Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wachovia Championship to get name change?

Catching up on a couple of things:

Despite all the problems swirling around Wachovia, Charlotte's PGA Tour event will return in 2009, though likely with a different name.

Organizers have received written assurance from corporate officials that the tournament will continue despite the problems of the title sponsor.

It's important to know that the tournament organization and the title sponsor are two different things. The tournament is owned and operated by Champions For Education. Wachovia pays a fee to put its name on the event.

If Wachovia goes away, as seems likely, I would expect Wells Fargo or Citigroup to put its name on the event. Citigroup just became presenting sponsor of the Presidents Cup through 2013 so it already has a presence on the PGA Tour.

Should the new company decide it doesn't want to remain title sponsor, the combination of Quail Hollow and the early May date would make finding a new sponsor easier than it might be for other events.

Tournaments change names regularly. The Wachovia Championship didn't seem like one that would change but it will. The good news is the tournament will continue here with all its special touches.

-- Charlotte resident Brendon de Jonge continues to lead the Nationwide Tour money list entering the last four events of the season.

De Jonge has already secured his spot on the PGA Tour next year but finishing as the tour's leading money winner would guarantee him a spot in The Players Championship and pretty well assure he's in any tournament he wants to play (aside from the majors) next year.

The Nationwide Tour plays the next three weeks then takes a week off before playing its tour championship the first week of November in McKinney, Tex.