This week on the PGA Tour, we have the D&D Invitational which wraps up the PGA Tour’s five tournament Texas schedule. And yeah, Dean & Deluca isn’t a law firm, but it sure sounds like one. Keep reading to find out what it really is!
About the Sponsor
Because the formally Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial has a new title sponsor, I’m bringing back the “About the Sponsor” section! But first, I have to figure out what the hell a Dean & Deluca is. Guesses I had before I did any research include
- A law firm
- A crappy comedy tv crime show on TNT about two crooked cops who break the rules, but still get the convictions.
- A brand of beef jerky
Turns out it’s a chain of upscale grocery stores according to Wikipedia. Gonna have to say, I did not expect that to be the answer.
You can checkout the PGA Tour press release on D&D sponsoring the event here. It’s interesting that this article was published on February 15, 2016, meaning only a few months ago, when the PGA Tour was in full West Coast Swing. Meaning that the tournament had to have been scrambling to find somebody, anybody, to be the title sponsor. How much did D&D pay to put their name in the tournament title? It’s a six-year deal that runs through 2021. Given the last minute nature of the sponsorship, they must have been given some sort of deal. According to one press release,
It also ends concerns that the 2016 tournament in Fort Worth might be contested without title sponsorship, which would have had major financial repercussions for club members. Once placed on the PGA Tour calendar, the host organization is responsible for paying the purse at the event.
When the tournament was between title sponsors in 1995, the event unfolded as the Colonial National Invitation Tournament and club members covered the $1.5 million purse that year. With this year’s purse bump to $6.7 million, repeating that experience would have marked a more significant financial hurdle. With the Dean & DeLuca deal in place, such concerns are in the rearview mirror for the next six years.
Holy crap that would be a lot of money for the local members if they couldn’t find a sponsor. I wonder how many tournaments end up in that situation where members have to pony up because the people in charge couldn’t find somebody to put their name on the event.
Must have been a decent deal for D&D, especially to get their name out there because I had never heard of them. And now that I know who they are, I’m probably going to go in to the first D&D I see in the wild. So maybe paying all this money will pay off.
About the Course
To win at Colonial, you need to be hitting your irons well. The course isn’t overly long at 7,204 yards, and features doglegs and tight fairways, so keeping the ball in play is key. At least that’s conventional wisdom, but I still think that the closer the ball is to the hole, the better off a player is, so length is still key.
Featured hole this week, and one that I’m sure the Thursday and Friday coverage will feature heavily, is the 13th. A par three over water which during the tournament will feature giant grandstands around the hole, and probably a lot of drinking by the spectators.
A Lack of Europeans
No, it’s not cause foreigners weren’t allowed into Texas, it’s that the European Tour’s version of the Players, The BMW Championship, is currently being contested over in GB. However, as Golf Digest noted, the aura and mystique of the BMW has been degrading recently. But besides Ian Poulter, who is actually teeing it at the D&D in Texas, expect the Europeans to be at Wentworth, or taking the week off.
Who to Watch For
It’s quite obvious that except for the top top tournaments (read majors), people tune into golf tournaments to watch the top, well known players. Remember a couple weeks ago when James Hahn and Roberto Castro played off at Quail Hallow? Maybe, but couldn’t be as many as tuned in to watch Spieth, Koepka, Sergio, and Kuchar play this weekend. In honor of top players, and because not everyone deserves their own section, I’m starting the “Who to Watch For” section where notable players get a shoutout.
Spieth — The thing with Spieth is that he’s not Tiger. Not always playing well after having the lead at the beginning of the final is what everybody but Tiger does. But since he shot to number one in the world last year after winning two majors, we expect him to close. Luckily for him, he’s fantastic at 1) bouncing back from bad finishes and 2) making fans forget about him not closing. Se we can also expect him to play well this week.
The Hat — Aka Bryson DeChambeau. This week he’s playing in the event as a Champions Choice meaning, that he isn’t using up one of his 7 total starts on tour for this. Good for him because he’s been playing like garbage. Ok fine, not garbage because in reality, jumping from college to the PGA Tour is difficult. But based on how much hype the guy came with, and the fact that he finished t4 in his first pro start, he should be doing better right? Side note, the other Champions Choice this week is Kramer Hickock. Bryson. Just wear a normal hat and people won’t think you’re weird.
Stricker! — Dude’ll get a shoutout every time he plays. Almost time for the Senior Tour, but he’s still can play with the young fellas.
Kevin Chappell — What? Why is Kevin Chappell and his oversized hats someone to watch for!? That’s because he’s currently 10th in points, sitting right behind Charley Hoffman and his tilted head, and Patrick Reed who hasn’t done garbage this year. Meanwhile, Chappell has done everything but win this year, brutally finishing second 3 separate times so far. Frankly, it’s only a matter of tie before he pulls through. Top 8 players in Ryder Cup points make the team, and when the time comes, he’s gonna represent the US at Hazeltine.
Kuch — Rounding into expected form nicely, as we would expect from someone like him. 7-for-8 in making the cut with three top 20s. It’s almost like he knows what he has to do to play well and times it right in time for when the summer schedule with the top tournaments starts. Also, since I’m in a Ryder Cup mood, Kuch is 14th currently, but that doesn’t matter, he’ll be a captains pick for sure.