Buick to Fold — New CanOpen Date?

I’ve heard nothing to indicate that RBC is preparing a move of dates, but the news out of GolfWeek that the Buick event next week in Michigan will be the last raises the possibility of a date for the Canadian Open that isn’t adjacent to the British Open. The cost of such a move — about $2M, as I explained in my column yesterday — might keep RBC where it is, especially since the new date does not come with a Tiger guarantee. If it did, would it be worth $2M?

Here’s what GolfWeek had to say:

Golfweek has learned that next weeks Buick Open will be the final rendition of the tournament, bringing to an end the automakers 51-year run with the Michigan event, the PGA Tours longest partnership.

According to two sources familiar with the situation, the Tour is planning to make an announcement the week of Aug. 3 “ after the Buick Open “ to unveil a new title sponsor and venue to replace what has been a Tour calendar staple.

However, Larry Peck, Buick-GMCs national promotions manager, while acknowledging difficult decisions need to be made, said nothing has been finalized regarding the Buick Opens status.

He said he has been fielding numerous questions about the tournaments future, but would only say, Right now, were concentrating on putting on a world-class event.

One of the two sources, Tom Pernice Jr., a member of the Tours Player Advisory Council, said he could not disclose Buicks replacement but confirmed that next weeks tournament would be its finale.

Buick doesnt have the finances; GM cant afford it, Pernice said about the automakers parent company. From a perception standpoint, you cant lay off all those people and then sponsor a golf tournament.

Theyve supported us forever. Its been a huge part of the Tour. I think a lot of people knew the writing was on the wall.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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  • Would be interesting to crunch the numbers as I would have thought that extra $2 million = better date = better players = additional sponsors, merchandising, tickets, etc.

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