PGA Tour officials announced today that their organization raised $124 million for charity in 2008, the most of any single season in tour history. Included are charitable revenues generated from events on the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour.
The top contributor was the 2008 FBR Open in Scottsdale, Ariz., which raised a tour-record $8.6 million for local charities. But both Dallas-Fort Worth stops ranked among the tour's top five in charitable donations.
Fort Worth’s event, the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, raised a tournament-record $6.6 million in 2008, ranking third among PGA Tour stops. The Irving-based HP Byron Nelson Championship raised $6.114 million, ranking among the top five events and helping boost the combined total for D-FW charities to more than $12.7 million.
It marked the first time in tournament history that the Colonial event has surpassed the Nelson in charitable donations. The Nelson is the tour's all-time leader in total donations, at more than $107 million.
Peter Ripa, Colonial tournament director, said the results were both "unbelievable" and "pretty exciting" considering the difficult economic conditions.
"For the two (D-FW) events to generate more than $12 million is fantastic," Ripa said. "I'm not going to sit here and stick my chest out (about Colonial). We're very proud, collectively."
In a statement, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said officials were “extremely proud of the job each of these tournaments has done under particularly trying economic circumstances.”
_ Jimmy Burch