Milwaukee in desperate need of title sponsor
U.S. Bank will not renew its sponsorship after this years tournament in July, and tournament director Dan Croak is searching for a replacement.
We need a big sponsor ' or, as weve had in the past, a couple of big sponsors ' to take the biggest piece of the puzzle, Croak said Monday. And then were able to sell smaller pieces within the community. We are moving forward as if we need a title sponsor to continue.
Sponsorship is a major chunk of a tournaments budget; Croak wouldnt give a specific figure, but allowed that it accounts for probably 50 percent of revenues.
The way that the PGA Tour structures itself, you cant do it without (a sponsor), he said.
And while Croak said PGA Tour officials have not given him a firm deadline by which the tournament must find a new sponsor to assure its place on the 2010 schedule, he knows the clock is ticking.
I think that you have to be realistic and say there is a point in time where if you dont have a sponsor, they have the opportunity to not put you on the schedule, Croak said. But we have not had that discussion with the Tour.
Trying to sell sponsorship during an economic downturn is hard enough. But Croak said a recent wave of public outrage directed at companies that held lavish retreats after receiving government bailout money created a perception that any company that spends money on entertaining clients is being wasteful ' further scaring off potential sponsors.
It sent everybody running for cover, Croak said. And I think if everybody understood that (in) sports marketing, Miller didnt put its name on Miller Park because it was bad for business. Theyre selling more beer because they did that, and thats how people do it.
Croak recently met with PGA Tour officials and says discussions with potential new sponsors are moving ' if slowly.
There are a couple of companies who have expressed interest in title sponsorships with the Tour, and our opportunity then gets presented to them, among others, Croak said. And weve talked to a couple of companies here in town and are either getting more information for them or doing other things as we move along. Its a slow process, but I think we knew it would be slow.
Croak says the tournaments commitment to raising money for Childrens Hospital of Wisconsin makes it more attractive to companies.
Its much easier to say the primary beneficiary of this tournament is Childrens Hospital, Croak said. And then they say, Oh, yeah. It is about charity.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18