DORAL, Fla. – PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem liked what he saw watching Ernie Els and Charl Schwartzel tee off Sunday afternoon as the leaders of the WGC-CA Championship.
After a weak turnout with rain dousing the crowds earlier in the week, the weekend crowds swelled under a bright sun and all those swaying palms at the TPC Blue Monster at Doral.
Finchem, standing in the shade beside the first tee, wouldn’t guarantee Doral will continue to be home to a World Golf Championship event after this week, but he strongly expects it will.
Doral has been home to a PGA Tour tournament since 1962, longer than any other Florida Swing event. But CA’s contract as title sponsor of the WGC-CA Championship expires after this week. The Tour has two more years left under its current television deal.
“We anticipate that CA will make a statement in the next week of their intentions, but if their intentions don’t include staying with the tournament, I am totally confident,” Finchem said. “We’ve been talking to companies who want to do something with us. It’s a great event, great venue, great time of year, great field, tremendous international exposure this week. There’s work to be done, but I’m very confident.”
The fact that CA is waiting until after the event ends to make its announcement doesn’t bode well for its continued sponsorship. That means another title sponsor could step in with an eye on moving the event.
“We could play other places, but we like playing here,' Finchem said. 'It works for our television package. It works as part of the Florida swing. We have some flexibility . . . My anticipation is strong that it will be here.”