Sunday, 18 October 2015 | Written by Kerry Eggers
PORTLAND PROMOTER WILL RUN SAFEWAY OPEN IN NAPA, CALIF., STARTING IN 2016
Portland golf promoter Jeff Sanders is hitting the big time.
Sanders, executive vice president with Lagardere Sports, has signed a five-year deal for his event staging company to run a PGA Tour event, beginning in 2016.
The Frys.com Open at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif., will become the Safeway Open next October.
“We’re going to run it for five years, and Safeway will be the sponsor for five years,” says Sanders, the Portland native and Sunset High and University of Oregon grad.
Legendary golfer/broadcaster Johnny Miller has signed to serve as tournament host for the Safeway event, which will have a $6 million purse.
It’s a major breakthrough for Sanders, who ran his company as “Jeff Sanders Promotions” from 1988 until an acquisition by Lagardere in 2013.
“When you’re in this business, you always want to run a PGA Tour event,” Sanders says. “I’m absolutely thrilled for our team. Many of the people have been with me for a long time. This will be our biggest event. We’re all anxious to take what we’ve learned on the Web.com tour and apply it to the PGA Tour.”
Sanders’ firm will conduct six tournaments in 2016, including Web.com Tour events in Portland and Boise. Lagardere will stage the WinCo Foods Open for a minimum of two more years at Pumpkin Ridge. The Albertsons Boise Open will move its date to mid-September next year and will be one of the Web.com Tour’s four final events through 2019.
Lagardere also will stage three two-day charity events — two in Scottsdale, Ariz., and one in Chicago.
“We’ve run some great events and generated almost $100 million for charity over the years,” Sanders says.