WGC-Doral Plans Announcement: Cadillac to Sponsor?
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Ernie Els celebrates winning the '10 WGC-CA Championship

The PGA Tour has scheduled a “special announcement regarding the World Golf Championships’ event at TPC Blue Monster” for Monday afternoon. The fancy media conference (light refreshments will be served!) will feature Commissioner Tim Finchem addressing the press at Doral.

Last month a Sports Business Journal article reported that General Motors and the Tour were near a deal to sign Cadillac as the new sponsor of the WGC-Doral tournament and possibly other events. With the recent news of GM’s successful IPO, many are assuming the Tour is confirming that the agreement has been finalized.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Free Press is reporting that Cadillac is planning a sponsorship announcement of professional golf events on Monday, bringing Detroit back as a tour stop in 2012. When GM entered bankruptcy in 2009, it also ended its longtime sponsorship of the Buick Open.

The rumored price tag on the WGC event at Doral was somewhere from $12 to $15 million.

“From my standpoint, General Motors is not only going to get a great field with all the buzz with Doral, but it also reaches the Latin-American and South-American markets very well, with Miami being a predominantly Latin-American community,” said PGA Tour player Joe Ogilvie in a telephone interview. “You hit the emerging markets and you kind of get the double-whammy. [Doral] is more expensive, but you hit golf’s demographic that Cadillac will and you hit that Latin-American market which will be extremely big for General Motors going forward.”

Presuming Cadillac is backing Doral, that leaves three full-field events on the regular (yet-to-be-released) 2011 schedule (not counting UBS dropping out as one of the three backers of The Players and the Reno-Tahoe Open) — Children’s Miracle Network Open (Disney), the Bob Hope Classic and the former Verizon Heritage Classic (Hilton Head). Ogilvie also told this site that he believes Children’s Miracle is re-upping its option on the final Fall Series event.

Perhaps this afternoon’s announcement will include the unveiling of the 2011 PGA Tour schedule — 26 days later than it was last year.

Stay tuned!