The announcement is now official: the final Bridgestone Invitational will be played this year, and next year the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship begins.
At a press conference this morning at Firestone Country Club featuring PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, an announcement was made that Bridgestone has signed a four-year deal to host the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship. The first tournament will take place next year, July 8-14, 2019.
Currently known as the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship, this year’s will be held at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, IL on July 12 – 15th.
Rumors have been circulating since last year that the Firestone World Golf Championship (WGC) event would go to Memphis, the corporate home of sponsor FedEx. That event’s announcement will be made later today in Memphis.
Official PGA Tour press release statement below:
PGA TOUR announces Bridgestone as title sponsor for SENIOR PLAYERS Championship beginning in 2019
PGA TOUR Champions major to be contested at Akron’s Firestone C.C.
AKRON, Ohio – The PGA TOUR announced today that beginning in 2019, Bridgestone will become the title sponsor for the SENIOR PLAYERS Championship, one of five major championships contested annually on PGA TOUR Champions. The event will be played at Firestone Country Club’s South Course, ensuring professional golf’s 65-year tradition in Northeast Ohio will continue with golf’s legends competing each year. The 2019 tournament will be held the week of July 8-14, with a four-year agreement in place through 2022.
Bridgestone also extended its Official Marketing Partner relationship with the PGA TOUR through 2022 and will remain as the “Official Tire of the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions,” with activation at other TOUR events and messaging across TOUR media properties.
“Bridgestone has been a tremendous partner and valued member of the PGA TOUR family since 2005, and we are excited to begin this new journey with them as we bring major championship golf to Northeast Ohio with the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “With Firestone Country Club’s South Course as the host venue, golf’s 65-year tradition in Akron will continue.”
The newly-named Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship will return to Northeast Ohio for a second time in its 35-year history after being played at Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood from 1983-1986. In total, the tournament has been played in nine different cities at some of the country’s top venues including The Philadelphia Cricket Club, Caves Valley Golf Club (Baltimore), Fox Chapel Golf Club (Pittsburgh), Westchester Country Club (New York) and Exmoor Country Club (Chicago), which will host the event’s 2018 edition the week of July 9-15.
Along with its stature as a major championship and significance in determining the season-long Charles Schwab Cup champion, the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS will also continue to offer its champion a return trip to the PGA TOUR with an exemption into THE PLAYERS Championship.
“We are incredibly proud to extend our partnership with the PGA TOUR and ensure that world-class golf will continue at Firestone Country Club through the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship,” said Gordon Knapp, Chief Executive Officer and President, Bridgestone Americas. “The Akron community and the sport of golf have played significant roles in Bridgestone’s history and will continue to play significant roles in our future, so it is important to us that we carry the sport’s legacy in this area forward. We are excited to work with absolute legends of the sport to start a new chapter in a 65-year tradition of premier golf events that have made so many positive economic and charitable impacts on this community.”
Past champions of the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS include Arnold Palmer (1984-85), Jack Nicklaus (1990), Fred Couples (2011), Bernhard Langer (2014-16) and Scott McCarron, who notched his first senior major title at Caves Valley last year. In 2019, fans can expect the likes of Couples, Langer, Vijay Singh, Colin Montgomerie, John Daly, Steve Stricker and Miguel Ángel Jiménez to be among those vying for the title at a course they’ve all had experience playing in their careers.
In all, 57 of the 78 players who competed in the 2017 SENIOR PLAYERS Championship have competed in either the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational or the NEC World Series of Golf at Firestone Country Club. Most notably, José María Olazábal captured both the 1990 and 1994 NEC World Series of Golf, while Vijay Singh won the 2008 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at 45 years old. Darren Clarke, who will turn 50 this August, won the event’s 2003 edition.
The Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS will replace the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, which has been staged at Firestone’s South Course since 2006. The World Golf Championships event will relocate in 2019, with an announcement set for 3:00 p.m. (ET) today. This announcement does not impact the 2018 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which will be contested as scheduled, Aug. 1-5.
Ticket and volunteer information for the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship during the week of July 8-14, 2019, will be made available following the 2018 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. For more information, please visit PGATOUR.com.