Stars line up for the Regions Tradition - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

THOMPSON TEES OFF: Stars line up for the Regions Tradition

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The Regions Tradition's field is always very strong and this year is no exception, with 81 players set to tee it up two weeks from today in this major on the Champions Tour for the $2.2 million purse in the second major championship of the season at Shoal Creek. 

This year will mark the first year that Rocco Mediate is eligible to play in the Regions Tradition. Mediate won six times on the PGA Tour, totaling almost $17 million in prize money. He became the 16th player in history to win his Champions Tour debut at the Allianz Championship in February, prevailing by two strokes over Tom Pernice Jr. and Bernhard Langer. After finishing in the top 25 in his first six tournaments this year, he is currently fifth in the Charles Schwab Cup Points standings.

Fellow rookie Esteban Toledo, the most recent winner on the Champions Tour after capturing the Insperity Classic in a three-way playoff in Houston just two weeks ago, will also make his first trip to the Regions Tradition. Toledo, from Mexico, is sixth in the Charles Schwab Cup standings having posted three top-10 finishes in his last three starts.

Another Champions Tour rookie, Steve Elkington, will also make his Regions Tradition debut.  Elkington finished tied for ninth in his first Champions Tour start at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship. He has three top-10 finishes in eight starts this season.  Elkington has 10 PGA Tour victories, including the 1991 and 1997 The Players Championship, as well as the 1995 PGA Championship.

Other first-timers at Shoal Creek for the Regions Tradition include Bart Bryant, Joe Daley, Joel Edwards, Jeff Hart, Dick Mast, Jim Rutledge, Gene Sauers, John Huston, Duffy Waldorf and Willie Wood.

"This year's field is among the best we've had in the three years at Shoal Creek and we are excited to welcome Rocco, Esteban and Steve to Alabama," said Tournament Director John Marovich.  "With almost all of the top 30 on last year's money list already committed, the fans are in for an exciting competition at this year's Regions Tradition."

This year marks the 25th playing of the Tradition and among the Champions Tour professionals committed are Langer, Fred Couples, Mark O'Meara, Nick Price, and two-time defending champion Tom Lehman. As one of the Champions Tour majors, the double Charles Schwab Cup points awarded to the top-10 finishers in the Regions Tradition will be a critical factor in determining the Charles Schwab Cup champion at the end of the season.

Shoal Creek is a proven venue that has previously hosted the 1984 and 1990 PGA Championship, the 1986 U.S. Amateur Championship, the 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, along with the 2011 and 2012 Regions Tradition. The 7,268-yard, par 72, Jack Nicklaus-design is sure to once again provide a great venue.

Some of the biggest names in golf, including World Golf Hall of Fame members Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Raymond Floyd, Tom Kite and Tom Watson, are past champions of The Tradition.

The Golf Channel will televise the tournament all four days.

Players have until 4:00 p.m. on May 31 to officially commit to the tournament. 

Click here a complete list of the field to this point, plus lots more information about the tournament.

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