The JELD-WEN Tradition packs its bags
After four years at The Reserve, the Tradition leaves for Sunriver's Crosswater Golf Club just outside Bend
ALOHA - As the JELD-WEN Tradition gears up for its fourth consecutive year in Aloha, tournament organizers and the Champions Tour announced Tuesday that 2006 will be the championship's final year at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club.
On Tuesday, Tradition officials announced that JELD-WEN had extended its title sponsorship of the tournament for an additional four years, and confirmed network TV coverage of weekend rounds on NBC for three of the next four years (excluding the Olympic year 2008).
More importantly for local golf fans, however, it was revealed that the tournament will move to Crosswater Golf Club, located just outside Bend in Sunriver, beginning in 2007.
'We are committed to keeping world-class golf in Oregon and we strongly believe that the changes are in the best interests of sponsors, players and fans,' said Gina Monterossi, sports marketing manager for JELD-WEN. 'Expanded TV coverage and the move to Crosswater go hand-in-hand with elevating the tournament during its next four years of growth.'
For Chris Rogers, general manager at The Reserve, the tournament's loss provided a mixture of emtions.
'We are sad to see such a great event leave the Portland market,' he said, 'but we think our venue has helped elevate it to the level of success it's attained.'
Early round television coverage will remain on The Golf Channel, and the cable network will broadcast all rounds in 2008.
JELD-WEN became title sponsor and brought the tournament to Oregon four years ago. Since that time, the tournament has made nearly $1 million in charitable donations. The economic impact of the tournament is estimated at $9 million annually, according to a study by the University of Oregon's Warsaw School of Sports Marketing in 2004.
The tournament's presence at The Reserve has been a boon to the 36-hole public-private course in Aloha, too. Rogers acknowledged the positive exposure that the Tradition - and before it the Fred Meyer Challenge - has brought The Reserve over the past nine years.
'We've tried to maximize that, certainly,' Rogers said.
And while there are no immediate plans to replace the Tradition with another big-time tournament, Rogers said that may change in the future.
'Our owner is a visionary,' Rogers said. 'He would always look at his options and is committed to our community.'
Rogers also emphasized that he expected continued success for the Tradition at its new home and wished the tournament and the Champions Tour well.
'We're excited for them and we're excited for us,' he said. 'We're glad to have been part of bringing this tournament to our community and to have helped it be a success while it was here.'