Colonial loses iconic tree in storm
After one of the most difficult off-seasons in its history, Colonial Country Club figures to have a breather for 2019 and beyond.
The national investing and banking firm Charles Schwab has reached a tentative agreement with the PGA Tour to become the title sponsor of the Fort Worth golf tournament held at Colonial.
Multiple sources confirmed the agreement, which has been in the discussion phase for the past several weeks.
Because the deal is not final, club officials are not commenting, mostly because there remains a healthy dose of fear of talking/celebrating a deal until all of the ink is dry.
After the 2015 Colonial, the tournament thought it had an agreement with Toyota, but that fell through.
Club sources said they hope to make a formal announcement on Monday when the winner of the 2017 Dean and DeLuca Invitational, Kevin Kinser, is added to the Wall of Champions. The Dallas Morning News first reported the news.
Landing a title sponsor of this magnitude should end all of the doom/panic talk surrounding the future of a tournament that began in 1946, and create the type of stability both the club and the city of Fort Worth thought it with D&D.
The reality for the club, and Fort Worth, is that it must prepare to sweat out finding another sponsor every four or five years. Most PGA Tour events are learning the old days of enjoying a prolonged relationship with but one sponsor are over, and these relationships are just much more fluid.
Although initially the PGA Tour did not appear to be willing to do much on help bail out Colonial from a situation it helped to create, it did come through as promised to secure Colonial's place on the calendar.
Based in San Francisco, Charles Schwab has offices throughout Texas, including one in downtown Fort Worth. Schwab is also currently building a campus in Westlake, which is scheduled to open in 2019.
Charles Schwab will join Southwestern Bell, Crowne Plaza Hotels, MasterCard, Bank of America and D&D as companies to be the title sponsor of Colonial.
Colonial was shoved into this position of needing a new partner last fall when D&D informed the Tour it would no longer serve as title sponsor, just two years into a six-year contract.
Thanks to the efforts of Colonial Country Club president Rob Doby, and specifically Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price, Colonial recruited AT&T, American Airlines, XTO, BNSF Railways to help collectively underwrite a large portion of the approximately $12 million necessary to fund the tournament. The Club will take on the remainder of the costs, including whatever losses accumulated as a result of the unexpected change of D&D.
As a thanks to Price and the effort of city leaders, Colonial agreed to call its 2018 PGA Tour event, "The Fort Worth Invitational." That name was only intended to be a one-year solution.
Although both the club and city leaders preferred to create a different alternative other than a traditional title sponsor, this is still the best alternative.