The Charles Schwab Corporation has emerged as a potential title sponsor of Fort Worth’s annual PGA Tour event starting in 2019.
Colonial Country Club members were told of the development during a meeting at the club on Tuesday.
By Wednesday afternoon, however, a club member familiar with negotiations between Schwab, the PGA Tour and Colonial cautioned to The News that details remain to be worked out and that no contracts have been signed. If no snags arise, Colonial’s hope is to make a formal announcement next Monday, when 2017 winner Kevin Kisner’s name is unveiled on the Wall of Champions.
If the discussed multi-year agreement comes to fruition, it would be a huge life-extending boost for one of the PGA Tour’s most tradition-steeped events. This year’s tournament, renamed the Fort Worth Invitational, was made possible by four underwriting sponsors after Dean & DeLuca ended its title sponsorship two years into a six-year agreement.
American Airlines, AT&T, XTO Energy and Burlington Northern stepped in to guarantee Colonial’s record $7.1 million purse this year, with gratitude from Colonial officials and Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price.
Although banking and investment firm Charles Schwab is headquartered in San Francisco, 22 of its 345 U.S. branches are Texas-based, six of them in North Texas.
Most significantly to Colonial, Schwab and the potential for a longterm, mutually beneficial relationship, Schwab is building a $100 million campus in Westlake, north of Fort Worth, that could house up to 2,600 employees. The campus is scheduled to open in 2019.
Much like North Texas’ other PGA Tour event, the AT&T Byron Nelson, Schwab would represent to Colonial a sponsor with a long, deeply rooted association with the PGA Tour.
Schwab since 2001 has been the title sponsor of the Champions Tour’s Charles Schwab Cup and, since 2016, the Champion Tour’s Charles Schwab playoffs. Schwab also is the “official investment firm of the PGA Tour.”
If a Colonial-Schwab marriage is consummated in the next few days, the news would be extra-timely for Colonial on two significant fronts.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has said he hopes to announce the 2018-2019 schedule during the week of the May 10-13 Players Championship. The 2017-18 season began without title sponsors for the tour events in Fort Worth, Houston and the Washington, D.C. area, and, now Colonial’s 2019 presence has been secured.
And with this year’s Fort Worth Invitational a little more than a month away, May 24-27, players, fans and tournament officials won’t have the pall of uncertainty, wondering if this year’s tournament will be the last.
Now the only North Texas-related questions that remain to be answered about the 2018-19 schedule is where the Dallas and Fort Worth tournaments will be slotted.
With the PGA Championship moving from its traditional August date to May 16-19, 2019 (at Bethpage Black), speculation has been that North Texas’ events will be split, with the AT&T Byron Nelson played the week before the PGA and Colonial coming the week after the PGA.