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Hyundai Ends Sponsorship of Tournament of Champions

January 21, 2016, 5:22 AM HST · Updated January 21, 5:22 AM
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The flag on the second hole blows in the wind during the third round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions golf tournament at The Plantation Course on Saturday. Photo by Brian Spurlock of USA TODAY Sports.

The flag on the second hole blows in the wind during the third round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions golf tournament at The Plantation Course earlier this month. Photo by Brian Spurlock of USA TODAY Sports.

By MauiNow.com

Hyundai Motor of America announced Wednesday it will end its sponsorship of the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua’s Plantation Course.

Hyundai will take over the Northern Trust Open event at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles in 2017, after being the title sponsor of the Tournament of Champions on Maui for six years.

On Tuesday, the PGA Tour announced that Northern Trust will replace Barclays as title sponsor of the first FedExCup Playoff tournament held annually in the New York/New Jersey area, also beginning in 2017.

“Hyundai had a tremendous six years as title sponsor of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and helped elevate the stature of the tournament, while making a significant impact on numerous local organizations in Hawaii,” said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO, Hyundai Motor America. “The tournament is in a position of strength and we look forward to watching its continued success.”

Hyundai has its U.S. headquarters in Fountain Valley, Calif.

PGA golfers Jason Day and Justin Thomas putt on the third hole with a rainbow behind them during the third round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions golf tournament at Kapalua Resort of Saturday. Photo by Brian Spurlock of USA TODAY Sports.

PGA golfers Jason Day and Justin Thomas putt on the third hole with a rainbow behind them during the third round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions golf tournament earlier this month at Kapalua Resort. Photo by Brian Spurlock of USA TODAY Sports.

“Considering that Hyundai Motor America is headquartered and heavily invested in the greater Los Angeles area, this is a perfect fit for Hyundai’s long-term vision and goals as a tournament sponsor,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. “Hyundai is a terrific partner that has actively promoted the Hyundai Tournament of Champions since becoming title sponsor in 2011 and used the event to broaden awareness of its brand and products. We are very excited to continue our relationship with Hyundai and look forward to helping with the transition to Riviera Country Club for 2017.”

The Tournament of Champions will be held at Kapalua through at least 2019 under a 10-year contract held by the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) of South Korea that originated in 2010.

SBS was the title sponsor of the 2010 Kapalua tournament after Mercedes-Benz USA ended its title sponsorship in 2009 after 16 years.

World No. 1-ranked golfer Jordan Spieth won the most recent Tournament of Champions at Kapalua on Jan. 10 with a 30-under-par total of 262. The 2017 tournament is scheduled to take place at the Plantation Course Jan. 5-8.

An important aspect of Hyundai’s sponsorship of the Tournament of Champions has been its charitable work through Hyundai Hope On Wheels, a national independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to helping kids fight cancer. The program is supported by Hyundai Motor America and its more than 830 dealers nationwide. In association with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, more than $550,000 has been donated to the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children.

PGA golfer Jordan Spieth signs autographs on his way to the first tee during the third round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions golf tournament at Kapalua Resort on Saturday. -Photo by Brian Spurlock of USA TODAY Sports.

PGA golfer Jordan Spieth signs autographs on his way to the first tee during the third round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions golf tournament at Kapalua Resort earlier this month. Spieth won the 2016 event. Photo by Brian Spurlock of USA TODAY Sports.

Beginning in 2017, Hyundai Hope On Wheels will be integrated into the charitable activities of the tournament.

The PGA Tour is committed to identifying a new title sponsor for the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

Hyundai will be aligning with one of the longest-running tournaments on the PGA Tour. It debuted in 1926 at Los Angeles Country Club as the Los Angeles Open. The tournament was staged at various courses throughout the Los Angeles area before permanently settling at Riviera Country Club in 1973.

“The PGA Tour’s Los Angeles tournament is the signature golf event in the country’s second-biggest market, is broadcast nationally on CBS and is located in the backyard of Hyundai’s headquarters in Orange County,” added Zuchowski. “During the past six years, we’ve continued to expand our relationship with the game of golf and there is no better tournament for us to be associated with. We can’t wait to showcase Hyundai vehicles to the millions ofLos Angeles golf fans and those watching on TV and, most importantly, continuing the event’s long history of charitable activities.”

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