The oft-repeated rumor among Champions Tour golfers at the 2017 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities seven weeks ago was that the course could be the home to a PGA Tour event as soon as 2018.
The potentially available summer event was said to be the Quicken Loans tournament, which has been played in the Washington D.C. area since 2007. The tournament has been played close to the Fourth of July, and the combination of summer heat, growing disinterest from Congressional Country Club and top players taking a break before the British Open had put the tournament in jeopardy.
On Tuesday, the 2017-18 PGA Tour scheduleappeared and the Quicken Loans was listed for June 28 to July 1, but without a location. Congressional was scheduled to host in 2018 and 2020. It has bowed out, and intends to concentrate on trying to cycle back into the rotation to host U.S. Opens, or perhaps to land a PGA Championship (when that moves to May starting in 2019).
Does this open the door for the Twin Cities to have a PGA Tour weekly event – with 3M as a sponsor – starting as soon as next summer?
Hollis Cavner has been the driving force behind the Twin Cities’ annual senior event for 25 years. He is the CEO of Pro Links Sports and, in early August, suggested with optimism that the TPC Twin Cities could be ready to host in 2018 if the PGA Tour needed it to be.
Cavner also said his preference was to hold the Champions Tour event again next August, and then see what the options would be for 2019.
On Wednesday morning, Cavner was at Pebble Beach for the Pure Insurance senior event. Pro Links has had an association with the event that supports the First Tee program.
“If we were able to get a PGA Tour event, our preference still is for 2019,’’ Cavner said by phone. “We would have to make some changes at TPC Twin Cities, and I don’t think those would be ready by next summer. Right now, we’re planning to have another 3M Champions event next August.’’
Also: Our local perception the Twin Cities are a frontrunner for this opening on the calendar was in contrast ito an Associated Press article on the subject.
Doug Ferguson is plugged in as the AP’s long-time golf writer, and he suggested that the PGA Tour’s effort to keep Quicken Loans as a sponsor could involve moving the tournament to Detroit.
That is where Quicken Loans has its headquarters. Quicken Loans became the sponsor on a three-year contract in 2015, and it has not renewed.
Apparently, 3M has agreed to the increase in sponsorship dollars required if its tournament was upgraded from the Champions Tour to a PGA Tour event.
“I really can’t say much about the possibilities,’’ Cavner said from Pebble Beach. “I would say it will be several more weeks before there are any announcements.’’
Pro Links added a World Golf Championship event in Mexico City that was successful in 2017 and will be back in 2018. Cavner talked with employees there after Tuesday’s earthquake and said everyone was safe, and there was no damage in the area where the tournament is held.
The company has signed to run the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte for 2017. Pro Links also will be starting the Sanford Health International (Presented by Cambria), a Champions Tour event, in Sioux Falls next September.