Sponsorship change talk as Colonial golf tournament’s future uncertain

Dean & DeLuca agreed to the sponsorship with the stipulation that its name would be the title of the tournament. Securing a new sponsor is a major pain and the price of re-branding is costly.

According to a letter sent to Colonial Country Club members, Dean & Deluca, title sponsor of the PGA Tour event at the historic Fort Worth country club, may not be able to meet its financial obligations to stage the tournament in 2018.

The fallout from the sponsorship issues could have far-reaching implications as the PGA Tour goes about the business of re-shaping its future calendar that will include a move to May for the PGA Championship in 2019.

The letter sent by Colonial Country Club president Rob Doby informed members of the possible sponsorship issues while trying to calm any fears that may result.

The upcoming Dean & Deluca Invitational is set for May 21-17, 2018. The late May spot on the calendar is where the tournament has resided for the past several years. The PGA Tour has yet to announce an exact date for the PGA Championship in 2019.

Some members of the club may fear the sponsorship issues could cause the PGA Tour to move the tournament to a less desirable spot on the calendar.

The PGA Tour would not comment on the letter, saying only that it has a six-year sponsorship deal that runs through 2021.

The Dean & Deluca Invitational is the longest-running tournament on the tour on the same course. Only nine other events are older, and all of those have changed locations since the Colonial started in 1946.