WICHITA, Kansas – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, a longtime partner and supporter of community activities and health initiatives throughout the state, will become the title sponsor of Wichita’s premier professional golf event on the Korn Ferry Tour, as announced today by tournament officials.
Renamed the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics, the 34th playing of the Korn Ferry Tour event will take place June 15-18, 2023, with tournament related activities and events beginning June 8. Featuring the next generation of PGA TOUR stars, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics will once again be contested at Crestview Country Club, with the purse increasing to $1 million for the first time in tournament history.
The title sponsor announcement was made this afternoon by Tournament Director Dusty Buell and Matt All, President/CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. The title sponsorship will run through the 2025 playing of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics.
“We are so pleased to have Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas as our event sponsor,” Buell said. “They have been a prominent member of the tournament’s Ambassadors and corporate supporters for many years. With today’s announcement of the three-year title sponsorship agreement, our tournament – which has been part of the Korn Ferry Tour for more than three decades – will continue to grow unlike ever before. Partnering with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas will also assist the tournament with its tradition of supporting local charities and making a positive impact on the community.”
Since the inaugural event in 1990, the Wichita tournament has generated over $3,000,000 for youth programs and charities in metro Wichita.
“We want to make Kansas a better place than it was yesterday. While we do that through our work as a health insurance company, we also do that by partnering with and supporting community events and organizations that aim to make Kansas a better place to live, work and raise a family,” All said. “By partnering with the Wichita Open and KU Wichita Pediatrics, we’re helping improve the health of children in the communities we serve.”
As part of the title sponsorship announcement, Buell confirmed that tournament officials reached agreement with the PGA TOUR to hold the event through 2027. Crestview Country Club, host venue of the Wichita Open since 2001, also signed on to host the tournament through 2027.
“As one of the original events from our inaugural 1990 schedule, we are thrilled to see the Wichita Open partner with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, both for the immediate and long-term impact on this tournament and the local community,” said Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin. “We are honored to have Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas as part of the Korn Ferry Tour family, and this partnership provides one of our longest-running tournaments with an exciting future as our Tour continues to evolve.”
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics is a 72-hole competition featuring 156 players from around the world. One of four tournaments played every season since the Korn Ferry Tour’s establishment in 1990, the event brings more than 50,000 people to Crestview Country Club each June. Crestview’s iconic 17th hole is one of the more notable experiences on the Korn Ferry Tour because of the incredible fan support and lively crowds.
The 2022 playing of the event was won by Norman Xiong, who posted the second-lowest score in Korn Ferry Tour history (254, 26-under par) as he became the 25th open qualifier to win an event in Tour history.
The tournament’s longevity is a direct result of the support of a diverse mix of businesses and organizations, like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, that have proven their commitment to the well-being and growth of the community. The sponsorship model of the tournament is unique, with the Ambassador program being instrumental to the ongoing success of the tournament. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics was previously named the Korn Ferry Tour Tournament of the Year in part because of its impressive corporate partnerships.