For KLM this represents the continuation of a long association with the tournament. KLM served as title sponsor from 1981 to 1990 inclusive, during which time Bernhard Langer (1984), Severiano Ballesteros (1986) and Jos Maria Olazbal (1989), all Major Champions, won the tournament.
Paul Gregorowitsch, KLMs Executive Vice President Commercial, said: We are delighted as a company to be continuing a long and happy association with The European Tour by returning as the main and title sponsor of The KLM Open. We recognise that this important tournament has grown in stature, and with The 2004 KLM Open, it is our intention to further enhance its place on The European Tour International Schedule. KLM also expects the number of passengers it transports to increase as a result of serving as the title sponsor.
Ken Schofield, Executive Director of The European Tour, said: The 2004 tournament will be the 85th edition of The KLM Open and, coincidentally, it will mark the year in which KLM celebrates its 85th birthday. The championship was first played in 1912 and since that time it has been won by many great players on courses that are both aesthetically beautiful and immensely challenging.
We welcome KLM back as title sponsors, and we look forward to another wonderful edition of this great championship unfolding next August.
2003 Getty Images
Maarten Lafeber will be the defending champion at The 2004 KLM Open following his success at Hilversumsche Golf Club, Hilversum, in October, when he became the first home winner in 56 years ' Joop Rhl won the national title in 1947 ' with a one stroke victory over Swedens Mathias Grnberg and Denmarks Sren Hansen..
Lafeber said: To get my first win on The European Tour in front of the Dutch public this year was a very special moment, and to hear that KLM has taken over the title sponsorship for next years tournament is fantastic news.
I know, from having spoken to friends and colleagues back home in the weeks after my win, that the interest in the tournament was huge, around 600,000 people watched it on television and it just goes to show that golf is booming in The Netherlands.
If my win helped a little in that respect and if, in turn, that helped motivate KLM to join in, then all the better. I know KLM sponsored the tournament in the past and to have such a prominent Dutch company involved once again can only be in everyones best interests.
Also, the fact that the date has moved back to its summer slot is great news. There was a great atmosphere this year in October but Im sure the Dutch public will come out in their thousands next August to make it even better and I am looking forward already to playing as the defending champion.
KLMs home base is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, one of the worlds most modern airports. KLM forms the core of the KLM Group, other members being KLM cityhopper, and Transavia airlines. KLM and its partners serve over 400 cities in 78 countries on six continents.
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