RENO, Nev. (Aug. 2, 2009) – The Legends at Sparks Marina Reno-Tahoe Open today announced its remaining two sponsor’s exemptions for the 2009 tournament, which starts tomorrow at noon with the first of two Pro-Am tournaments. Robert Gamez and Steve Pate join the existing field of 130 PGA TOUR players to make 132, thanks to the event’s pair of restricted exemptions. Pate is a seven-time winner and Gamez, who hails from Las Vegas originally, has taken home the first-place prize three times on the PGA TOUR. Combined, this year’s Legends Reno-Tahoe Open field has 146 wins under its belt.
With seven professional wins under his belt between 1987 and 1998, six on the PGA TOUR, Steve Pate currently plays the Nationwide Tour. In 1988, Pate won two tournaments in two months starting with the MONY Tournament of Champions in January followed by the Shearson Lehman Hutton Andy Williams Open in February, both by one stroke. Prior to that, he took the Southwest Golf Classic in September 1987 and continued his winning streak through 1998 with the Honda Classic, Buick Invitational of California and the CVS Charity Classic. Pate was named “PGA TOUR Comeback Player of the Year” in 1999.
Born in Las Vegas, Robert Gamez has earned an impressive $8.5 million on the PGA TOUR since his win at the 2005 Valero Texas Open. In 1990, he burst onto the PGA TOUR scene in 1990, winning his first-ever event, the Northern Telecom Tucson Open, a feat accomplished by only three other golfers in the history of the PGA TOUR. His second win proved to be another memorable moment in history when Gamez sunk his second shot from the fairway at the Nestle Invitational at Bay Hill for a one-stroke win. Gamez is also widely recognized for his immense charitable contributions. He created the Robert Gamez Foundation, which hosts the annual Robert Gamez Celebrity Invitational to benefit children’s health and education programs in central Florida.
“These two men are the perfect additions to what was already an outstanding field for the 2009 tournament,” said Michael Stearns, Legends Reno-Tahoe Open tournament director. “With their experience and the number of wins each has under his belt, we extended the exemptions to Robert and Steve because these two golfers have a well-established fan base that people are going to come out to Montrêux to see.”
For more information on this year’s Legends at Sparks Marina Reno-Tahoe Open, including ticket sales, volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.LegendsRenoTahoeOpen.com or contact the tournament office at 775-322-3900.