by Jeff Skinner
This is a special week on the PGA tour. It’s not because Tiger and Phil are in the field again. It’s not because of the $1.1 million check for the winner. It is because of the “new” name for this week’s tournament. It is simply called The Quail Hollow Championship. It has no sponsor’s name attached to it. The tournament has a corporate sponsor, Wells Fargo & Co, but they have elected to withdraw their name from the tournament. Wells Fargo bought Wachovia last year and originally had plans to leave the name attached to the tournament. However, after the firestorm that raged on about corporate America spending money “foolishly” during this time of bailouts and stimulus packages, Wells Fargo decided to remove any corporate title and leave the event simply called The Quail Hollow Championship. These sponsorships are not cheap; it costs Wells Fargo around $7 million per year to sponsor the tournament.
Whatever the reason, I am all for it. I know the tour can’t survive without the millions of big business dollars, but it is so nice to see an unencumbered tournament name. There are 37 regular full field tournaments from January to the end of September on the PGA Tour. The only ones without corporate names are The Bob Hope Classic, Quail Hollow, The Players, The Memorial and the four majors. There was a time when the Shell Houston Open was the Houston Open and the Buick Open was the Western Open and so on. Back in the day, the tour stops were called by the city that they were in or by the celebrity that hosted them. There was the Crosby, Andy Williams, Jackie Gleason and Sammy Davis Jr. to name a few. Those days are gone; the tour needs the bucks, the buck come from sponsors, the sponsors get to name their tournament. I get it, but you’ll excuse me if I take this chance to enjoy this week’s tournament as simply The Quail Hollow Championship. I’m sure by next year it will be the Wells Fargo Wachovia Bank National Pro-Am Presented by Wells Fargo & Wachovia Bank at Quail Hollow. The Quail Hollow Championship was short lived but it was a grand old tournament.