Shell To Remain Title Sponsor Of Houston's PGA Tour Event Through '17
The PGA Tour, Shell Oil Co. and the Houston Golf Association announced a five-year extension of the Shell title sponsorship for the Shell Houston Open through the '17 tournament. The Shell Houston Open, which began play in '46, is the 10th oldest tournament on the PGA Tour and Shell has been the title sponsor since '92, the third-longest running tournament sponsor on Tour (PGA Tour). Terms of the extension were not disclosed. Tournament Dir Steve Timms said of the renewal with Shell, "It's probably hard to overstate the importance of something like this. It's been well-chronicled over the last couple of years that a few events have gone through tough times and lost their title sponsors" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/30).
TRYING TO SAVE THE HERITAGE: Hilton Head Island and Heritage Classic Foundation officials said that they are "willing to consider using a $30 million mix of state, local and private money to save the Heritage PGA Tour event" in Hilton Head, S.C. But with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley "opposed to underwriting the golf tournament with taxpayer dollars, some say such a proposal is unlikely to gain traction." In South Carolina, Barton & McCann reported Beaufort County Council member Stu Rodman proposed that "state and local governments and Sea Pines Resort agree to provide a total of $30 million over five years if the Heritage can't find a sponsor by late April, when its contract with the tour expires." Rodman said that it would "give the Heritage the financial stability necessary to remain on the tour's schedule." The town and county have each committed $1M "to help put on this year's tournament without a title sponsor." Rodman said that those commitments "would count toward the sums outlined in his proposal." However, Hilton Head town manager Steve Riley said that he "doubts all parties would participate" (Hilton Head ISLAND PACKET, 3/29).