PGA Tour Trying To Keep Tiger Woods-Hosted Event in DC As It Searches For Sponsor
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said that the Tour is "working to keep an annual event" in the DC area, but that it must "maintain 'flexibility' before committing" to the region in '18 and beyond, according to Barry Svrluga of the WASHINGTON POST. The Tour yesterday unveiled the '17-18 schedule, and the DC tournament, which is run by the Tiger Woods Foundation and is looking for a title sponsor, is "listed for its regular week, June 25-July 1." However, the "golf course and location are 'to be announced,' the only one of 49 events with such significant questions." Monahan "reiterated" what Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent, said Monday: that the event’s organizers are "in discussions with Quicken Loans and other potential sponsors to keep the tournament" in DC. Svrluga notes the Tour owns TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, the course that staged this year's tournament, and "if a title sponsor is found, the event could return there next year" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/20). Monahan said, "We’re focused on D.C. and we’re hopeful we can find a solution. There are a lot of markets that want to have a PGA Tour event, but that’s not where we are. It’s a matter of trying to be in a market that has been very good to us” (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 9/19).
STAY AND PLAY? Golf writers Robert Lusetich and ESPN's Bob Harig discussed the PGA Tour's handling of the DC tournament in a Twitter thread. Lusetich: "Have a feeling this deadest of dates will go elsewhere; new event. Tiger will have Riviera and Hero. Tour's good at finding someone to pay." Harig: "Tour has been known to help subsidize events for a year. Given that it's Tiger, very possible. it's very late in the game already. ... Don't understand why they'd bail on Congressional if they think they can get something done. Maybe too expensive." Lusetich: "So bizarre they don't even address the issue in their press release. Like no one would notice. ... I'd imagine they want to keep a DC presence though greed ruined a perfect marriage: Tiger's event with military motif and 4th of July in DC" (TWITTER.com, 9/19).
NO DAYS OFF: ESPN.com's Jason Sobel wrote the "immensity" of the 49-event Tour schedule alone is "enough to leave players and fans asking a familiar question." Sobel: "At what point is it all too much of a good thing?" Monahan said, "This schedule's been pretty consistent for a long period of time, and I expect it to be that way going forward." Sobel wrote the pros of the schedule are, "literally, the pros themselves." The "biggest priority is the players -- specifically, offering up enough playing opportunities for all of them to get a fair shake on the sport's most lucrative circuit" (ESPN.com, 9/19). In Atlanta, Steve Hummer notes with the Tour schedule "wrapping from one year to the next, there is no such thing as an off-season built into the program." Professional golf is a "perpetual motion machine, which means it overlaps every other sport -- most notably football now -- sometimes to its detriment." But the Tour is "far more concerned about maximizing the earnings for itself and its various levels of players than about establishing any kind of rhythm to its season" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 9/20).