Originally created 11/15/02

Tour returns to Boston on Labor Day



The PGA Tour is returning to the Boston area for the first time in five years with a $5 million event that will end on Labor Day and feature Tiger Woods, whose foundation will get the charitable proceeds.

The tournament will be called the Deutsche Bank U.S. Championship and will be played at the TPC of Boston for at least the first two years of the four-year contract, the PGA Tour and IMG announced Thursday.

While Woods will not be the tournament host in the same fashion as Jack Nicklaus (Memorial Tournament) or Arnold Palmer (Bay Hill Invitational), the world's No. 1 player will be heavily involved through his foundation.

"We are confident the tournament will be well-received," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said.

The Associated Press first reported on the new Labor Day tournament four weeks ago as negotiations were ongoing with IMG and the TPC at Boston.

Most tournaments have four-year contracts with a golf course. Officials with IMG and the PGA Tour said they wanted to keep their options open, which could mean the West Coast is still a possibility, because it would put golf on prime-time television.

ABC Sports will broadcast the final two rounds on Sunday and Monday.

The PGA Tour was last in the Boston area in 1998, when the CVS Charity Classic, held at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Mass., ended a 30-year run.

The Deutsche Bank U.S. Championship will cap off three straight weeks of high-profile tournaments on the calendar, following the PGA Championship and a World Golf Championship event.

The new tournament replaces the Air Canada Championship in Vancouver, British Columbia, which began in 1996 but was unable to find a title sponsor when Air Canada failed to renew.

Deutsche Bank already has a strong relationship with Woods. The Germany-based company is title sponsor of a European tour event that Woods has played in every year since 1999 and has won three times. Woods receives about $2 million in appearance money for playing in Germany.

"I am thrilled that Deutsche Bank has selected the Tiger Woods Foundation to be the beneficiary of this new PGA Tour event," Woods said in a statement.

Woods established his foundation in 1996 with hopes of making golf more accessible and affordable for children of various social and economic backgrounds.

For Deutsche Bank, the estimated $30 million investment as a title sponsor on the PGA Tour will help raise the profile of its brand in the United States.

Woods already has his own tournament, the Target World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The unofficial event offers $1 million to the winner, and the 16-man field consists of 12 top players from the world rankings and four players selected by his foundation.

Woods said last month he would not be the host of an official PGA Tour event like Nicklaus, Palmer and Byron Nelson.

"As far as having my own event and running it like those guys do, I'm not interested in that," he said. "I know the politics that go on, how tough it is running my own tournament."

Still, his presence and the Labor Day time slot for television probably will make the Deutsche Bank U.S. Championship one of the top tournaments, once the major championships are over.