Golf, IL December 10, 2013 – For the second year in a row, the BMW Championship was named the PGA TOUR’s Tournament of the Year at the TOUR’s Tournament Meetings on Thursday, December 5, at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
The award was one of two earned by the 2013 BMW Championship, which also won the “Best On-Site Staging” award for this year’s tournament at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill.
Conducted by the Western Golf Association, the 2013 BMW Championship raised over $2.5 million for the Evans Scholars Foundation bringing the total raised through the BMW Championship to over $17 million since the tournament’s inception in 2007. The Evans Scholars Foundation is the WGA’s 83-year-old sister organization which has been sending caddies-to-college since 1930.
The penultimate event in the FedExCup Playoffs, the BMW Championship was one of the top attended tournaments on the PGA TOUR in 2013, attracting more than 130,000 spectators to Conway Farms Golf Club outside Chicago.
“On behalf of the PGA TOUR, I am pleased to congratulate the BMW Championship for being named the best among its peers on TOUR,” said PGA TOUR Executive Vice President and Chief of Operations Andy Pazder. “The tournament committee should be proud of the special recognition the event has earned for its efforts.”
Benchmarks achieved by the BMW Championship in 2013 – in the areas of revenue growth, charity integration, attendance, corporate sponsor satisfaction, host club and community support, title sponsor integration, player satisfaction and fan enjoyment – were all significant factors in the event being named Tournament of the Year, TOUR officials said.
Former Masters Champion Zach Johnson won the BMW Championship for the first time and tenth overall victory on the PGA TOUR.
“I would like to congratulate the BMW Championship on being named as the PGA TOUR’s Tournament of the Year for the second year in a row,” Johnson said. “It’s an honor to be the champion of such a prestigious event.”
The 2012 BMW Championship, held at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind. and won by Rory McIlroy, was named the TOUR’s Tournament of the Year last year.
“Given the caliber of the more than 40 outstanding events on the TOUR each season, it is incredibly humbling to receive this honor for the second year in a row and the third time since 2008,” said Western Golf Association senior vice president of tournaments Vince Pellegrino. “The WGA shares this award with our title sponsor, BMW of North America, with whom we’ve had a strong partnership for the last seven years.”
The BMW Championship was named Tournament of the Year in 2008, when Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis hosted the event.
BMW leveraged its sponsorship in numerous ways, including providing BMW owners many benefits such as complimentary tickets, exclusive parking and shuttle transportation on-site, concierge service, as well as, a private BMW Owners’ Pavilion hospitality area featuring some of the best views of the course and exclusive live viewing opportunities at the Golf Channel Studio . In addition, tournament patrons were treated to a 10,000 square foot BMW Experience exhibit area featuring a variety of new BMW models on display, and premium concession and merchandise areas, the TOUR noted.
The WGA also succeeded in its multi-tiered integration of the tournament’s charitable mission, the TOUR said. For example, Evans Scholar alumni – many of whom graduated from college decades ago – served as caddies in the Monday and Wednesday Pro-Am events – and donated their tips to the Evans Scholars Foundation. Additionally, BMW awarded a four-year scholarship to the Evans Scholars Foundation when Hunter Mahan recorded a Hole-in-One on the 17th hole during the tournament’s third round. Mahan’s Hole-in-One also earned him a BMW i3, BMW’s first all-electric vehicle.
Current and past Evans Scholars also greeted fans at the tournament entry gates and provided information about the program.
Corporate hospitality sales were highly successful thanks in part to Corporate Supporter Workshops leading up to the tournament. Prior to the event, tournament sales and support teams scheduled a private venue walk-through with individual corporate hospitality customer representatives. During the tournament, each venue was staffed with hospitality liaisons to ensure all needs were met.
Players had the opportunity to test drive some of BMW’s newest vehicles throughout the week along with a unique “BMW M Power Driving Experience.” BMW also staged a table tennis exhibition for PGA TOUR players to challenge Timothy Wang, who competed as a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Table Tennis Team in London.
The 2014 BMW Championship is set for September 1-7 at Cherry Hills Country Club outside Denver, Colo.
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BMW Group in America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 119 MINI passenger car dealers, and 34 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at: www.bmwgroupna.com.
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About Western Golf Association/Evans Scholars Foundation
The Western Golf Association conducts four national golf championships and sponsors the nationally acclaimed Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship Program. Headquartered in Golf, Illinois, the organization was founded in 1899 by 11 Chicago-area golf clubs to promote their interests in golf. Today, nearly 400 member clubs in states throughout the nation support the WGA.
The WGA conducts two prestigious amateur championships, the Western Amateur and the Western Junior, as well as the BMW Championship, the third of four PGA TOUR Playoff events in the TOUR’s FedExCup competition. Since 2007, the BMW Championship has raised more than $17 million dollars for the Evans Scholars Foundation. In 2013, the WGA is adding a fourth tournament, the Hotel Fitness Championship, one of four newly-created Web.com Tour Finals events.
The WGA also champions education through golf in sponsoring the Evans Scholars Program. Established by famed amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans, Jr., the program provides full housing and tuition scholarships to deserving caddies across the country. Currently, 840 caddies are attending college on scholarship; there are more than 9,600 Evans Alumni across the country. Most Scholars attend one of the 14 universities where the Foundation owns and operates a Scholarship House.
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ABOUT PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 100 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and PGA TOUR Canada.
The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to approximately 715 million households in 225 countries and territories in 29 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2011, tournaments on the three Tours generated more than $121 million for local charitable organizations, bringing the TOUR’s all-time total of charitable contributions to more than $1.7 billion.
The PGA TOUR’s web site is PGATOUR.com, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.