Food retailer Dean & DeLuca is reportedly looking to prematurely exit its contract as sponsor of the PGA Tour’s Ft. Worth, Texas stop at Colonial Country Club.
According to the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Dean & DeLuca has informed Colonial it “may be unable to meet its financial obligations” for the 2018 edition of the event, scheduled for May 24-27. The coming event would only be the third as part of a six-year sponsorship agreement.
The club is reportedly looking to potential renegotiate the deal, but the expectation is a new sponsor will be needed.
“While certainly disappointing, it is not a situation that we as a membership and staff are unfamiliar with,” club president Rob Doby wrote in a letter to members.
Dean & DeLuca was announced as a title sponsor in February 2016, just three months before the tournament at Hogan’s Alley, replacing hotel chain Crowne Plaza, which had sponsored the event from 2007-15.
The Colonial event has an uncertain place on the schedule after this season, with the PGA Championship moving to May in 2019. Colonial and its twin-sister event, the AT&T Byron Nelson, have traditionally been played in back-to-back weeks in May. It’s unclear where the two events will fall in 2019 and beyond.
This would be the third event on the 2018 PGA Tour docket without a title sponsor, joining the Houston Open and Tiger Woods’ event, now dubbed The National after Quicken Loans chose not to extend their deal. In Houston, Shell left after nearly 30 years as title sponsor.
Colonial first hosted a PGA Tour event in 1946, and this invitational — one of five on the PGA Tour — has been contested every year since 1950. Native Ben Hogan won the tournament a record five times from 1946-59.