Cary Swings Senior PGA Event
Posted May 24, 2001 8:24 a.m. EDT
CARY — Southern Pines is preparing for the Women's U.S. Open at the end of the month. In the fall, the PGA will come to Wake County. A Senior Tour Event is moving from Atlanta to Cary.
SAS Institute, the world's largest private software company, will sponsor the North Carolina event at Prestonwood County Club, which will be called The SAS Championship and have a purse of $1.6 million. The 54-hole event for golfers 50 and over will come one week after the Vantage Championship in Clemmons, just west of Winston-Salem. The Home Depot Invitational was held in Charlotte in May.
"Hopefully, it will be the first of many. I think this is a great golfing area and people will get behind it and come out to see it," says golfer Bob McKernie.
Sources say negotiations began about three months ago, when LiquidGolf.com pulled out of the fall tournament in Georgia. SAS and Prestonwood tried to land a Senior Tour event several years ago, when the private club was host of the Buy.com Tour, but officials picked Baltimore instead.
However, the Senior Tour revisited the possibility of SAS sponsorship when the Georgia event went under.
"It's a big event because of the names on the Senior Tour right now; Trevino, Nicklaus and Palmer will all hopefully be here," says golfer Dan Harris.
The tournament's contract is for three years at Prestonwood before it will move to the Tournament Players Club at Wakefield Plantation in north Raleigh in 2004. Prestonwood has three 18-hole courses. The Senior Tour event will be played on a combination of two of the courses and the length could stretch to 7,112 yards.