Hats off to the folks who run the Reno-Tahoe Open at Montreux for thinking outside the box. This event on the PGA schedule has struggled for the last few years after it lost its primary sponsor and it looked like a sure bet that this tournament was going to another in a long line that was going to vanish because of the economy. What to do, what to do?
Well I guess after some real soul searching and some late nights, the committee folks decided to shake things up. After all, what did they have to lose? The tournament folks just announced that they were changed the format from the same ol’ boring stroke play to a modified Stableford format. Why not since the International event has been defunct for a few years. What’s great about this is that not only does this bring what i feel is an exciting format to the event, but Montreux is just made for this type tournament. The course lends itself to “risk-reward” play.
One of the reasons that this event has struggled in the past is because it is usually opposite a much larger event, which it will be in 2012, namely the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, but with a change in format, they stand a chance to get a better field then in the past.
One of the other things about this event that I think is great is that they have “secured” the sponsorship of dozens and dozens of local businesses to help coming up with the operational expenses and the purse for the tournament. I mean everybody from the hotel/casinos in Reno to local donut shops (yum!). Maybe with would be a good lesson for some of the other PGA tournaments that are experiencing financial troubles. In this time of tight money, what’s wrong with taking a few bucks from your local drugstore or discount tire outlet? Nothing!
My hometown tournament, the Justin Timberlake Shriners for Children Hospitals event has been losing money since day 1. I have tried to suggest the exact same thing that the Reno-Tahoe tournament just did, but it has fallen on deaf ears. What, Justin Timberlake sponsored by Angie’s Homemade Cupcakes? Too bad.