Guardian Credit Union and Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail to Continue Partnership with Epson Tour through 2026

RTJ Capitol Hill – September 15, 2023

The Epson Tour, Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, and Guardian Credit Union announced today a contract extension for the Guardian Championship. Serving as a title sponsor for the Guardian Championship since 2017, the entirety of its existence, the Guardian Credit Union will continue to support the event through 2026.

"We are thrilled to extend our partnership with Guardian Credit Union and RTJ Golf Trail at Capitol Hill to announce the continuation of the Guardian Championship,” said Epson Tour Chief Business and Operating Officer, Jody Brothers. “We are constantly seeking partners who share our goal of giving our athletes the best opportunities to succeed and pursue their dreams of playing on the LPGA Tour, which is exactly what the Guardian Championship provides.”

The contract extension allows the Epson Tour to continue to add to the list of past Guardian Championship winners, which includes the likes of LPGA Tour members, Maria Torres, Janie Jackson, and Lindsey Weaver-Wright. The Guardian Championship is a crucial tournament in the Race for the Card process, with the event being played towards the end of the season each year. A win at the Guardian Championship can lead to an athlete achieving their dream of competing on the LPGA Tour the next year. To add to the importance of the event and the development of women’s golf, the purse for the Guardians Championship will increase to $225,000 in 2024, $235,000 in 2025, and $250,000 in 2026.

“Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is excited to extend The Guardian Championship and our partnership with Guardian Credit Union, the City of Prattville, and the Epson Tour for an additional three years,” said Sunbelt Golf Corporation CEO Mike Beverly. “Capitol Hill looks forward to another great tournament this year and beyond, as The Trail is proud to continue the tradition of professional women’s golf in Alabama.”

Guardian Credit Union CEO, Heath Harrell.

“Guardian Credit Union is excited to be a part of the Guardian Championship extension, continuing to bring talented golfers to the river region, aiding in the chance to continue their career as a professional golfer,” said Guardian Credit Union CEO, Heath Harrell. “We have enjoyed watching the tournament grow into what it is today and look forward to the continued partnership with Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, the City of Prattville and many others.”

The impact of the Guardian Championship extends outside just the world of golf, and into the overall community in Prattville, Alabama. “It's great to have a dual partnership with Guardian Credit Union and Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill to host the Epson Tournament Guardian Championship,” said Prattville Mayor, Bill Gillespie, Jr. “Being selected to host the many world-class lady golfers in Prattville, Alabama, is a true honor and a testament to the high-caliber golf opportunity in our community.”

At the 2019 Guardian Championship, Gigi Stoll, Jenny Coleman, and Laura Sluman battled it on the final day, with Sluman eventually coming out on top. Now, heading into the 2023 Guardian championship, all three players will be in attendance, with Stoll and Coleman both currently in the Race for the Card Top 10. Sluman is excited about returning to Prattville and for the future of the Guardian Championship.

“Every year I look forward to coming back to the Guardian Championship. It’s my favorite event of the year,” said 2019 Guardian Championship winner, Laura Sluman. “I have one of my all-time favorite golf memories here. Winning this event with my mom on the bag was such an incredible moment that I will cherish forever. I am so grateful to Guardian for their continued support and for giving us the opportunity to compete and chase our dreams. This event is truly special.”

The Epson Tour is the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour, the world’s leading competitive destination for female professional golfers. With the support of entitlement partner Seiko Epson Corporation, the Tour, entering into its 43rd competitive season in 2023, aims to prepare the world’s best female professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. In the last decade, the Epson Tour has grown from 15 tournaments and $1.6 million in total prize money to hosting more than 20 events and awarding $5 million in 2023. With more than 600 graduates and alumnae moving on to the LPGA Tour, former Epson Tour players have won 466 LPGA titles.

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Alabama's Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is the largest golf course construction project ever attempted. The Trail opened in 1992 with eight facilities, the realization of a grand plan by Dr. David G. Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, to diversify the assets of the state’s pension fund and help the state’s economy. Bronner selected Robert Trent Jones Sr., the famed golf course architect, and his company to design the series of courses. The RTJ Golf Trail now features 11 golf locations in Alabama.

Guardian Credit Union was founded in 1958 to provide savings and loan accounts to members of the Alabama National Guard and their families. Over the years, we’ve enjoyed steady growth and expanded our membership. Today, we are a full-service financial institution with membership open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in the 14 counties we serve. Currently, we have branch and ATM locations across Autauga, Butler, Chilton, Coosa, Covington, Crenshaw, Elmore, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Montgomery, Pike, Russell and Tallapoosa counties.

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