PGA Tour Expected To Announce Return To Minnesota Next Week
The PGA Tour on Monday is expected to announce that it "will be returning to Minnesota for the first time" since '69 with the addition of a new annual event at TPC Twin Cities, according to Reusse & Blount of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The new tournament sponsored by 3M "will replace the event at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia on the PGA Tour’s midsummer schedule." Under this scenario, the Greenbrier "will move to the fall schedule" in '19. Previously, the Twin Cities’ chances for a Tour event "seemed to be tied to the future of the Houston Open." Tour officials announced yesterday that the Houston Open "will move to the fall" in '19 and "remain on the Tour schedule" through '23. A source said that the RBC Canadian Open "will move from its current late date in July and will be the tournament that precedes the U.S. Open" in '19. Pro Link Sports CEO Hollis Cavner, whose company has been trying to land an event for Minnesota, last month said that "any deal to bring a PGA Tour event to the Twin Cities would run for at least five years." The PGA Tour Champions event at TPC Twin Cities "will be discontinued" in '19, if Cavner and 3M are "successful in landing a PGA Tour event" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/13).
READY FOR TAKE OFF: Astros Owner Jim Crane, who led the way to keep the Houston Open, said that the event faces a "challenging road back to center stage." The tournament -- the official title of which has "yet to be determined -- is expected to be scheduled" in October '19 at the Golf Club of Houston, with "eventual plans to move to Memorial Park." Crane "hopes to have 12 equal sponsors contributing" to the $7.5M annual purse and to "fund operating expenses, with proceeds going to Astros Foundation charities." He said that he has "commitments from more than a half-dozen sponsors for that group, including from some companies he described as current Astros sponsors." Crane said that several Astros employees "will travel this week" to the Tour's HQ in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., to "begin working on organizing" the '19 event. He will "hire a tournament director and permanent staff to run the event." He has "not approached" the Houston Golf Association about "being involved in the tournament’s return" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/13).
WHAT'S IN A NAME? In West Virginia, Brad McElhinny noted the Greenbrier Classic is changing its name to “A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.” The Tour "approved the rebranding and will begin using the new name and logo right away" in advance of this year's event, held July 5-8. The tournament’s focus on the military "will extend beyond the name change" (WVMETRONEWS.com, 6/12).