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PGA Tour event forgoes title sponsorship to secure future

The PGA Tour golf event in Fort Worth, Texas will be known as the Fort Worth Invitational this year after four companies agreed to support the tournament in the absence of outgoing title sponsor, speciality foods retailer Dean & DeLuca.

This year’s tournament will take place at the Colonial Country Club from May 24-27 and it will mark the first time the event has gone ahead without a title sponsor since 1995.

In February 2016, Dean & DeLuca agreed a six-year deal with the PGA Tour to sponsor the event until 2021. The company is currently experiencing financial problems and last year announced that it would end the partnership early.

Four companies have now signed up to sponsor the tournament in the absence of Dean & DeLuca: American Airlines, AT&T, XTO Energy and Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper, citing sources familiar with the agreement, said that each company has contributed $2m (€1.6m) to enable this year’s event to go ahead.

“We are so grateful to the Fort Worth community for stepping in with their support of the Fort Worth Invitational,” tournament chairman Rob Hood said. “It speaks to the special nature of Fort Worth and its people.

“Thanks to this incredible support, the members of Colonial Country Club and more than 1,500 loyal volunteers will deliver the same great world-class event to which our fans, sponsors and PGA Tour professionals are accustomed. As we look to 2019 and beyond, we will continue to work with the PGA Tour in securing a title sponsor to ensure the event will be a part of the PGA Tour schedule for many years to come.”

Kevin Kisner (pictured) is the defending champion of the tournament, having won last year’s event when it was known as the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.