Thursday, August 19, 2010

Will Tour Reshuffle Leave Hilton Head Out In 2011?

One question has been answered about the 2011 version of the PGA Tour's annual stop on Hilton Head Island -- it won't be played in its traditional spot the week after the Masters.

A second question remains: Will it be played at all?

Multiple outlets have confirmed that in 2011 the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio will be played the week after the Masters, taking the spot that has belonged to the event played at Harbour Town for years. If the Hilton Head event isn't the week after Augusta, when will it be played?

There are indications it will be played two weeks after the Masters -- April 18-24 -- if the PGA Tour and local organizers can finalize a deal to assure the tournament can continue. It has been without a title sponsor since Verizon announced it would end its agreement with the tournament after the 2010 event.

Simon Fraser, chairman of the Heritage Classic Foundation, was quoted recently saying the organization has secured enough money to assure the event will be played next year but he wouldn't say when. Tournament director Steve Wilmot was unavailable for comment late Thursday.

Next year, the calendar allows for three events between the Masters and the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, one more than in recent years. That means that San Antonio and New Orleans will fill two spots but the middle one remains undetermined.

It has led to speculation that the Wyndham Championship, being played in Greensboro this week, could work its way into the mid-April spot if the Hilton Head tournament does not continue. Wyndham Worldwide announced this week it has extended its title sponsorship of the Greensboro event through 2012.