For the third time in three years, Washington, D.C.’s PGA golf tournament is looking for a new title sponsor.
McLean-based Booz Allen Hamilton, the tournament’s title sponsor for the past two years, announced on March 20 that it will end its title sponsorship after this year’s tournament, which returns to TPC at Avenel June 22-25.
In a company press release, Booz Allen said the decision reflected the PGA Tour’s decision to move the tournament from the late spring to the fall — after the major PGA tournaments are finished — beginning in 2007.
“This new development materially affects Booz Allen's ability, going forward, to achieve its goals for the community, charity, and the firm,” the press release stated. Booz Allen will continue to support the event as a supporting sponsor, and pledge $1 million in support of the fall 2007 tournament.
“I don’t think we were surprised with their [decision],” said Steve Skinner, president of Kemper Sports Management, which manages the tournament. “We were very pleased that they agreed to stay on as a [supporting] sponsor.”
The PGA Tour overhauled its annual schedule in January, and has not finalized details.
“It was a disappointment when it moved from our traditional date to the fall,” Skinner said, but he expects that most of the PGA Tour’s top players will continue coming to Washington, and that there will be some silver linings to the move. “We’re hoping that the weather in the fall will be more consistent … than it was in the early summer.”
FOR ONE MORE year, the Booz Allen Classic will tee off in June. The hunt is on for a title sponsor when the event moves to the fall. Skinner said that Kemper Sports Management will meet with several companies, and in a Monday news release, Marty Russo, Chairman of Washington Golf Charities, said, “We are currently looking at both local and national companies to fill that role.”
The tournament was known as the Kemper Open from the time it came to Congressional Country Club in 1980, and it remained the Kemper Open from 1987 through 2002, when it was hosted by TPC Avenel. Kemper Insurance withdrew as title sponsor shortly before the 2003 tournament, ending what was then the longest-running title sponsorship on the PGA Tour, a 35-year association that began with the tournament was played in North Carolina.
The Arlington-based Friedman Billings, Ramsey Group Inc. assumed title sponsorship for one year, when it was called the FBR Captital Open.