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Furbert confident of retaining Grand Slam

Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert is “confident” the PGA Grand Slam of Golf will remain on Bermuda’s shores for years to come.

The Department of Tourism’s current two-year contract with the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America to host the premier event expires in October of this year.

Last week fears were raised that Bermuda could lose its privilege to host the event after Furbert revealed that the PGA of America is now trying to sell the title sponsor for the Grand Slam of Golf.

He told fellow parliamentarians that if successful “it would be unlikely that a new sponsor would like to stay in Bermuda”.

However, the PGA of America has agreed to keep the Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda for at least another year should they fail to find a new title sponsor by the time this year’s tournament rolls around.

And this commitment, Furbert said, “would stand” even if the PGA did find a sponsor following this year’s Grand Slam of Golf, which will again showcase the four Major winners on the PGA Tour.

“The president of the PGA (Allen Wronowski) told me clearly that he loves Bermuda and if no title sponsor comes through they are staying in Bermuda,” Furbert told

The Royal Gazette yesterday.

Furbert said it is standard business practise for the PGA of America to “open up” the market for a new title sponsor given the current deal they have with Bermuda has expired.

“The bottom line is that our contract is up which allows both parties to look around and decide what they are going to do,” he added. “As with any business they look for someone who is going to give them greater revenue earnings because it’s all about business. But they would love to stay with us.”

Among the other countries that have shown an interest in hosting the annual event are previous hosts Hawaii and Barbados.

Even though Bermuda has yet to lose its grip on the premier tournament, Furbert revealed that Government is already exploring various alternatives just in case.

He said a proposed partnership with the Executive Women’s Golf Association (WEGA) would see Bermuda host either a Women’s Grand Slam of Golf or a World Championship of Women’s Golf in place of the Grand Slam of Golf. Furbert said the possibility of a five-day long Champions Tour event being held in Bermuda is also being considered.

“As I told them (PGA of America) we have to be proactive ourselves and that at the same time they are looking for a title sponsor (for Grand Slam of Golf) we also have to look for something that will replace it,” Furbert said. “So we are talking to them about other things we may negotiate on subject to.

“I’m confident that we will have something in place for 2013 using the resources that we have. And if it’s not the PGA Grand Slam of Golf it will be something more enhancing that will increase our exposure and also the who idea of bringing in more tourists to increase our GDP.”

The PGA of America will announce whether or not they have secured a new title sponsor in October.

Keegan Bradley tries on the winner's pink jacket handed to him by Tourist Minister Patrice Minors.

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Published February 09, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 09, 2012 at 7:45 am)

Furbert confident of retaining Grand Slam

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