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Behind the Numbers… The Memorial Tournament

by Hallie Frair

The end of May marks many reasons to celebrate.  For most of us, Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer activities, such as swimming, boating, biking and other general outdoor activities with family and friends.  Others look forward to taking vacations to the beach or weekend trips to theme parks.  Most important in our world, CPAs are finally able to enjoy life outside of busy season!  However, for the city of Columbus, the end of May indicates the arrival of PGA professionals from around the world.

As accountants, we hold a burning desire to digest the numbers behind all operations.  As a result, it would be simply unfair to leave out the Memorial Tournament.  As many know, the Memorial was founded by Jack Nicklaus, an Upper Arlington native and Ohio State graduate.  However, a fact that few retain is, since the tournament’s beginning in 1976, Jack himself has won the tournament two times according to www.PGAtour.com.  In his first win on May 23, 1977, Jack took home $45,000 as his prize money according to The Memorial Tournament’s website.  How does that compare to the winning purse in recent years? Last year Tiger Woods pocketed $1,116,000 after his first place finish. Not a bad pay day for a long weekend of golf if you ask me.

The Memorial Tournament provides benefit to several local charities and organizations in central Ohio, including Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Bears for Children’s, the James Cancer Hospital, The First Tee and many others. One of the largest fundraising sources among the tournament is the annual Legends Luncheon presented by Nationwide Insurance. The proceeds of the Legends Luncheon are directed in full to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  This year’s third annual Legends Luncheon raised $550,000 in donations, which added to a total of $1,100,000 since the luncheon’s inception.

A more unique feature of The Memorial Tournament is the Hospitality Houses surrounding the course. These private homes are rented during the tournament to some of the larger companies in the Greater Columbus Area.  Golf patrons can purchase day passes to these houses and enjoy a professional golf tournament from the comfort a lawn chair in your average Muirfield Village resident’s back yard. Single tickets are listed at $175 per day for the Boger Hospitality House located on the 18th hole.  Not interested in individual, one day passes?  The Community Banking Hospitality House can be rented for $5,000 for a four day hosting partnership according www.cbao.com.

For both golf and non-golf fans, it is clear that The Memorial Tournament has a positive impact on central Ohio organizations and the community. Thanks are in order to our very own Jack Nicklaus for bringing such a wonderful event to Columbus.

*Thank you to Brendan McCausland, Assurance Staff, for his contributions to this post.

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