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After 15 years, executive director of Wells Fargo Championship stepping down

Wells Fargo Championship tournament director Kym Hougham was a speaker in 2014 when the bank said it would continue as title sponsor through 2019. He is stepping down June 30.
Wells Fargo Championship tournament director Kym Hougham was a speaker in 2014 when the bank said it would continue as title sponsor through 2019. He is stepping down June 30. aoleary@charlotteobserver.com

Kym Hougham is stepping down as the executive director of Charlotte’s Wells Fargo Championship, effective June 30.

Hougham had served in the top role at the golf tournament for about 15 years. The event is typically held each spring at South Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club, but this May it made a one-year appearance in Wilmington because the PGA Championship is being held at Quail Hollow in August.

“After just completing the 15th edition of the Wells Fargo Championship in May, I have decided that now is the time for me to make a change,” Hougham said in a statement Monday. “This timing allows me to look at the possibilities in front of me – both inside and outside the world of professional golf.”

A national search for a new director will begin shortly, said tournament spokesman Lee Patterson.

Hougham was named director in 2002 of what was then called the Wachovia Championship, which made its debut as a PGA Tour stop a year later.

After Wells Fargo bought Charlotte-based Wachovia during the 2008 financial crisis, it was initially uncertain whether the San Francisco-based bank would remain a sponsor. But Wells Fargo remained on board and now has a contract through 2019. It’s unclear what will happen after that.

Like many PGA events, the Wells Fargo Championship is run by a non-profit organization that makes charitable contributions as part of the tournament. Under Hougham, the Wells Fargo Championship has raised over $19 million for various local and regional charities, the tournament said Monday.

The 2018 Wells Fargo Championship will be held April 30-May 6 at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte.

Rick Rothacker: 704-358-5170, @rickrothacker

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