WILMINGTON — Officials had previously said the Wells Fargo Championship is shaping up from a logistical standpoint. But, other aspects of the tournament are starting to take shape, too, heading into the 2017 PGA TOUR schedule.
With just over 100 days remaining until tournament week at Eagle Point Golf Club in Porters Neck, the response from the community of Wilmington and the surrounding area has helped fill needs expected during the competition week of May 1-7.
Currently, 1,800 total volunteers are registered to assist the tournament, the maximum number needed for the event. From the Wilmington area, 1,265 people have volunteered and 535 will be coming from the Charlotte area to help manage and operate the Wells Fargo Championship.
“I’ve worked many of these (people) in the past,” said Greg Woodward, of nearby Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. “Wilmington is a great area with great people. I know this tournament will be a great success. I look forward to being a part of it.”
Tournament Volunteer Coordinator Paula Burnett has started a wait list for people interested in sharing time before, during and after the tournament. For more information regarding the volunteer wait list, or to register, visit the tournament website at www.wellsfargochampionship/volunteers.
The Wells Fargo Championship and DICK’S Sporting Goods of Wilmington, North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach, have partnered to provide an in-store ticket outlet for shoppers. In Wilmington, the two DICK’S Sporting Goods stores located at South College Road and Mayfaire Town Center offer ticket options from practice pack, weekly and single day. Prices start at $30. Parking and shuttle fees from authorized tournament parking lots are included in the ticket price. To accommodate families, children ages 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by a ticketed adult.
Celebrating its 15th year, the Wells Fargo Championship is the 26th official event on the 2016-2017 PGA TOUR schedule. There are a total of 47 official events. The TOUR plays in 22 states and the Wells Fargo Championship is the first of three 2017 TOUR stops in North Carolina. The Zurich Classic of New Orleans will be held the week before the Wells Fargo Championship and THE PLAYERS Championship will be the week after.
While the volunteer turnout and a public meeting revealed much local excitement about hosting a sporting event of this magnitude, there are some in the community who are protesting the tournament. It’s partially due to the recent headlines regarding executives at Wells Fargo and the spending of federal bailout funds. Wells Fargo, the bank, serves as the title sponsor of the popular tournament. But, the event is run by non-profit host, Champions for Education. This 501(c)3 manages and operates the tournament and has raised over $18 million since 2003.
“We’ve begun conversations about the where the charitable dollars will go and it will stay in Wilmington,” said Mac Everett, general chairman of the Wells Fargo Championship, “We should have an announcement regarding that soon, but the dollars will remain in this community.”