as a national charity partner for the RBC Canadian Open, welcoming the inaugural Mike Weir Charity Classic to the lineup of tournament week activities for the RBC Canadian Open, July 20-26 at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont.

The Mike Weir Charity Classic will take place on Monday, July 20 at Glen Abbey Golf Club. The high-profile charity fundraiser will feature marquee celebrities from the music, sports and entertainment industries including two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash as well as several notable players on the PGA TOUR. This star-studded event will be a true highlight of event week.

"A critical component of our being title sponsor of the RBC Canadian Open is to ensure we are generating charitable legacies in our communities," said Gordon M. Nixon, RBC president and CEO. "Creating the Mike Weir Charity Classic during tournament week is an important step towards this objective and will help improve children's wellness across Canada."

The Mike Weir Foundation supports numerous worthwhile causes in support of the physical, emotional and educational welfare of children. All net proceeds from the Mike Weir Charity Classic will benefit children's charities through the Foundation.

"Supporting children's wellness is the main goal of the Mike Weir Foundation and I am pleased to have RBC and the RCGA as partners in realizing this vision," said Mike Weir. "I'm looking forward to the RBC Canadian Open and hosting the Charity Classic. It's for a great cause and part of the RBC Canadian Open's commitment to the community. It'll be a lot of fun."

The opportunity to add a philanthropic component to the RBC Canadian Open aligns with the RCGA's and RBC's long term strategic plan for the event.

"We are extremely proud to partner with the Mike Weir Foundation and welcome the Mike Weir Charity Classic to tournament week of the RBC Canadian Open," said Scott Simmons, RCGA Executive Director and CEO. "Adding a significant charitable element to Canada's national Open championship is a major focus of our strategic vision for the event and together with RBC, we feel that aligning our philanthropic efforts with the Mike Weir Foundation is an ideal fit and to be in a position to announce the type of talent we have secured is very fulfilling for everyone involved."

As part of today's announcement, RBC also announced it is expanding its marketing relationship with Mike Weir to include all of its financial service categories. Last week, RBC announced it had established a relationship with Stephen Ames and his foundation's work with youth in Canada and Trinidad and Tobago.

"Building partnerships with some of the most recognizable players on the PGA TOUR helps us enhance the RBC Canadian Open and drives our business objectives," said Jim Little, RBC Chief Brand and Communications Officer. "We want to leverage our deepening role in golf to build brand experiences for our clients and golf fans in Canada as well as enhance brand awareness for RBC in the U.S. and internationally. In partnership with the RCGA, the PGA TOUR and other sponsors, we are revitalizing the RBC Canadian Open and restoring it to its rightful place as one of the premier stops on the PGA TOUR."

Following the conclusion of the 2008 RBC Canadian Open, officials from RBC and the RCGA sat down as part of its ongoing dialogue with Team Weir to discuss the concept of adding a new event that would address two key objectives. Beyond simply raising charity dollars, the intent was to formalize the role Weir could play in helping to engage fellow PGA TOUR players to support the philanthropic mission of The Mike Weir Foundation, while helping to enhance the Field of the RBC Canadian Open.

Led in part by Weir's input, rapport and dialogue with his peers, the RBC Canadian Open is thrilled to announce that marquee names have already committed to play in the Mike Weir Charity Classic and challenge for the 100th playing of Canada's national Open championship, July 20-26 at Glen Abbey Golf Club. The following collection of emerging PGA TOUR superstars, world-class international players and proven veterans will be in attendance:

Anthony Kim

  • Two-time PGA TOUR winner
  • 2008 Ryder Cup hero

Trevor Immelman

  • 2008 Masters champion
  • Two-time PGA TOUR winner

Camilo Villegas

  • 2008 TOUR Championship winner
  • Two-time PGA TOUR winner

Luke Donald

  • Two-time PGA TOUR winner
  • Two-time Ryder Cup team member

Fred Couples

  • 15-time PGA TOUR winner, 5-time Ryder Cup team member
  • 4-time President's Cup team member, 2009 President's Cup Captain

Mark Calcavecchia

  • 13-time PGA TOUR winner
  • 2005 RBC Canadian Open champion
  • 4-time Ryder Cup team member

Stephen Ames

  • Three-time PGA TOUR winner
  • 2006 The PLAYERS Championship winner

Chez Reavie

  • 2008 RBC Canadian Open champion

Mike Weir

  • Eight-time PGA TOUR winner
  • 2003 Masters champion
  • 4-time President's Cup team member
  • 2009 inductee into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame

Additional PGA TOUR players and notable celebrities taking part in the Mike Weir Charity Classic will be announced in coming months as the 2009 RBC Canadian Open shapes up to be one of the highest profile events in recent history.

ABOUT THE 2009 RBC CANADIAN OPEN
An exciting new era has arrived for Canada's national championship. Part of the FedEx Cup, stars of the PGA TOUR will compete for $5.1 million (US) at the RBC Canadian Open, July 20-26 at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario. Established in 1904, the tournament is the third-oldest national open golf championship worldwide next to the British Open and the U.S. Open. The RBC Canadian Open is proudly sponsored by RBC, Bell, Pengrowth and BMW Group Canada. For updated corporate hospitality, tickets, volunteer and sponsorship information please visit www.rbccanadianopen.ca or call
1-800-571-OPEN.

RBC AND THE RBC CANADIAN OPEN
In partnership with the Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA), RBC is the title sponsor of the RBC Canadian Open, the third oldest national golf championship worldwide, next only to the British Open and the U.S. Open. With a history of great players and premier fields, the RBC Canadian Open provides golf fans with the opportunity to experience the excitement of a world class event on Canadian soil. RBC also sponsors all levels of amateur sport, from grassroots programs in local communities to national sport organizations and elite-level athletes.

ABOUT THE ROYAL CANADIAN GOLF ASSOCIATION
The Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA) is the governing body of golf in Canada, representing 377,000 members at 1,600 clubs across the country. Recognized by Sport Canada as the National Sports Organization (NSO) for golf in this country, the RCGA's mission is to grow participation in and passion for the sport while upholding the integrity and traditions of the game. The RCGA conducts programs and services to help shape the future of golf in Canada. High performance athlete development, CN Future Links, Canada's national junior golf program, turfgrass and environmental research, the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, Rules of Golf and amateur status, handicapping and course rating are only some of the initiatives the association leads for golf in Canada. In addition, the RCGA conducts Canada's most prestigious golf championships. The RBC Canadian Open and CN Canadian Women's Open attract the best professional golfers in the world, while regional junior and national amateur championships showcase the best in Canadian golf.

For further information on what the RCGA is doing to support golf in your community please visit www.rcga.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Dan Pino
Director, Media and Public Relations Manager,
Royal Canadian Golf Association
t: 905-849-9700 ext. 406
c: 416-434-5525 (cell)
e: dpino@rcga.org

Jackie Braden
Media Relations, RBC
t: 416-974-2124
c: 416-318-7950 (cell)
e: Jackie.braden@rbc.com


 



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03/09/2009 11:50:35