Notes Sponsorship deals Furyks belly

By Doug FergusonSeptember 3, 2010, 3:12 am
PGA Tour (75x100)NORTON, Mass. – Deutsche Bank has picked up the option on the final two years of its title sponsorship, and it will have some financial help from a familiar partner in EMC Corp., which will be a presenting sponsor.

Terms of the deal were not announced. Seth Waugh, the CEO of Deutsche Bank Americas, instead focused on reports showing it has raised upward of $70 million in revenue each year since the tournament began in 2003.

“Someone once told me when I started in the business that the best thing you can ever do for the economy is to create a job,” Waugh said. “And I’m hoping that in $500 million, there’s a number of jobs that have been created out here. Our view is that it’s never been more important to do that than it is today.”

The renewal was the 19th title sponsorship deal the tour has completed since the start of 2009. With Deutsche Bank, it assures that all its FedEx Cup playoff events are sponsored through 2012, the end of the current TV contract.

The Deutsche Bank Championship is the only playoff event that has never changed dates. It was a risky move when the tournament chose to end on Labor Day.

“We took a tough weekend – it’s not a corporate weekend, it’s a family weekend – and said, ‘Let’s make that a strength rather than a weakness.’ And I think New England has embraced that,” Waugh said.

EMC has been a founding partner since the tournament began, and it previously was the title sponsor of the World Cup.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem was headed to Ohio for what was likely to be a similar announcement at the Memorial, the tournament Jack Nicklaus created. At least two more deals are expected by the end of the year.

“It hasn’t turned out to be devastating,” Finchem said. “It’s just harder work.”

Given the amount of sponsorships it has kept, Finchem said he would give his marketing team an “A” for a grade. Finchem said given the economic climate, it takes longer to secure a contract, and there is more scrutiny by companies wanting to get involved in PGA Tour sponsorship because entertainment dollars are tight.

He said the scrutiny has helped golf, however, because it compared favorably among other sports.


FURYK’S BELLY: Seeing Jim Furyk on the first tee Thursday at the TPC Boston was worth two looks – and not just because Furyk’s alarm clock worked and he made his pro-am time.

Four clubs stood tall in his bag – the driver and a fairway metal, and two belly putters.

Furyk was contemplating using the belly putter this week at the Deutsche Bank Championship, as he had last week at The Barclays before he was disqualified for oversleeping and missing his tee time.

He last tried a belly putter years ago, then gave up on it. Furyk said he closed with two low rounds at the Honda Classic, then tried it again at The Players Championship.

“Didn’t putt very well,” he said. “I went back to the shorter putter for the final round.”

Meanwhile, the rule that got Furyk disqualified was suspended for the rest of the year. The tour figured the playoff events were different from regular events, particularly because a player who withdraws or is ineligible is not replaced by anyone.

Tiger Woods understood the suspension the rule, although he was curious about the timing.

“I would think they would have waited until after the season was completed,” Woods said. “It’s only affected one player so far this year, and that was Jim. But I can understand it. I just thought it might have been a little premature.”


MICKELSON’S DAY: Phil Mickelson, who won the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2007, was among the last to arrive. He was not at the dinner party that Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin hosted for the eight Americans who made the team. And he asked out of his pro-am round Thursday, swapping it out with a corporate function, as he was entitled to do.

Why the late arrival?

Part of that could be issues with his driver. Mickelson’s driver broke last week at The Barclays, and he was working hard on the practice range over the weekend trying to find another one he liked.


TIGER TIME: It’s not quite death and taxes, but just about any pro-am on the PGA Tour will feature Tiger Woods in the first group of the morning. He was in the morning way at the TPC Boston, but there were five other groups ahead of him.

Why wasn’t he first?

For starters, he wasn’t even in the pro-am because of his low FedEx Cup ranking (No. 65). Instead, Woods was a sponsor selection to play the pro-am, and his options were 7:40 a.m. or 12:40 p.m.

“It just shows how far I’ve fallen,” Woods said with a laugh.

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Elway to play in U.S. Senior Open qualifier

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 23, 2018, 10:25 pm

Tony Romo is not the only ex-QB teeing it up against the pros.

Denver Broncos general manager and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway will try to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open next week, according to the Denver Post.

And why not? The qualifier and the senior major will be held in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor. Elway is scheduled to tee off May 28 at 12:10 p.m. ET. The top two finishers will earn a spot in the U.S. Senior Open, June 27 to July 1.

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Jutanugarn sisters: Different styles, similar results

By Associated PressMay 23, 2018, 10:20 pm

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn play golf and live life differently.

The sisters from Thailand do have the same goal in the LPGA, hoping their shot-to-shot focus leads to titles.

The Jutanugarns are two of six women with a shot at the Volvik Championship to become the circuit's first two-time winner this year. The first round begins Thursday at Travis Pointe Country Club, a course six winners are skipping to prepare elsewhere for next week's U.S. Women's Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama.

''Everybody has a chance to win every weekend,'' Moriya said. ''That's how hard it is on tour right now.''

Ariya competes with a grip-it-and-rip-it approach, usually hammering a 3-wood off the tee.

Moriya takes a more calculated approach, analyzing each shot patiently.

That's perhaps fitting because she's 16 months older than her sister.

''It's funny because when we think about something, it's always the different,'' she said. ''But we pretty much end up with the same idea.''

