San Diego's Open Goes It Alone - NBC 7 San Diego

San Diego's Open Goes It Alone



    San Diego's Open Goes It Alone
    Getty Images
    Phil Mickelson hits out of a bunker on the third hole during the final round of the the Buick Invitational at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in 2009.

    If you're one of the millions of Americans looking for a job, you're not alone. San Diego has a golf tournament that can't find a sponsor.

    After 18 years, Buick won't be teeing off at Torrey Pines this month. That's because the automaker has pulled its name from the popular golf tournament.

    The folks who put on the tournament knew last year that Buick was dropping its sponsorship, but in all that time they could not find a replacement.

    Century Club president Tom Wornham said Monday it will not be Buick's Tournament but will be San Diego's tournament.

    The San Diego Open starts in two weeks and at a kickoff news conference Monday, there was something missing.

    "The spot to my right is supposed to be filled with our new sponsor," Wornham said. "You'll notice there's not a person there."

    With all the pressure on General Motors concerning the government bailout, the company just couldn't commit resources to the tournament.

    San Diego State marketing professor George Belch said shrinking sponsorships are not unique to golf.

    "When you have tight budgets, companies have to say something has to go, and for many of them, it's really been those sponsorships where they've made those cutbacks," Belch said.

    Tournament organizers are convinced that once they get through this year, sponsorship options will improve.