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The PGA Tour is in danger of losing yet another sponsor.

First reportedly by, RBC is refusing to commit to a multi-year extension of its current deal with the mainly US-based circuit until such times as changes are made.

The Royal Bank of Canada is understood to have paid the PGA Tour an eye-watering $25m to be the title sponsor for last month’s RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island and the upcoming RBC Canadian Open.

It has bankrolled the latter since 2008, saving the event from possible oblivion, and added the former to its portfolio in 2012.

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However, with both deals up after this year and until such times as it gets some guarantees on the future of the PGA Tour specifically and men’s professional golf more broadly, the bank is refusing to spend another dime.

Mary DePaoli, RBC executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, said: “We’re all experiencing some frustration, whether we’re a sponsor or a fan or the players.

“We are all watching the PGA Tour right now trying to sort through a business model that has been under some significant strain and has still not fully resolved itself and that’s still TBD.

“It’s required a lot of patience from the players and it’s required a lot of patience from sponsors and fans.”

The news of RBC’s hesitancy to continue its support is bound to worrying the beaks at the PGA Tour HQ.

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The circuit lost Honda’s support last year, whilst Wells Fargo announced in December that it would not be continuing its support of the Wells Fargo Championship beyond its current deal, which expires next year.

“It’s like they’re flying the plane and building it at the same time,” added DePaoli. “If some of these outstanding questions can resolve themselves in the short to medium term, and we can start to put some of the static and changes that a lot of people were not too pleased with behind us, professional men’s golf can get back on track and going in a positive direction again.

“Golf might be at this moment in time where, unlike a lot of other professional sports, it’s going through change, it’s going through transformation.

“A lot of other leagues and teams have gone through a lot of that through the course of their history so we’re hoping this rectifies itself soon. We’re hoping they can bring the sport together in a very healthy way that again benefits the players, the sponsors and fans. If the fans are happy, we’re happy.

“If the players are happy, we’re happy, but right now there’s some flux there.”

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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