One of the largest sporting events in the Upstate — and one of the state’s most significant fundraising efforts — will not happen in 2020. The PGA Tour has canceled the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by Synnex Corp. because of concerns about COVID-19.
The annual event, which has raised $13.6 million for more than 200 local non-profits since 2001, is part of the PGA Tour’s Korn Ferry Tour. All Korn Ferry tournaments from March 19 to June 14 have been affected. The BMW Charity Pro-Am, scheduled for June 4-7, is one of nine to be canceled. Three others were postponed, according to the Korn Ferry schedule. Related BMW Charity Pro-Am events scheduled for June 1-7 are also canceled in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Events for the top-level PGA Tour are canceled or postponed for roughly the same period.
Aside from the direct benefit it has through S.C. Charities Inc. — which last year meant $567,775 for four organizations — the BMW Charity Pro Am has a local economic impact of about $7 million annually, according to event organizers.
“As disappointing as this is for everyone involved, our number one priority is the health and safety of the community at-large as well as the fans, volunteers, players and sponsors of the tournament,” Bob Nitto, president of South Carolina Charities Inc., said in a news release. “Despite the cancellation, the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by Synnex Corp. remains focused on its mission to raise money and awareness for South Carolina charities and will be working to determine new ways to continue to make a positive impact on the Upstate.”
This year’s tournament was to benefit Mobile Meals of Spartanburg, Prisma Health Children’s Hospital, Roper Mountain Science Center, The Cliffs Residents Outreach, Cancer Society of Greenville County, and the Meyer Center for Special Children.
Operated by more than 800 volunteers, the event attracts professional athletes, celebrities and a number of out-of-town amateurs to the Upstate every year and supports roughly 139 jobs in the Upstate, according information provided by event organizers in November when this year’s tournament efforts officially kicked off. The event also brings an estimated $4.7 million to the Upstate through direct spending and $541,048 in net local government revenues, according to the release.o