Crowne Plaza Invitational Officials Look To Move Tourney From Annual May Date
Crowne Plaza Invitational Chair Bobby Patton said that moving the tournament from its typical May date will be a "topic of discussion in the coming months" between Colonial Country Club officials and PGA Tour execs, according to Jimmy Burch of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. Club reps are seeking to "improve the star quality of a field that did not feature any of the top 10 players from the world golf rankings this year, primarily because the 2013 Colonial was played on dates that conflicted with the BMW PGA Championship, one of the highest-profile events on the European Tour." Patton wants to be "proactive in making sure the conflict does not become a trend for Fort Worth’s annual tour stop in an era when many of the world’s top players are Europeans." Patton's "personal choice" would be the week before the U.S. Open," currently held by the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis. PGA Tour officials have the "final say on tournament dates and typically finalize those dates one year in advance." Tourney officials "already know next year’s event will follow the HP Byron Nelson Championship" from May 12-18. Crowne Plaza Invitational Tournament Dir Michael Tothe said that "ample alternatives now are available for park-and-shuttle locations if the event moves out of May." In previous years, the event faced issues with access to TCU parking lots "between the end of the spring semester and the start of summer school." Both Patton and Tothe "stressed that holding the event on Memorial Day weekend is a very desirable date, in terms of course conditions and tournament logistics." But the potential for "recurring conflicts with the BMW event is a challenge in attracting elite European talent" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 5/28).