FORT WORTH (AP/105.3 The Fan) — The city of Fort Worth has settled on a name for the PGA Tour’s annual event at the Colonial Country Club after the previous title sponsor backed out of its agreement.
In a news release Wednesday, Fort Worth officials announced that the tournament will proceed as the Forth Worth Invitational for 2018.
“We are thrilled, and think it very appropriate, that this year’s tournament will be named the Fort Worth Invitational,” said Rob Doby, president of the Colonial Country Club. “The city of Fort Worth, the business community and our fans have played a huge role over many decades in making this event what it is today. It is as much their tournament as it is the members of Colonial Country Club.”
Back in January, with lingering questions about the status of Colonial’s title sponsorship, the PGA Tour said the historic tournament will be played as scheduled in May.
Dean and Deluca notified the PGA Tour and Colonial late last year that it may be unable to meet its financial obligations to remain title sponsor for the tournament, according to a letter from Doby to its members that was obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. This 2018 tournament was supposed to be the third year of a six-year deal for the upscale grocer as title sponsor.
“The Colonial golf tournament has been part of the fabric of our great City for over 70 years. I am thrilled that we all get to celebrate the City, its citizens and our business community this May at the Fort Worth Invitational,” said Mayor Betsy Price.
The Colonial was first played in 1946 and is the longest-running PGA Tour event still being played at its original site. Hall of Fame golfer Ben Hogan, a Fort Worth native and club member, won the inaugural Colonial and is the tournament’s only five-time winner.
In its statement, the PGA Tour noted Colonial as a “showcase of the game’s best players” and “a leader in giving back to the community in Fort Worth.” The tournament is among the PGA Tour leaders in charitable giving, contributing more than $13 million in 2017 and over $100 million in its history.
The city of Fort Worth and the PGA Tour will continue working on securing a title sponsor for 2019 and beyond to “ensure the event will be a part of the PGA tour schedule for years to come.”
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