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Defending Champion Woody Austin Helps Memphis Kick-off Countdown to 2008 Stanford St. Jude Championship
Date:4/4/2008

Top-rated players committed, all-new ticket packages available, as

tournament celebrates 51st year in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 4, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Last year's Stanford St. Jude Championship certainly made a winner out of Woody Austin, who went on to enjoy his best season on the PGA TOUR. But the biggest winner of the week was St. Jude Children's Research Hospital(R), which received a record donation of $1.76 million from the tournament, the largest donation in the 38 years that St. Jude has been the sole beneficiary of the Memphis PGA TOUR event.

Austin was at Target House in Memphis today to kickoff the countdown to the 2008 Stanford St. Jude Championship. Tournament officials also announced several highly ranked player commitments, all-new ticket packages for 2008, and important charitable initiatives to benefit St. Jude.

"It was definitely an honor to win the Stanford St. Jude Championship last year, not only because of the talented field I competed against, but because of the special place this tournament holds in this community's heart and the wonderful charity it benefits," said Austin. "I look forward to returning to Memphis in two months to defend my title."

Austin posted a brilliant final round of 62, the best final round of the year on the PGA TOUR, to claim the 2007 Stanford St. Jude Championship.

Meanwhile, Stanford St. Jude Championship Executive Director Kevin Krisle announced today that in addition to Austin returning as defending champion, PGA TOUR stars Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh, Camilo Villegas and back-to-back Memphis winner David Toms had committed to play in this year's tournament, June 2-8 at TPC Southwind.

"Celebrating our 51st year in Memphis, the Stanford St. Jude Championship has a very rich history," said Krisle. "It is the strong support of the community, as well as the commitment from dedicated sponsors such as Stanford Financial Group and FedEx that make it one of the longest running tournaments on the PGA TOUR. We're excited with the way this year's field is shaping up, and we're looking forward to entertaining our fans with another first-class tournament."

Tickets for the Stanford St. Jude Championship are currently on sale with a number of new ticket options available to fans in 2008, including free admission to the tournament grounds for children 15 and younger when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Discounted tickets, which are available through May 15, include adult One-Day tickets for $20 and $75 for a season ticket. Tickets are available now by visiting http://www.stanfordstjude.com or by calling (901) 748-0534.

In addition, Club Eagle, a redesigned hospitality ticket package, entitles fans to two admissions to the tournament, plus access to an open-air hospitality tent behind the 11th green. The $325.00 package also includes complimentary bottled water and soft drinks, one Lot-X season parking pass, and an Eagles for St. Jude hat, golf towel and bag tag. Most importantly, the Club Eagle package includes a $50 donation to the Eagles for St. Jude program.

Eagles for St. Jude is a program created by Stanford Financial Group during its first year of title sponsorship of the Stanford St. Jude Championship to provide a season-long fundraising component for St. Jude. For each eagle carded on the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour, Stanford donates $1,000 per eagle to Eagles for St. Jude.

PGA TOUR professional Vijay Singh, who serves as the Eagles for St. Jude ambassador, has committed to donate $5,000 for every eagle he makes. He is joined by other individuals, companies and golfers who have made commitments to the program, including golfers Camilo Villegas and Morgan Pressel who have committed $3,000 and $1,000, respectively, for each eagle they make. Eagles for St. Jude is also supported by The Golf Channel, which provides season-long updates and promotional support. More information on the program can be found at http://www.eaglesforstjude.com.

During the press conference, Austin helped officials present gold volunteer recognition pins to several tournament volunteers who have reached a five-year anniversary of more than 25 years of volunteer service. These volunteers included Gallery Marshals Robert Roberts (25 years), Dick Gardner (25), Mark Hunter (25), Brenda Porter (25) Dennis Taylor (25), Jerry Keenum (30) and Robert Laurie (30). Also honored were Olen Steppe (Volunteer Hospitality, 25 years); Ellen Meyer (Mobility-Impaired Spectators, 25); Buddy Johnson (Volunteer Hospitality, 30) and Don Goin (Scoring, 35).

