Essentially, it appears the PGA Tour is admitting in its own special way that it made a mistake taking the
Western BMW out of Chicago:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2007
BMW CHAMPIONSHIP TO MAKE THREE-YEAR CHICAGO RUN (2009-2011)
Crooked Stick Golf Club to host PGA TOUR Playoff event in 2012
(PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL) — The PGA TOUR, Western Golf Association (WGA) and BMW of North America today announced that the BMW Championship, the third event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, will play three consecutive years in the Chicago area beginning in 2009.
Crooked Stick Golf Club, outside Indianapolis, originally scheduled to host the BMW Championship in 2010, will now host the event in 2012. The previously announced 2008 schedule remains unchanged as the event will be played Sept. 1-7 at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.
The Dubsdread Course at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club, located 30 miles southwest of Chicago and the site of the 2007 BMW Championship, is set to undergo a re-design by Rees Jones in 2008. The tournament is scheduled to return to Cog Hill G&CC in 2009.
BMW entered a six-year partnership agreement in June 2006 with the PGA TOUR and the WGA to sponsor the third of four PGA TOUR Playoff events for the FedExCup. Tiger Woods won the BMW Championship at Cog Hill G&CC in 2007 en route to capturing the inaugural FedExCup. Woods is a four-time champion of the BMW Championship.
“The PGA TOUR is delighted with the support of Crooked Stick, the WGA and BMW for this schedule change. We believe this new sequence for the BMW Championship will only enhance the tremendous appeal of this great event,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “The BMW Championship will be exceptional next year at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, and then Chicago-area golf fans will enjoy four straight years of watching the world's best players through three consecutive playings of the BMW Championship followed by the 2012 Ryder Cup.”
“The new schedule for the BMW Championship is a plus for everyone, especially the golf fans of Chicago and Indianapolis,” said Tournament Director John Kaczkowski of the Western Golf Association. “We’re looking forward to playing three consecutive years in Chicago beginning in 2009. It also makes sense to move the BMW Championship to Crooked Stick in 2012 with Chicago set to host the Ryder Cup that year at Medinah Country Club. Our partnership with BMW and the PGA TOUR allows us to generate significant funds for the tournament’s sole beneficiary, the Evans Scholars Foundation, and this schedule will enhance that commitment.”
“Chicago is a tremendous sports town, and 2007 marked an outstanding debut for the BMW Championship at Cog Hill,” said Tom Purves, Chairman and CEO, BMW (US) Holding Corp. “We look forward to returning to Chicago for another three years and are already working on ways to further enhance the BMW Championship experience for fans over the coming years.”
“We’ve been looking forward to the arrival of the BMW Championship in Indianapolis, but with our club already hosting the 2009 U.S. Senior Open, the 2010 date would have presented some challenges in preparation,” said Doug Cook, Crooked Stick Golf Club president. “With the club now scheduled to host the BMW Championship in 2012, we have some breathing room to get ready. We’re expecting great support from Indiana golf fans for the BMW Championship, and with the extra time to prepare, that support should only grow.”
**Thanks to reader Al for Ed Sherman's Chicago Tribune story where it's even more clear that they know they goofed:
Beyond 2012, indications are that the tour intends to keep the BMW anchored in Chicago. Bob Combs, the tour's senior vice president of communications, wouldn't speculate because current television and sponsor contracts only run through 2012.
However, Combs did say, "It's clear from the tour perspective that Chicago is the home of this golf tournament. We hope this change makes clear that's the case."
Combs acknowledged public reaction played a big part in this decision. The PGA Tour received a strong backlash with the tour's original plan to rotate the BMW out of Chicago every other year.
Players, led by Tiger Woods, thought it was ludicrous for the PGA Tour to abandon the nation's third-largest market, especially because fan support always has been strong at Cog Hill.
"The public and media response was a factor," BMW Executive Director John Kaczkowski said. "This is something we wanted to address and we can. From our standpoint, the Western Golf Association is Chicago-based. This is a big victory for the golf fans in Chicago."