Atlanta: Tiger Woods faces the embarrassing prospect of seeing the PGA Tour event he hosts cancelled because of the lack of a title sponsor.
Jay Monahan, the Tour’s commissioner, revealed in the build-up to the Tour Championship, which begins here at East Lake on Thursday, that unless a deal can be agreed with Quicken Loans, or a replacement found, then the National tournament might be dropped from next year’s calendar.
It would be a remarkable scenario: golf’s most famous player being unable to attract a backer for a fully-fledged Tour event in Washington DC, the nation’s capital.
This would be a new blow for Woods after a number of negative headlines, with the most recent being his arrest for driving under the influence. The National has been included on the Tour’s 2018 schedule but there is no venue listed. Monahan said the Tour had cancelled the contract with Congressional, the famous US Open course, which was due to stage the championship in June.
“We need to conclude those discussions with Quicken Loans, but also need to maintain our flexibility,” Monahan said. Woods has hosted the National since 2007. AT&T were the original main supporters but in 2010 dropped their individual sponsorship of the 14-time major winner in the wake of his sex scandal.
Quicken Loans came on board in 2014. John Feinstein, a contributing editor to Golf Digest, said: “I don’t think corporations are lining up to make a deal with Tiger Woods right now. He’s damaged goods.”
Woods has not played in the event since 2015 and did not even attend this year following his arrest.