Want to play in the Northern Trust Open?

If you know someone who’s looking for a break on the golf scene, check out the qualifications to earn an exemption into the Northern Trust Open. The PGA Tour event is Feb. 17-20 at Riviera Country Club.

Northern Trust Open continues advancement of diversity in professional golf
Application process begins for 2011 Northern Trust Open Exemption

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – As part of an effort to promote and increase diversity in professional golf, the application process for the 2011 Northern Trust Open Exemption opens on Monday, November 1. The annual exemption, sponsored by Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS), provides the opportunity for a top golfer who represents the advancement of diversity in golf and wouldn’t otherwise be eligible to compete in the 2011 Northern Trust Open, which will be held February 15-20 at the historic Riviera Country Club.

Now in its third 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 19 years in a row, a “Best Company for Diverse Graduates” by Diversity Edge Magazine, a “50 Best Companies for Latinas” by LATINA Style Magazine and one of the top 40 companies for diversity by Black Enterprise magazine.

Northern Trust Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frederick H. Waddell said, “At Northern Trust, diversity is integrated into our core business strategy. Recognizing, valuing, understanding and celebrating diversity – in clients, employees and communities – is part of what we do and who we are at Northern Trust. With this exemption, our goal is to continue to support and expand diversity in professional golf.”

Candidates for the 2011 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, Nationwide Tour, The First Tee, World Golf Foundation, USGA and the Bill Dickey Scholarship Association, with additional efforts to include potential recipients of Hispanic and Asian decent through national and international outreach efforts.

Candidates should apply via the tournament’s Web site (www.northerntrustopen.com) when the application process begins on November 1. Entries must be received by January 14, 2011. The application requires general biographical information and details on the applicant’s golf accomplishments. The candidates are also asked to explain how they have represented the advancement of diversity in golf. In order to qualify for the exemption, applicants must have a USGA handicap of zero or better. The winner will be announced at Northern Trust Open media day on Monday, January 24.

Previous Northern Trust Open Exemption recipients include Vincent Johnson (2009) and Joshua Wooding (2010).

The Northern Trust Open has a long history of promoting inclusion among minorities. In 1952, the tournament welcomed Joe Louis as the first African-American to compete in a PGA sanctioned 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.

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About Jill Painter

Jill Painter is a sports columnist for the Los Angeles News Group, covering everything from the Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, USC, UCLA, Kings, golf and all human interest stories in sports.