In another sign of fragile financial conditions, some PGA Tour events are trying to figure out transportation for players after learning over the weekend that Buick will not be providing courtesy cars to most tournaments next year.
“We’ve already started scrambling to try to approach local dealers or national suppliers to see if they’re interested,” said Clair Peterson, tournament director of the John Deere Classic. “The car industry as a whole is in a tough spot. We’ve already had one company tell us everything has been frozen in ‘09.”
Other tournaments that Buick will no longer supply include the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, the AT&T National in Washington and the Transitions Championship outside Tampa, Fla. The Shell Houston Open remains hopeful of keeping its Buick courtesy car deal.
The Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles had a deal with Nissan, its previous title sponsor, that expired last year. Tournament director Tom Pulchinski said he tried to arrange a deal with Buick and was turned down.
“The business model has changed,” Pulchinski said. “It’s definitely going to be an expense. We probably would provide cars, even if it’s a rental deal where we pick up the cars and foot the bill. We talked to Buick, but they could not swing it.”