by Guerry Norwood
The PGA TOUR and RSM McGladrey, one of the nation’s leading accounting, tax and business consulting firms, announced Tuesday a three-year title sponsorship agreement that will bring a new PGA TOUR event to renowned Sea Island Resort on the southern coast of Georgia beginning in 2010.
The McGladrey Classic will be held October 7-10 as part of the PGA TOUR Fall Series and will be played on the Seaside Course, which has been featured in Golf Digest’s list of Top 100 Courses in the United States. Longtime PGA TOUR member and Sea Island resident Davis Love III, whose foundation will be the tournament host organization, will serve as Tournament Chairman, and his brother Mark Love will be Executive Director of The McGladrey Classic. TOUR member Zach Johnson, also a Sea Island resident and a “Team McGladrey” member, will serve on the tournament board.
The purse will be $4 million and the tournament’s charitable beneficiaries will include Special Olympics, the official charity of RSM McGladrey’s golf platform, as well as local charities in the Sea Island-Brunswick area.
“We are delighted to announce the establishment of The McGladrey Classic and welcome RSM McGladrey to our family of title sponsors,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “This represents a partnership between a dynamic new sponsor, a host organization founded by a prominent member of the PGA TOUR, and a world-class resort serving as the host venue. This unique collection of partners, combined with the direct involvement of Davis and Zach, brings distinction to the tournament that is unlike any other we have on TOUR.”
In addition to becoming a focal point of its charitable support of Special Olympics, the sponsorship expands RSM McGladrey’s existing presence in professional golf, which includes sponsorship of Team McGladrey comprising six-time PGA TOUR winner and Masters Champion Johnson, three-time PGA TOUR winner Chris DiMarco and LPGA TOUR professional Natalie Gulbis.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for RSM McGladrey to build greater awareness of our services and brand while expanding relationships with our clients and prospective clients,” said RSM McGladrey President C.E. Andrews.
“The real power of any relationship comes through understanding, which leads to trust and a partnership based on integrity. At RSM McGladrey, we know that our clients and prospects enjoy playing and watching golf. Partnering with the PGA TOUR enables us to connect with these individuals in a meaningful way, while also providing a new platform to strengthen our support of Special Olympics and other philanthropic organizations. We are honored to sponsor The McGladrey Classic.”
“As a longtime resident, I’m very excited to bring a PGA TOUR tournament to Sea Island, which undoubtedly will be a terrific host venue for The McGladrey Classic,” said Davis Love III. “I believe the players will really enjoy the Seaside Course, which is both beautiful and challenging and will be a great site for the tournament. I’m particularly pleased about the economic and charitable impact the tournament will have.”
The Seaside Course, which opened in 1929, was originally designed by noted architects Harry S. Colt and Charles Alison, and in 1999 was renovated by Tom Fazio. It measures 7,055 yards and plays to par 70. The resort also features the Plantation Course, designed by Walter Travis and renovated by Rees Jones in 1998.
The McGladrey Classic will feature a 132-player field. Love and Johnson, both major championship winners and past winners of Fall Series events, already have committed to play. The Fall Series features late-season drama as players vie to finish in the top 125 on the PGA TOUR Official Money List to earn their cards for 2011.
A Fall Series victory earns a trip to Maui for the season-opening SBS Championship, plus invitations to the following year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, THE PLAYERS Championship, Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, the Memorial Tournament presented by Morgan Stanley, AT&T National and PGA.