PGA Tour

PGA Tour cancels Greenbrier contract after poor attendance

2020-04-20 09:26
The Greenbrier Resort
The Greenbrier Resort (PA/Supplied)

The PGA Tour canceled its contract with The Greenbrier resort on Thursday, bringing to an end the Military Tribute at The Greenbrier tournament which was set to run until 2026.

The event was originally slated for 10-13 September, 2020, but that date has now been taken by the Safeway Open.

While originally staged over the Fourth of July holiday weekend in the US, the Greenbrier tournament was moved to September in 2019, hurting its attendance and causing its ability to draw sponsors to drop.

The Greenbrier resort is owned by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, the state's richest man with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion.

"We are very grateful to Governor Jim Justice and his Greenbrier Resort for a highly successful 10 years of partnership with the PGA Tour," said Andy Pazder, the Tour's chief tournaments and competition officer.

"The Greenbrier Resort was an incredibly unique and world-class venue that our players will always remember and cherish."

Jill Justice, the governor's daughter and resort president, said in a statement, via Golf Digest: "We are happy to reach a resolution with the PGA Tour that is mutually beneficial to both parties in this time of crisis."

The Tour also officially canceled the RBC Canadian Open on Thursday, although the event is expected to return next year.

“We obviously needed to make some schedule adjustments late in the season or in the fall part of our new season, and in doing that it just caused us to reach an agreement with Greenbrier to remove them from the schedule,” Pazder said.

According to ESPN, Justice and his course was also the subject of a federal investigation in a public corruption unit last year, which could also have played a part in the PGA Tour's decision.

Federal prosecutors subpoenaed Justice's administration to gain access to documents about the resort, the tournament itself, its nonprofit financial arm and Justice’s personal tax records.

According Justice's personal lawyer, George Terwilliger, the investigation ended in January of this year with no finding of any wrongdoing.

- TEAMtalk media

 

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