Last year, Tiger Woods was the special guest for the first Jackson
About the time of Woods' visit last year, the Times reported in its insiders that Alotian owner Warren Stephens planned to bring in Mickelson, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus in successive years to the annual event.
Part of Woods' visit last year included an exhibition that benefited the First Tee of Central Arkansas and First Tee of Fort Smith, and groups of kids from both along with Alotian members and invited guests (and, yes, the press) were allowed to attend. Woods was sick with a bad head cold, but still handled the exhibition and played a few holes during the golf event before heading out.
Mickelson is the defending Masters champion and a two-time winner at Augusta National, where Warren Stephens is a member and where his father, the late Jack Stephens, was chairman during the 1990s. Mickelson is considered the second best golfer in the world behind Woods.
Here's the press release we received:
2006 MASTERS CHAMPION PHIL MICKELSON HEADLINES JACKSON T. STEPHENS CHARITABLE GOLF TOURNAMENT
Event To Benefit Charities Supported By The Late Jack Stephens
LITTLE ROCK, AR (March 7, 2007) - Warren Stephens, founder and president of The Alotian Club, announced today that defending Masters Champion Phil Mickelson will be this year’s celebrity golfer for the second Jackson T. Stephens Charitable Golf Tournament to be played April 24, 2007 at The Alotian Club. The tournament benefits Arkansas charities supported by the late Jack Stephens.
The tournament and events surrounding it are by invitation only.
A group of children from the Little Rock Air Force Base have been invited to a golf clinic to be conducted by the world’s two-time Masters champion and number two ranked player. Harriet and Warren Stephens have announced a donation on behalf of the Alotian Club will be made to the Mickelson charity program called “Birdies for the Brave.” Each time Mickelson makes a birdie or an Eagle on the PGA Tour, a donation is made to the Phil and Amy Mickelson Charitable Gift Fund to support Homes for Our Troops and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Those funds benefit the families of US military personnel.
In its second year, the invitation only tournament has been described by golf enthusiasts as one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the country. The inaugural event attracted participants from across the nation and raised over $1 million dollars for non-profit organizations in Arkansas that the late Stephens favored.
Entrants play a practice round and are treated to the clinic the morning of the tournament. Mickelson’s clinic will be held at the Alotian Club’s 18th hole and will be devoted to the art of chipping the golf ball.
“I am pleased to announce that Phil has accepted our invitation to attend the Jackson T. Stephens Charitable Golf Tournament. His numerous accomplishments demonstrate his ability to play at the highest level of the game. I know the players who will visit the Alotian Club for our tournament will be thrilled to spend the day with him and will be excited to see him play.”
“I have been overwhelmed by the response to this tournament from my personal friends and colleagues who have supported it. My dad loved golf and the life lessons the game teaches and he also derived tremendous satisfaction from helping others. This tournament allows his philanthropic work to continue as a tribute to his memory while recognizing the love he had for his home state and the game of golf.”