The PGA‘Tour Returns
May 5, 2002
May of 2002 was a bittersweet month for Charlotte. At the beginning of the month, controversial owner George Shinn announced that the Hornets were leaving town, headed for New Orleans and a new life in the environs of Bourbon Street.
Many sports fans felt that the city had hit a new low, but May 5 changed that. City business leader Johnny Harris of the Quail Hollow Club and Mac Everett, a Wachovia executive, announced that professional golf was returning to Charlotte.
The PGA‘Tour's Wachovia Championship made its debut May 8-11 and "hit a grand slam home run its first time at bat," said veteran golf writer Reid Spencer of Davidson. The tournament, won by David Toms, drew approximately 120,000 spectators and was praised by players, caddies, sponsors, fans, and the national media for its high quality. Chamber officials estimated an economic impact of $40 to $50 million.
A longtime Charlotte resident, Bill F. Hensley is a member of both the North Carolina Journalism and Golf Hall of Fame.