PGA Tour Cashes In on Another Insurance Policy
By Stephanie Wei under General

Next week’s PGA Tour long-standing event at Torrey Pines, which was to be called the San Diego Open after the financially-troubled Buick terminated its backing last August, found a last-minute sponsor — Farmers Insurance.

The Tour and the Century Club of San Diego reached an agreement on Monday morning for the company to act as title sponsor of this year’s tournament, which will now be known as the Farmers Insurance Open. At least for one year (a sign of desperate economic times?). But the contract includes a long-term option, which of course, Commissioner Tim Finchem pointed out with his usual upbeat comments:

Although this has been finalized on such short notice, it represents a substantial investment on Farmers’ part to help in the tournament’s success. We look forward to continuing our discussions with Farmers officials following the Farmers Insurance Open in regard to the possibility of a longer-term partnership.

While the financial terms of the contract weren’t disclosed, Rick George, the executive vice president and chief of operations for the Tour, said, “It is a substantial investment on their part.”

Which means millions — a typical title sponsor of a Tour event coughs up $8-$10 million. But given the circumstances, perhaps the deal came with a reduced price. Without a sponsor, the Tour would have been responsible for the brunt of the costs, including the $5.3 million purse.

Tom Wornham, President & General Chairman of the Century Club, added, “Farmers truly is a knight in shining armor for the Century Club and San Diego.”

I guess Farmers generously invoked its disaster insurance policy.