The PGA Tour will be back at Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, Texas, this May, just as it has been for 70 years. However, until very recently, that streak was in severe jeopardy.
Eatery-grocer Dean and DeLuca told both the PGA Tour and Colonial late in 2017 that it may be unable to meet its contractual financial obligations to remain title sponsor of the tournament these days known as the Dean and DeLuca Invitational. It was supposed to be Year 3 of the six-year deal, but the company is facing a variety of financial issues that made the huge outlay of being a title sponsor of a PGA Tour event too much for them to handle. With the money aspect of the deal not compulsory under the contract, according to previous reporting by the Star-Telegram, the club had to scramble to find either a new title sponor or cobble together enough secondary sponsors to be able to pony up enough money to remain on the PGA Tour schedule.
Original reporting had suggested Colonial had until Dec. 1, 2017, to demonstrate they had the funds. American Airlines, which is based in Dallas, committed to helping the cause but not in a title sponsor capacity. Other DFW companies have apparently stepped in to help, too.
Meanwhile, the PGA Tour affirmed to the Associated Press its commitment to keeping the tournament on the schedule.
"As we look toward the 2018 event and beyond, we will continue to work alongside Colonial Country Club in an effort to ensure the event will be a part of the PGA Tour schedule for many years to come," the statement read.
The Colonial invitational event was first played in 1946 and is the longest-running PGA Tour event still being played at its original site. Ben Hogan, nine-time major winner, club member and Ft. Worth native, won the inaugural Colonial and is the tournament's only five-time winner.