Las Vegas PGA Tour Event Drops Justin Timberlake, Re-ups With Shriners Hospitals
The PGA Tour Fall Series Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open has “one eye fixed on the present and the other on the future” as the tournament “shifts from the end of the season to the beginning and has the Shriners Hospitals for Children go it alone without Justin Timberlake hosting the event,” according to Steve Carp of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. Next year the tournament “will be known as the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open” and will be “part of the Tour's FedEx Cup,” counting towards the playoffs in’14. Currently, as part of the Fall Series, the event has "no points on the line.” To help with the switch, the Shriners “committed an additional five years to the event at TPC Summerlin.” Tournament Chair Raoul Frevel said that the move will “change the entire dynamic of the tournament.” Earlier this summer “about 300 invitations were sent to Tour players that contained a personal message from a Shriners Hospital patient” with the theme "Join The Celebration." The message was “intended to strike an emotional chord while bringing awareness to the forthcoming change,” and it “might have already paid off.” Golfer Vijay Singh, who “hasn't played Las Vegas in years, accepted to play this year and is likely on board for 2013.” Getting the primary focus on the hospitals and their patients was the “primary reason the Shriners and Timberlake have decided to part ways.” The entertainer “wasn't able to generate greater interest in the tournament, and his star power wasn't enough to lure bigger-name players to the event on a consistent basis.” Frevel said, “We tried everything we could to get [Timberlake] more involved with our kids and the hospitals. But it seemed that when the TV cameras weren't on, he disappeared” (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 10/1).