| - January 08, 2003
MERCEDES CHAMPIONSHIPS OPENS
PGA TOUR WEST COAST SWING
Segment sponsor The St. Paul offering $1 million for "King of the Swing" competition
The 2003 PGA TOUR West Coast Swing presented by The St. Paul, which awards $1 million in individual player bonuses and supplements the purses of eight West Coast events, begins this week at the Mercedes Championships in Kapalua, HI.
The West Coast Swing consists of nine tournaments, concluding the week of Feb. 24-March 2 with the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and Chrysler Classic of Tucson.
As part of the sponsorship, The St. Paul awards the "King of the Swing" to the segment's top performer. The winner, determined by points accumulated for top-10 finishes during the Swing, receives a $500,000 bonus. The runner-up is awarded $300,000 and third place receives $200,000. A victory is worth 100 points, regressing by the following increments: 2nd = 70, 3rd = 60, 4th = 50, 5th = 40, 6th = 30, 7th = 25, 8th = 20, 9th = 15, 10th = 10.
"It is imperative to get off to a good start in the West Coast Swing events if you are going to compete for year long accomplishments like the top 30 or top 125 on the money list," said Tom Wade, chief marketing officer of the PGA TOUR. "The St. Paul's support adds to the excitement of these events with the King of the Swing competition and increases the importance of making an early impact in the PGA TOUR season."
Chris DiMarco won the 2002 title by four points over Jose Maria Olazabal. DiMarco posted four top-10 finishes, including a victory at the Phoenix Open for 170 points. Olazabal and Scott McCarron finished with 166 and 161 points, respectively. Previous King of the Swing winners were Davis Love III (2001), Tiger Woods (1999, 2000) and Phil Mickelson (1998).
The St. Paul also provides a $300,000 purse supplement to each West Coast Swing event, excluding the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
The 2003 PGA TOUR West Coast Swing presented by The St. Paul includes:
Jan. 6-12 -- Mercedes Championships ESPN
Jan. 13-19 -- Sony Open in Hawaii ESPN
Jan. 20-26 -- Phoenix Open USA/CBS
Jan. 27-Feb. 2 -- Bob Hope Chrysler Classic USA/CBS
Feb. 3-9 -- AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am USA/CBS
Feb. 10-16 -- Buick Invitational USA/CBS
Feb. 17-23 -- Nissan Open USA/ABC
Feb. 24-Mar. 2 -- WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship ESPN/ABC; Chrysler Classic of Tucson USA
Sponsorship of the West Coast Swing is just one element of The St. Paul's involvement with the PGA TOUR. The St. Paul is "The Official Property Liability Insurance Provider of the PGA TOUR," and has received in-broadcast exposure of its sponsorship, as well as advertising, promotional vignettes, on-site tournament branding and tournament hospitality opportunities.
The St. Paul is considered the leader in providing property-liability coverage for golf facilities through its Eagle 3 program. Since 1988, Eagle 3 has insured the PGA TOUR's Tournament Players Clubs throughout the country, and The St. Paul also has insured PGA TOUR tournaments under its Tournament Liability Insurance Program.
About The St. Paul
Celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, The St. Paul Companies provides commercial property-liability insurance and asset management services. The St. Paul is headquartered in Saint Paul Minnesota. For more information about The St. Paul and its products and services, visit the company's Web site at www.stpaul.com.
About the PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers. Its primary purpose is to provide significant competitive earnings opportunities for past, current and future members of the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour; to protect the integrity of the game; and to help grow the reach of the game in the U.S. and around the world.
Approximately 120 events are being contested on the three TOURs in 2003, for more than $290 million in prize money. In addition to providing competitive opportunities for its membership, TOUR events also generate significant sums of money for charity. TOUR events have raised nearly $700 million for charity since 1938, the first year such records were kept. The PGA TOUR's Web site address is www.pgatour.com.