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Three-time major winner Phil Mickelson has tied for fifth in this year's Masters and tied for 18th in the U.S. Open. (How/Getty Images)

Stage set for alternate to gain trip to 26th PGA Grand Slam of Golf

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With U.S. Open Champion Tiger Woods out for the year, an alternate berth among past major champions has opened up. Phil Mickelson currently leads the Major Champions Points List, with Retief Goosen and Mike Weir second and third.

Check out the 2008 Major Champions Points List

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- U.S. Open Champion Tiger Woods' injury departure from the remainder of the 2008 golf season has opened up an alternate berth among past major champions for the 26th PGA Grand Slam of Golf, Oct. 13-15, at Mid Ocean Club in Bermuda.

Phil Mickelson, winner of the 2005 PGA Championship and the 2004 and 2006 Masters, currently leads the Major Champions Points List to fill Woods' vacancy with 126.8 total points. Retief Goosen, winner of the 2001 and 2004 U. S. Open, is next with 114.5, followed by Mike Weir, the 2003 Masters Champion, with 108.5.

Mickelson moved to the top of the list after tying for fifth in this year's Masters and share of 18th in the U.S. Open. With Masters Champion Trevor Immelman already earning one berth in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, the remaining spots will be determined at the British Open at Royal Birkdale in Lancashire, England, July 17-20, and the 90th PGA Championship, Aug. 7-10, at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township, Mich.

In addition, should a player win more than one major championship this season, the foursome will also be completed through the Major Champions Points List.

The Major Champions Points List system assigns point values based on a player's finish in the current year's major championships. The point system awards 100 points for a second-place finish in major event, 92 for 3rd, 85 for 4th, 79 for 5th, 74 for 6th, 70 for 7th all the way through 70th place, which receives four points.

Since its origin in 1991, the Major Champions Points List has produced many standout "alternates" who answered the call for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Those players' performances follow:

1994: Greg Norman, winner of the 1986 and '93 British Open, capitalized with a bogey-free closing 66 to beat good friend Nick Price who won the British Open and PGA Championship.

1998: Tiger Woods, winner of the 1997 Masters, won the PGA Grand Slam of Golf by defeating Vijay Singh at match play. Woods earned his berth in the field as good friend Mark O'Meara won the Masters and British Open.

1999: Davis Love III, winner of the 1997 PGA Championship, replaced the late Payne Stewart, and finished runner-up to Woods.

2000: Tom Lehman, winner of the 1996 British Open Champion, along with Paul Azinger, the 1993 PGA Champion, completed the foursome as Woods won the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship.

2002: Davis Love III and Justin Leonard, winner of the 1997 British Open, completed the PGA Grand Slam of Golf field joining Woods, who won the Masters and U.S. Open; British Open Champion Ernie Els was unable to compete due to a scheduling conflict.

2005: Multiple major Champion Vijay Singh rounded out the foursome as Woods won the Masters and British Open.

2006: Jim Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open Champion, and Mike Weir, the 2003 Masters Champion, completed the field when Woods won the British Open and PGA Championship; and 2006 Masters Champion Mickelson was unable to compete due to ending his competitive season early.

2007: New father Woods concluded his competitive season early, allowing Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open Champion, to complete the field in Bermuda.

The PGA Grand Slam of Golf purse is $1.35 million, with the winner receiving $600,000; second place $300,000; third place $250,000; and fourth place $200,000.

A limited amount of tickets and corporate hospitality opportunities are available to witness golf's major Champions compete for the title Champion of Champions and may be purchased by calling either 800-PGA-GOLF (800-742-4653) or (561) 624-7601, or by visiting www.PGA.com or www.pgagrandslamofgolf.com.

The 26th PGA Grand Slam of Golf will be hosted by the Bermuda Department of Tourism, Mid Ocean Club and the Fairmont Southampton Hotel.

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Since 1916, The PGA of America's mission has been twofold: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, the Association enables PGA Professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the $76 billion golf industry. By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable golf promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere.

The PGA of America also conducts four professional golf events: the PGA Championship, Ryder Cup, Senior PGA Championship and PGA Grand Slam of Golf. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.

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