Nothing Goofy about possible PGA return to Disney

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Golfer Tiger Woods poses with Mickey Mouse with the winner's trophy aft the last circular of play October 24 successful the National Car Rental Golf Classic being played astatine the Walt Disney World Resort.

Nov 3 (Reuters) - Ever since they opened the gates to Walt Disney World a half-century agone they person played play astatine the Magic Kingdom.

Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Karrie Webb header a database of champions who person won PGA and LPGA Tour events staged astatine the Orlando country resort, accepting congratulations and winner's cheques from Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

It has been astir a decennary since the PGA past made a halt astatine "The Most Magical Place connected Earth" but the Tour said that nether the close conditions it would happily see a return.

"We enjoyed an incredibly palmy concern with Walt Disney World Resort from 1971-2012," the PGA Tour told Reuters successful an email.

"For a imaginable caller event, if the indispensable ingredients are successful spot – rubric sponsor, disposable day successful Tour docket that makes sense, subordinate support, assemblage support, charitable partner, palmy semipermanent outlook -- determination would beryllium information made."

More precocious Disney World Golf's attraction has shifted distant from providing a signifier for professionals to the wide nationalist with its 3 title layouts pulling successful astir 200,000 rounds annually.

Four decades of crowning champions similar Woods, Nicklaus and Payne Stewart has near a bequest that Disney World Golf continues to payment from arsenic casual golfers drive, spot and putt astir layouts that person hosted the game's greats.

But Nicklaus, Woods and Stewart are yesterday's heroes and astatine immoderate constituent paying customers volition beryllium looking to lucifer themselves up connected tracks that the likes of Bryson DeChambeau and Jon Rahm person won on.

"We honour our past and we're ever looking to physique upon it," Bruce Gerlander, wide manager of Walt Disney World Golf, told Reuters.

"We surely person the expertise and facilities to signifier world-class events connected iconic courses if the close accidental presented itself for each concerned."

Disney was dropped from the PGA Tour docket for the 2013–14 wrap-around play aft Children's Miracle Network declined to renew their sponsorship and nary others were found.

DEEPER CONNECTION

But Disney has a deeper transportation with play than immoderate of the existent venues hosting PGA and LPGA events.

Long earlier the Florida amusement parkland opened for concern successful 1971, play was the athletics of prime for Disney characters.

Donald Duck and his nephew caddies Huey, Dewey and Louie appeared successful a golf-themed cartoon successful 1938 arsenic did Mickey Mouse and Pluto successful the 1941 "Canine Caddy". The 1944 classical "How to Play Golf" featured Goofy.

In 1971 play got existent astatine the Magic Kingdom, however, with Nicklaus winning the archetypal of 3 consecutive Disney Classics.

"Disney made a large publication to the game," said Nicklaus. "They’ve had play everyplace wherever they’ve been."

Disney past became a fixture connected the PGA Tour, the 20-year-old Woods successful 1996 picking up his 2nd vocation rubric astatine Walt Disney World and winning again successful 1999.

Disney World's concern with the PGA Tour ended successful 2012 erstwhile Charlie Beljan collecting his 1 and lone PGA Tour triumph but successful 2011 Disney was the absorption of the play satellite arsenic Britain Luke Donald battled Webb Simpson to decorativeness apical of the PGA Tour wealth list.

Donald bushed Justin Leonard by 2 shots to implicit an historical double, becoming the archetypal subordinate to triumph some wealth lists connected the PGA and European Tours successful the aforesaid year.

"I retrieve Webb Simpson, who I was competing against for the wealth rubric helium played the week earlier and got up of maine by a mates of 100 1000 dollars truthful forced my manus to play," Donald told Reuters.

"We really played each 4 rounds unneurotic with an oculus connected each and we knew the wealth rubric was connected the enactment and perchance subordinate of the twelvemonth and a batch of different things that spell on with it.

"And Donald Duck was determination helium presented the trophy, benignant of comic Luke Donald and Donald Duck."

Reporting by Steve Keating successful Toronto, Editing by Ed Osmond

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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