DEAN & DELUCA announced as title sponsor of Colonial event
February 15, 2016
- Colonial Country Club held a PGA TOUR event for the first time in 1946. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The PGA TOUR and DEAN & DELUCA today announced an agreement making the specialty foods retailer the title sponsor of the TOUR’s longstanding tournament at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
The newly named DEAN & DELUCA Invitational is scheduled for the week of May 23-29 and has been held at Colonial Country Club for the past 70 years, making it the TOUR’s longest-tenured tournament at a single venue. The six-year sponsorship agreement runs through 2021.
“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.”
“The partnership with DEAN & DELUCA is very exciting given their expansion plans in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and key PGA TOUR locations across the country,” said tournament chairman Bobby Patton. “For us to celebrate our 70th and, looking ahead, 75th anniversary with DEAN & DELUCA means a lot to Colonial Country Club and the Fort Worth community.”
The DEAN & DELUCA Invitational is among the PGA TOUR leaders in charitable giving, including a record $9.1 million awarded to charities in 2015. The tournament has generated $80 million in cash and services for more than 150 organizations over the past two decades.
“We are delighted to welcome DEAN & DELUCA as the sponsor for such a time-honored tradition here in Fort Worth,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “DEAN & DELUCA’s commitment to invest in our community in this way means that the annual tournament at Colonial will continue proudly like it has for the last 70 years.”
The tournament has a unique connection to some of the game's greatest names. Historically, the tournament and Colonial Country Club are noted for their mutually strong ties to the late golf legend Ben Hogan, a Fort Worth native. The first playing of the Colonial National Invitation in 1946 was fittingly won by Hogan, as were the following year’s and three more after that, making him the tournament’s only five-time champion. Today, a bronze statue depicting Hogan’s famed follow-through is outside the clubhouse and inside is the Ben Hogan Trophy Room.
The club honors Hogan’s legacy with The Ben Hogan Award, given to a top college golfer exhibiting excellence in academics as well as college golf. The winner is invited to compete in the following year’s tournament, and the award has kick-started the careers of some of the best young players in the game. Previous recipients include Bill Haas, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler.
Many of the game’s biggest names have won the tournament over the years, including a number of World Golf Hall of Fame members. The defending champion is Chris Kirk, who captured his fourth career PGA TOUR victory by one stroke over Jordan Spieth, Brandt Snedeker and Jason Bohn.