Turning Stone CEO Halbritter gives up controversial PGA Tour exemption

ray halbritter
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Turning Stone Resort CEO Ray Halbritter had awarded himself an exemption into the Turning Stone Resort Championship last month, but changed hs mind on Sunday.
Associated Press


Published: Monday, August 02, 2010 | 12:46 a.m.

Turning Stone Resort CEO Ray Halbritter has withdrawn from the field for this week's Turning Stone Resort Championship.

Halbritter, who also serves as the CEO of the Oneida Nation Enterprises, announced his decision Sunday night and says he will give the exemption into the PGA Tour event to another player. He says his goal was to celebrate the tournament and didn't want his participation to distract from the championship.

The 60-year-old Halbritter, who has passed a PGA of America playing ability test, was the driving force behind landing a PGA Tour event four years ago. He initially announced that he planned to play in the tournament during a media day news conference July 20. He was able to enter by giving himself one of four sponsor's exemptions. Usually exemptions are given to PGA Tour players or elite amateurs.

There was no immediate word Sunday who would receive the exemption. The other three exemptions have been awarded to PGA Tour player Notah Begay III, who also serves as the event’s ambassador; PGA Tour player Chris Smith, whose wife was killed in an auto accident last year; and 15-year-old Gavin Hall, a high school sophomore who is a two-time New York State Boys Amateur champion.



I was really looking forward to watching Ray play in the tournament. I was delighted that he passed the test for entry in the PGA and am disappointed in his not playing the game and his decision to bow out. But I can understand the reason for his decision. He is a greater man for what he does. I feel the PRESS has been unkind in their criticisim. They do not know the man.