It’s no secret that members of Broken Sound Club were hardly thrilled back in 2007 about the prospect of giving up high-season play at The Old Course to the clear way for a Champions Tour event in Boca. It’s also no secret that, in 2010, the same Champions Tour event nearly bolted for Turnberry Isle in Aventura—that is, before the city of Boca made an impassioned plea to retain the tournament.
So what does the recent announcement that Allianz has extended corporate sponsorship through 2017 of its namesake Champions Tour event mean for Boca? According to tournament director Ryan Dillon, the Allianz Championship and The Old Course will be linked for the duration of the sponsor extension. Club members originally put off by the loss of prime playing time have come to embrace the event (weeklong festivities this year run from Feb. 3-9). And players on the Champions Tour have come to love kicking off their season in Boca.
Jupiter Island resident Nick Price, who hit the first official shot of his senior career at The Old Course in 2007, compared the layout at the venerable Broken Sound tract to links golf. “It’s one of the few courses we play that has run on the ball,” says Price, who is trying to rebound from elbow surgery but will play in the event. “Most of us love that.”
In addition to Price, defending champion Rocco Mediate, Boca-based (and 2010 Allianz champion) Bernhard Langer, 2012 Allianz champion Corey Pavin (pictured above) and Colin Montgomerie will be among those vying for the $1.4 million purse. Boca Raton Regional Hospital once again will be a major beneficiary of the tournament, which has an estimated $15 million economic impact on the city of Boca.