Prior to his Target House visit, Austin stopped at Idlewild Elementary School to witness a demonstration of The First Tee National School Program (NSP) -- an entry-level golf curriculum designed to be a part of elementary school physical education programs. The First Tee National School Program curriculum is based on national physical education standards and utilizes developmentally appropriate golf equipment called SNAG (Starting New At Golf) that is safe and fun for children and beginners. The program also includes character education elements through introduction to The First Tee Nine Core Values(TM) -- honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgment.

NSP curriculum is being taught at 33 Memphis City Schools through the financial support of the Stanford St. Jude Championship. With support from the PGA TOUR and a growing number of tournaments and other sponsors, the National School Program is now being taught in more than 2,000 elementary schools across the nation. It has also established an impressive number of golf industry partnerships that encourage students to pursue their interest in golf and adopt its values beyond the classroom.

During the press conference, Suzanne Hamm, Stanford's Chief Marketing Officer for North America, said: "It's quite an honor to have the Stanford name associated with a tournament so steeped in history and tradition. Our commitment to support St. Jude is what convinced us to become title sponsor of this PGA TOUR stop. The fact that we were able to make a record donation to St. Jude for the 2007 tournament just gives us more incentive to continue to enhance the event and make it one of the top-rated on the TOUR."

The event has witnessed many historic moments (President Gerald Ford's hole-in-one during the 1977 Celebrity Pro-Am, Al Geiberger's record-setting round of 59 in that same year), but since 1970, when St. Jude was named the event's sole charity, the tournament has always been known for its commitment to helping children, ensuring that the tournament's impact on the community lasted well beyond one week each summer.

This June, the event celebrates its 51st year in Memphis, and second-year title sponsor Stanford Financial Group has ensured that the tournament's legacy continues, both on the golf course and in the community.

About Stanford Financial Group

Stanford Financial Group is a privately held global network of independent, affiliated financial services companies led by Chairman and CEO Sir Allen Stanford. The first Stanford company was founded by his grandfather, Lodis B. Stanford in 1932. Stanford's core businesses are private wealth management and investment banking for institutions and emerging growth companies.

The Stanford Financial Group of companies provides private and institutional investors with global expertise in asset allocation strategies, investment advisory services, award-winning policy and equity research, international private banking and trust administration, commercial banking, investment banking, merchant banking, institutional sales and trading, real estate investment and insurance. Stanford has over $43 billion in assets under management or advisement. Stanford Financial has made it a priority to invest in the communities in which it operates across the globe through signature corporate philanthropy initiatives with nonprofit organizations such as St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and countless local and national charities that strengthen communities.

Securities products and services are offered in the United States through Stanford Group Company, member FINRA/SIPC. Stanford Financial Group is not a legal entity, but a registered trademark that encompasses the global network of independent, but affiliated, privately held and wholly owned entities. More information can be found at http://www.stanfordfinancial.com.

About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. For more information, please visit http://www.stjude.org .

About Eagles for St. Jude

Eagles for St Jude is a program created by Stanford Financial Group during its inaugural sponsorship year of the Stanford St. Jude Championship out of the desire to provide a season-long fundraising component for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. For each eagle carded on the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour, Stanford donates $1,000 per eagle to Eagles for St. Jude. In addition, PGA Tour professional Vijay Singh, who serves as the Eagles for St. Jude ambassador, has committed to donate $5,000 for every eagle he makes. He is joined by other individuals, companies and golfers who have made commitments to the program, including golfers Camilo Villegas and Morgan Pressel who have committed $3,000 and $1,000, respectively, for each eagle they make. Eagles for St. Jude is also supported by The Golf Channel, which provides season-long updates and promotional support. More information on the program can be found at http://www.eaglesforstjude.com.


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SOURCE Stanford Financial Group
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