FORT WORTH – The Dean & DeLuca Invitational era for Fort Worth's annual PGA Tour stop will begin with a visit from the world's top-ranked golfer.
Tournament officials confirmed Wednesday that Jordan Spieth, the Dallas resident who is the reigning Masters and U.S. Open champion, will compete in the May 23-29 event at Colonial Country Club. Spieth, who also will compete in the AT&T Byron Nelson in Irving (May 16-22), has seven career victories on the PGA Tour, including five during the 2015 season when he earned Player of the Year honors.
If Spieth remains the world's top-ranked golfer when he tees up in the opening round at Colonial, he would be the first golfer to compete in Fort Worth while ranked No. 1 since Adam Scott, who claimed the 2014 Colonial title during his first week at the top of the rankings.
Spieth, who tied for second at last year's event, has two top-10 finishes in three appearances at Colonial and marks the highest-ranked competitor to commit since Dean & DeLuca was announced Feb. 15 as the tournament's new title sponsor.
In terms of fresh tweaks for the 2016 event, tournament officials are making plans to feature a Dean & DeLuca store in the tournament's Main Street area that would offer samplings of items produced by the upscale, international specialty foods retailer. Fans can purchase items at the store but concessions will remain in the hands of Spectrum Catering, a Conroe-based supplier used by multiple PGA Tour events.
We want to give people a taste of what's amazing about Dean & DeLuca. I think people will walk away from this with the understanding of the quality of the sophistication and the food products that we offer. Jay Coldren, Dean & DeLuca chief development officer, on fresh tweaks for the 2016 PGA Tour stop in Fort Worth.
Bayani Lauraya, global president of Dean & DeLuca, said golf fans will "definitely have some Dean & DeLuca experience" available at the May event, although the short turnaround time before the opening round means the fresh tweaks will not be extensive. D&D has 12 retail locations in the U.S., as well as 35 international outlets. Executives have targeted Dallas-Fort Worth as a primary expansion market, with plans to have a retail store in the Metroplex within a year.
In terms of specific tweaks for the 2016 tournament, D&D chief development officer Jay Coldren said executives "want to enter the tournament in a way that's respectful" but plan to make their brand visible during tournament week in the first year of their six-year agreement.
"We're still working with the tour on specifics. But, yeah, we want to give people a taste of what's amazing about Dean & DeLuca," Coldren said. "I think people will walk away from this with the understanding of the quality of the sophistication and the food products that we offer. We'll try to translate the magic that is part of the of the Dean & DeLuca experience at our stores in New York and bring that here."
This article was written by Jimmy Burch from Fort Worth Star-Telegram and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.