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Volume 25 No. 192
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Postponement Of Curry's PGA Tour Event About Timing, Not Sponsor

Curry's association with the PGA Tour could help increase the interest of young fans

The PGA Tour's plans for a Stephen Curry-hosted event at Lake Merced Golf Club this September are “just on hold as it stands right now," and despite some reporting, the decision to not move forward with the plans yet "really had nothing to do with sponsorship," according to sources cited by Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard. Delaying the tournament "had to do with the timeframe of trying to get a tournament prepared and ready to be played this fall," even though the Tour "already had a date picked out." Lake Merced course operators "needed to do some upgrades," and that was "going to take some time." A source said that this is "about getting it right." Workday has the "potential to be a very important sponsor" for the Tour, and being associated with Curry "could be huge for the PGA Tour, so they really wanted to make sure that everything was checked off." The tournament will "probably be on the schedule" in the fall of '20. Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis added the Tour has most likely been in contact with the Warriors to "make sure that the timing of this tournament is right too" because the team's training camp is in October, and they do "not want their MVP missing training camp” (“Golf Central,” Golf Channel, 1/9).

MISSED OPPORTUNITY: In S.F., Ron Kroichick wrote the tournament's postponement was a "big surprise." Octagon had "all but hired a tournament director" and officials were "planning a formal announcement that the deal was done." It is "difficult to pinpoint exactly what went wrong." Tour officials "insisted the biggest factor was a compressed timeline, with the event only eight-plus months away." Sources said that something "went amiss in final negotiations with Workday" on the title sponsorship. Workday already "had a strong relationship with the Tour and a sizable footprint in golf," and last month "agreed to become presenting sponsor" of the Tour event near Palm Springs. So, the Curry event's "sudden cancellation seems to fall more on tour officials than a capable sponsor." The Tour has "whiffed on a rare, spectacular opportunity." Curry is at the "peak of his powers," and is "one of the world’s most popular athletes." Golf "needs to align itself with an athlete of Curry’s stature." Curry hosting a Tour event "would have resonated with young fans, with basketball fans and in markets such as China, which golf hopes to tap into in the years ahead" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/10).

HOUSTON, WE HAVE CONTACT: In Houston, David Barron noted the City Council has approved a $13.5M renovation that "will refashion Memorial Park as the eventual home of the PGA Tour’s Houston Open." A $1M tournament fee to be paid by the Astros Golf Foundation "will fund the Memorial Park renovation and will sponsor the Houston Open beginning this year." The city "will receive $750,000, with $250,000 going to the Memorial Park Conservancy." Yesterday’s vote now "starts the clock, belatedly, on the Astros Golf Foundation’s tight schedule to complete renovations by Nov. 1, which would have the course open for about a year prior" to the '20 Houston Open in "accordance with PGA Tour guidelines" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/10).