Simmons Bank signed on as the title sponsor for the PGA Korn Ferry Tour Nashville Golf Open.
Brandt Snedeker said Nashville took a step toward landing a PGA Tour tournament Tuesday when the Nashville Golf Open landed its first title sponsor.
Simmons Bank agreed to an eight-year partnership with the PGA’s Korn Ferry Tour tournament at Nashville Golf & Athletic Club. The newly named Simmons Bank Open for The Snedeker Foundation will return April 30-May 3 with 156 players competing for a $600,000 purse.
Snedeker, a Nashville native and PGA Tour veteran, has expressed in the past his interest in bringing a PGA Tour tournament to Nashville.
On Tuesday, he said securing a title sponsor for the Korn Ferry Tour event will go a long way toward accomplishing that goal.
The Korn Ferry Tour, formerly the Web.com Tour, features pro golfers who have either not yet reached the PGA Tour or haven’t earned enough FedEx Cup points to remain on that level.
“This is giving Nashville every opportunity to show, ‘Hey, can you host and support a big golf event?'” Snedeker said. “We have a sponsorship now. We have the stability. Now it’s about what we do as fans, as a community, as volunteers, to show that we love golf here and we’re passionate about it. The onus is on us as a community now to take that next step. This is a huge moment for the golf community in town of showing out about what we could possibly do going forward.”
The sponsorship, Snedeker said, is a starting point for greater aspirations.
“Hopefully, as this thing grows and gets bigger, we can talk about me hosting a tour championship here or something like that as a Korn Ferry event,” Snedeker said. “Then maybe grow into something more from that on the PGA Tour.”
The Nashville Golf Open operated its first four years without a title sponsor.
Simmons Bank is based in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and has operations in eight states, including 10 centers throughout the greater Nashville region.
George Makris, chairman and CEO of Simmons Bank, shares Snedeker’s desire to bring a PGA Tour event to Nashville.
“We’re very satisfied with (the tournament) being on the Korn Ferry Tour today, but we also know about the growth that Nashville has experienced and about its success with other professional sports,” Makris said. “And we believe that one day it could be a PGA Tour site, and we would certainly be honored to be associated with it.”
For the time being, officials of the local tournament are just happy to have a title sponsor.
“To see this all come together today is the culmination of a lot of dreams that we’ve had,” said Patrick Nichol, who served as the first Nashville Golf Open director and is president and CEO of Tour Vision Promotions. “With (Simmons Bank) support and commitment, it is our goal to become the very best event on this tour.”
Reach Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.