The presence of the luxury auto brands at the U.S. Open Championship in Bethesda, Md., just cannot be ignored as they’re definitely back. Lexus, the luxury brand of Toyota, recently revealed that it has decided to sponsor golfer Jason Day.
In 2007, Day was the youngest person to win a PGA Tour-sanctioned event. Day, who is now 23 years old, belongs to a lineup of golfers that Lexus is sponsoring, including Nick Watney, Peter Jacobsen, Charles Howell III, Mark O'Meara, Johnny Miller, and Raymond Floyd.
Day and Watney will be competing with other golfers who are also being sponsored by other auto companies. Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, who ranked second worldwide, are endorsed by Jaguar. Meanwhile, BMW is the sponsor of Martin Kaymer (ranked third around the world) and Alvaro Quiros.
It had always been a tradition for luxury automakers to sponsor PGA events and pro golfers but when the economic crisis hit in 2008, those relationships were cut. There had been 11 automotive title-sponsored PGA events in 2003 but there are only four this year.
One of those four is Cadillac, the only GM brand that has renewed ties with golf. While Cadillac won’t sponsor individual golfers in 2011, it had sponsored an event last March – the 2011 Doral Open in Miami – that was promptly renamed the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.