A little more than a year after the USGA launched a 10-year sponsorship agreement with ProMedica, the two companies have parted ways.
ProMedica, an Ohio-based not-for-profit integrated health and well-being organization that serves communities in 28 states, was the first presenting sponsor in U.S. Women’s Open history and helped boost the championship’s purse in 2022 to a record $10 million.
USGA CEO Mike Whan confirmed to Golfweek that the two companies reached a separation agreement about a month ago, after ProMedica’s business took a downward turn.
“It doesn’t change anything about our commitment to where we play, how we play, how much we play for,” said Whan, “all those things remain the same.”
ProMedica gave Golfweek a statement that read in part:
“We are grateful for those partners like the USGA that understand the extreme financial challenges the healthcare industry has been navigating and have worked with us in a professional manner to reassess prior engagements.
“ProMedica, like many other health systems across the country, is experiencing financial strain coming off of 2022, which was declared the worst financial year for the healthcare industry since the start of the pandemic. While we were hopeful the industry’s financial performance was improving at the beginning of 2022, challenges like extreme staffing shortages and rapidly rising expenses proved to be significant hurdles.”
Whan said that while a number of companies have already expressed an interest in filling the role, he has told his team there’s no need to rush.
“I think anybody who had doubts about whether or not (a presenting sponsor) would be good for the women’s game,” said Whan, “and help lift the U.S. Women’s Open to another level, those doubts were eliminated.”
The 2023 U.S. Women’s Open will be played July 6-9 at Pebble Beach for the first time in tournament history.