The Detroit News' Bob Wojnowski and Tony Paul talk about the PGA Tour coming to Detroit in 2019. Detroit News
Detroit — The PGA Tour has a big-time incentive to finalize the deal to bring a tournament to the city of Detroit, starting in 2019.
Once the Detroit contract is complete, Detroit-based mortgage giant Quicken Loans then would agree to become the title sponsor one more time for The National, to be played for the final time next month in suburban Washington, D.C., Quicken officials confirmed to The News.
The National, in its 12th year, remains without a title sponsor, after Quicken Loans’ four-year contract expired following the 2017 season. AT&T was the sponsor for the first seven years.
The News reported exclusively Monday night that Quicken Loans and the PGA Tour are in the late stages of agreeing to a four-year contract to bring a PGA Tour event to Detroit for the first time, taking The National’s place on the PGA Tour schedule. Quicken, founded by Detroit billionaire booster Dan Gilbert, would be the title sponsor, and Detroit Golf Club would be the tournament host, pending a vote by membership that’s expected in the “near future,” a club official wrote in an email to membership late Monday night.
Landing a title sponsor for this year’s National, set for June 28 to July 1 in Potomac, Md., is a significant priority for the PGA Tour. Title sponsors pay $10 million or more per year, to cover the charitable donations — the Tiger Woods Foundation is the beneficiary at The National — as well as the prize money, set for $7.1 million this year, and payment to the TV networks.
The Houston Open, from March 29 to April 1, was played without a title sponsor this year, possibly putting the future of that tournament in doubt.
The Detroit PGA Tour event would be played the last week of June — June 27-30 next year — and become the first PGA Tour event in Michigan since 2009, when the Buick Open hosted its final tournament at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc.