With AT&T becoming the new title sponsor of the Byron Nelson Championship in 2015, and the tournament likely to move to a new golf course designed by a minimalist to be determined, there are several storylines here.
- The PGA Tour announces a new sponsor while the current sponsor has two years left on their deal. That has to be fairly unprecedented, no?
- The many-times-renovated TPC Four Seasons Resort is a lame duck venue, even after a recent renovation supervised by the PGA Tour. D.A. Weibring was the most recent designer to attempt resurrecting the course.
- This would seem to end any chances of AT&T's long term interest in the "National" event at Congressional in conjunction with the Tiger Woods Foundation.
- The Friday news came on the same day an AT&T representative and some other suits announced a plan to build a golf course in southern Dallas, which will benefit SMU and eventually, the tournament along with a First Tee facility.
There is no truth to the rumor that the phone call listeners erupted in laughter when the Commish said "the odds are quite high," that with support from the Salesmanship Club the Nelson could find a new home.
Candace Carlisle described the project this way:
The 400-acre golf course development will include an 18-hole championship golf course, a nine-hole short course, an administrative and teaching facility, a practice facility, and a practice academy for Southern Methodist University students. The golf course will anchor the university's golf program and there's plans to pony up a significant investment in the project, said President R. Gerald Turner.
Bill Nichols says "AT&T officials have already interviewed several renowned golf course architects, including Coore & Crenshaw, Tripp Davis and Associates and Tom Doak’s Renaissance Design."