All signs indicated this week would mark the final BMW Championship. The German automaker was set to end its run as the title sponsor of the PGA Tour's penultimate FedEx Cup playoff event, leaving the Western Golf Association scrambling to find someone who would cut the check to put their name on one of the biggest non-major events of the year.
Then at the last minute, it seems things have changed. The Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein reported Wednesday BMW is set to agree to a three-year extension as title sponsor of the tournament. Further, the extension -- estimated at $15 million - $18 million per year -- will mean the BMW Championship, the former Western Open, comes to Baltimore for the first time.
It appears a change in BMW's leadership team was the catalyst for the reversal. Oliver Zipse will become the company's chairman on Aug. 16, and his influence means BMW will stick with this event rather than moving their sponsor dollars from this event to the PGA of America's Ryder Cup.
Olympia Fields in the Chicagoland area will host in 2020, and in future years the tournament is expected to return to Denver's Cherry Hills Country Club and debut at Caves Valley Golf Club in the Baltimore area, something Golf News Net's Ryan Ballengee reported in June 2018.
This is great news for the PGA Tour, as they won't be scrambling to replace a huge sponsor in BMW, who has their name on a variety of golf events around the world, including on the Korn Ferry Tour in South Carolina and on the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, which has moved from May to September.