Sunday, May 27, 2018

Bay area PGA event gets Transitions Optical as sponsor

The PGA Tour will remain in Tampa Bay thanks to a sponsorship agreement with Transitions Optical Inc. of Pinellas Park.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and Innisbrook owner Sheila Johnson will hold a news conference Wednesday at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor to announce the agreement.

Although the length of the deal was not announced, it is likely at least four years at about $7-million per year. PODS Inc. signed a six-year deal two years ago but exercised an option to back out after two years.

The tournament will remain part of the Florida Swing but be the third tournament in the state (instead of second) and run March 16-22 on the Copperhead Course. With sponsorship secure, only the PGA event in Atlanta remains without a corporate sponsor for 2009.

Transitions Optical did not return calls Monday, and PGA officials were reluctant to say much about the deal until Wednesday.

"We have worked very hard with the people at Innisbrook so that we can continue to have an event there," said Ty Votaw, PGA executive vice president of communications and international affairs. "I can't say anything more. That's why we're having a press conference on Wednesday."

The tournament will be called the Transitions Optical Championship. It is the fifth name since the tournament became a PGA event in 2000.