POTOMAC - The PGA Tour event formerly known as the Kemper Open has undergone its second name change in a little more than a month, with the introduction yesterday of a Virginia-based investment banking group as its title sponsor.
Briefly called the Capital Open at Avenel after Kemper Insurance ended a 35-year association as the tournament sponsor, the $4.5 million tournament will be called the FBR Capital Open when it is played at the TPC at Avenel next month.
Friedman, Billings and Ramsey Group, one of the nation's top 10 investment banks, signed a one-year contract as title sponsor. Kemper Sports had signed a four-year deal last year but withdrew its sponsorship this year, citing a downturn in the economy.
"Negotiations are well underway for the remaining three years," said Pete Cleaves, the tournament's executive director. "I'm sure they want to put their brand on the last three years."
The tournament will be played June 5-8, with a field that is supposed to include Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington of Ireland, reigning PGA champion and 1999 Kemper Open champion Rich Beem and local favorite Fred Funk.