The announcement was made today by PODS, the TOUR and Suncoast Golf. This years event will be held March 5'11 on the Copperhead Course of the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Tampa Bay. The PODS Championship becomes part of the TOURs new FedExCup points competition.
Terms of the multi-year commitment were not disclosed.
We are pleased and honored to join the rank of prestigious companies that sponsor PGA TOUR events, said Peter S. Warhurst, President and CEO of PODS. The PGA TOUR reflects such a positive public image and is able to generate increased recognition for so many charitable causes, which is very important to PODS.
We are very pleased to enter into this agreement with PODS, which certainly will strengthen this tournament and enhance its ability to generate significant dollars for local charities, said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. It is a successful combination when a local company sponsors its hometown event.
We are very excited not only to have a sponsor, but to have a sponsor from here in the Tampa Bay area, said Tournament Director Gerald Goodman. PODS has known astonishing growth since it was founded in 1998, and though it now has a worldwide presence, it remains completely committed to our area. They are golf fans, they are moved by our story of history of giving to charity and they are committed to the Tampa Bay area. Its a great combination, and we could not be more excited.
Suncoast Golf has sponsored professional golf events for the last 30 years beginning with the 1977 JCPenney Classic. This mixed-team tournament was a popular fixture in November-December for 23 years. Since 2000, Suncoast Golf has sponsored six fall PGA TOUR events (the 2001 tournament was cancelled in the aftermath of the attacks of 9/11). Most of the top players on the PGA TOUR have participated in Suncoast Golf events with more than $20 million raised for Tampa Bay area charities since 1977.
The 2007 tournament, a full-fledged FedExCup event with a purse of $5.3 million and a field of 144 golfers, had been known as the Tampa Bay Championship.