Farmers Insurance to sponsor San Diego TOUR event

January 18, 2010
PGA TOUR staff

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The PGA TOUR and the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies today announced an agreement whereby the Farmers Exchanges will title sponsor next week's tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, to be known as the Farmers Insurance Open.

The agreement, which includes a long-term option, is between the PGA TOUR and the Farmers Exchanges, which as a group, are the third largest personal lines insurer in the United States and the largest auto insurer in California.

"We couldn't be more pleased that Farmers Insurance has stepped forward to sponsor the tournament and lend tremendous assistance to the host organization, the Century Club of San Diego, including helping to meet its charitable objectives for this year," PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem said. "As a Southern California-based company and a national leader in its industry, Farmers recognizes the importance and positive impact a PGA TOUR tournament has upon its community. Just as Zurich Financial Services has shown its commitment to the people of New Orleans through its longtime sponsorship of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Farmers Insurance is showing its commitment to the people of San Diego through this sponsorship."

What was to be known as the San Diego Open was in search of a title sponsor after Buick, which had sponsored the tournament since 1992, filed for bankruptcy last year. Buick had been signed through 2010.

"Farmers Insurance has a proud 82-year history of strong leadership and charitable giving," said F. Robert Woudstra, Chief Executive Officer of Farmers. "Leaders step up and step in when opportunities arise and when needs are great. We clearly see this sponsorship as an extension of our ongoing commitment to Southern California, the San Diego area and all the communities across the United States in which we serve our customers."

"Although this has been finalized on such short notice, it represents a substantial investment on Farmers' part to help in the tournament's success," Finchem added. "We look forward to continuing our discussions with Farmers officials following the Farmers Insurance Open in regard to the possibility of a longer-term partnership."Woudstra pointed out that the San Diego area has been a focal point for Farmers in recent years as the company has been an industry leader in responding to its customers needs in the aftermath of the devastating wildfires. Farmers and its highly professional and dedicated agency force also have led the insurance industry in promoting fire safety and preparedness programs for consumers.

"We take great pride in having been the first insurance company on the ground and at the scene in helping the San Diego area rebuild following these wildfires," Woudstra said. "Farmers continues to actively support fire safety programs for the citizens of San Diego. Like what Zurich Financial Services does in New Orleans, supporting and sponsoring this PGA TOUR tournament in 2010 is an extension of our corporate outreach and commitment in continuing to make a difference in Southern California and across the United States. We look forward to helping the Century Club through our Farmers Insurance Open sponsorship."

The Farmers Exchanges are the country's third-largest insurer of both private Personal Lines passenger automobile and homeowners insurance, and also provide a wide range of other insurance, business insurance and financial services products primarily through a national distribution network system of professional insurance agents, who service more than 15 million customers.

"Farmers truly is a knight in shining armor for the Century Club and San Diego," said Tom Wornham, President & General Chairman of the Century Club. "We were prepared to move forward without a title sponsor this year, but this is wonderful news that provides a tremendous boost to the tournament. We are excited to welcome Farmers and to work to maximize its value as title sponsor of the 2010 Farmers Insurance Open."