Off the course, they're also different.

The 22-year-old Ariya appears careful and guarded when having conversations with people she doesn't know well. The 23-year-old Moriya, meanwhile, enjoys engaging in interesting discussions with those who cross her path.

Their mother, Narumon, was with her daughters Wednesday and the three of them always stay together as a family. They don't cook during tournament weeks and opt to eat out, searching for good places like the sushi restaurant they've discovered near Travis Pointe.

Their father, Somboon, does not watch them play in person. They sisters say he has retired from owning a golf shop in Thailand.

''He doesn't travel anymore,'' Moriya Jutanugarn said.

Even if he is relegating to watching from the other side of the world, Somboon Jutanugarn must be proud of the way his daughters are playing.

Ariya became the first Thai winner in LPGA history in 2016, the same year she went on to win the inaugural Volvik Championship. She earned her eighth career victory last week in Virginia and is one of two players, along with Brooke Henderson, to have LPGA victories this year and the previous two years.

Moriya won for the first time in six years on the circuit last month in Los Angeles, joining Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam as the two pairs of sisters to have LPGA victories.

On the money list, Ariya is No. 1 and her sister is third.

In terms of playing regularly, no one is ahead of them.

Ariya is the only LPGA player to start and make the cut in all 12 events this year. Moriya Jutanugarn has also appeared in each tournament this year and failed to make the cut only once.

Instead of working in breaks to practice without competing or simply relax, they have entered every tournament so far and shrug their shoulders at the feat.

''It's not that bad, like 10 week in a row,'' Moriya said.

The LPGA is hosting an event about five miles from Michigan Stadium for a third straight year and hopes to keep coming back even though it doesn't have a title sponsor secured for 2019. LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan told reporters he's confident Ann Arbor will be a long-term home for the circuit.

''I can't tell you the specifics about how we're going to do that,'' Whan acknowledged.

LPGA and tournament officials are hosting some prospective sponsors this week, trying to persuade them to put their name on the tournament.

Volvik, which makes golf balls, is preparing to scale back its support of the tournament.

''We're coming back,'' said Don Shin, president of Volvik USA. ''We just don't know in what capacity.''

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Wise: 'No hard feelings' over Nelson missed kiss

By Will GrayMay 23, 2018, 10:18 pm

Aaron Wise left the AT&T Byron Nelson with his first PGA Tour trophy and a seven-figure paycheck. But lost in the shuffle of closing out his breakthrough victory in near-darkness was his failed attempt for a celebratory kiss with his girlfriend on the 18th green.

Wise appeared to go in for a peck after his family joined him on the putting surface, but instead he and his girlfriend simply laughed and hugged. After the moment gained a bit of online notoriety, Wise told reporters at the Fort Worth Invitational that the young couple simply laughed it off.

"Yeah, I have been giving her some s--- about that," Wise said. "A lot has been made about it. It's really nothing. Like I was saying, she was just so excited to surprise me. I was kind of ruining the surprise a little bit that she was shocked, and she didn't even see me going in for the kiss."

At age 21, Wise is now one of the youngest winners on Tour. He explained that while both his girlfriend and mother flew in to watch the final round at Trinity Forest Golf Club, where he shared the 54-hole lead and eventually won by three shots, he took some of the surprise out of their arrival in true millennial fashion - by looking up his girlfriend's location earlier in the day.

Still getting used to his newfound status on Tour, Wise downplayed any controversy surrounding the kiss that wasn't.

"No hard feelings at all," Wise said. "We love each other a ton and we're great. It was a funny moment that I think we'll always be able to look back at, but that's all it really was."

Mmm Visuals / Lancaster Country Club

Giving back: Chun creates education fund at site of Open win

By Randall MellMay 23, 2018, 8:04 pm

South Korea’s In Gee Chun is investing in American youth.

Chun broke through on the largest stage in women’s golf, winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago, and she’s making sure Lancaster, Pa., continues to share in what that brought her.

Chun is preparing for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek outside Birmingham, Ala., but she made a special stop this week. She returned to the site of her breakthrough in Pennsylvania on Tuesday and Wednesday, launching the In Gee Chun Lancaster Country Club Education Fund. She announced Tuesday that she’s donating $10,000 to seed the fund. She’s expected to raise more than $20,000 for the cause in a fundraising dinner at the club Wednesday evening. The fund will annually award scholarships to Lancaster youth applicants, including Lancaster Country Club caddies and children of club employees.

“I’m excited to be back here,” said Chun, who put on a junior clinic during her stay and also played an outing with club members. “Winning the U.S. Women’s Open here in Lancaster gave me the opportunity to play on the LPGA and make one of my dreams come true.”

Chun also supports a fund in her name at Korea University, where she graduated, a fund for various “social responsibility” projects and for the educational needs of the youth who create them.

“Education is very important to me,” Chun said. “I would like to help others reach their goals.”

Chun made donations to the Lancaster General Health Foundation in 2015 and ’16 and to Pennsylvania’s J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust last year. Lancaster Country Club officials estimate she has now made donations in excess of $40,000 to the community.

“We are grateful In Gee’s made such a wonderful connection to our community and club,” said Rory Connaughton, a member of Lancaster Country Club’s board of governors. “She’s a special person.”