Worries that one of the tour's most distinguished, tradition-laden tournaments would be without endorsement have been relieved. Unfortunately, that will come at a cost to the tournament's eponymous name.
The Colonial, after a brief period sans sponsorship, has secured a six-year deal with grocer Dean & DeLuca. The fifth company to host the event since 1989, the agreement brings stability to the tournament, and raises the purse to $6.7 million.
“We are very pleased to introduce Dean & DeLuca as the new title sponsor of one of the most historic and prestigious tournaments on tour," said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. "Dean & DeLuca is recognized for its uncompromising commitment to excellence and customer service in the gourmet food industry and we look forward to working with their team to integrate their brand, products and expertise into the tournament.”
But, for the first time since the tournament was founded in 1946, "Colonial" is omitted from the competition's title, with the event now going by "Dean & DeLuca Invitational." It was one of the few remaining stops on tour with such course/club designation.
The tournament, held in Fort Worth, is the PGA Tour's longest-tenured event at a single venue. It's one of just five tournaments on the PGA Tour holding "invitational" status, meaning a reduced field of 125 (versus the normal participation level of 165).
This year's event will run from May 26 to May 29. Chris Kirk is the defending champion.