BIRMINGHAM, JULY 27 -- American Honda is the lastest company to withdraw its television commercials for the PGA Championship because the host club, Shoal Creek, has no black members, and ABC is feeling the effects.
"Our advertiser pullout is approaching 2 million dollars," said Steve Solomon, senior vice president of ABC Sports, "and we've had indications from other advertisers that they may be pulling out as well."
Butorac declined to say how much money the commercials would have cost, but said: "It wasn't a major advertising thing for us. We were in for two or three Acura ads on the ESPN broadcast only."
ESPN will televise the first two days, ABC the final two.
Yesterday the PGA Tour unveiled a proposal that would require all clubs hosting its golf tournaments to eliminate any discrimination on grounds of race, religion or sex in choosing members. The policy would apply to all 120 PGA Tour, Senior Tour and Ben Hogan Tour events co-sponsored by the PGA Tour.
Earlier, Toyota, IBM, Anheuser-Busch and Lincoln-Mercury dropped plans to run commercials either on ABC or ESPN. Delta, the official airline of the PGA Tour, said it would reduce its commercial involvement with the tour.