The Houston Open, formerly the Shell Houston Open until Shell withdrew their sponsorship after last year, is now in jeopardy of not happening in 2019.
The PGA Tour gave Houston organizers until June 1st of this year to produce a sponsor in order to keep the event for the 2019 season, that has not happened and the Houston Golf Association may now lose the event to another city.
Well, according to TwinCities.com it could quite possibly be Blaine, Minnesota, home of TPC Twin Cities and the Champions Tour’s 3M Championship.
It would definitely be a bummer for Houston to lose the event that was sponsored by Shell for the last 26 years, but Houston Astros owner Jim Crane is trying to save the event … and move it later in the year when the weather is a little cooler in Houston.
Crane is proposing moving the tournament to October in the fall of 2019, with the event still being held at the Golf Club of Houston through 2020 and possibly moving to Houston’s public Memorial Park course following a massive overhaul.
“You can’t get anybody to come watch golf in (Houston in) June,” Crane told the Chronicle. “The average (high) temperature is 95 degrees.
“Once (the PGA) says go, we start pulling money together to renovate the course,” he said. “I think we could raise the money in a year. You could play there in 2021, if you’re lucky. That would be fabulous. We could get something going like (the) Phoenix (Open, sponsored by Waste Management), where you have a big turnout and raise a ton of money. You’d be able to draw crowds there.
“They hadn’t been able to pull together a deal, so I got on it,” he said. “(PGA commissioner Jay Monahan) told me, ‘They (the HGA) have been (the PGA’s) partners for years, and we want to give them a chance.’ I said, ‘Fine. I’m not fighting them.’ It’s not about me. I won’t make a dime off this thing. But if I can get it done … (The HGA has) a pretty big budget, and I don’t think you need that big of a budget to put on a golf tournament.”
Hopefully, Crane can get all the ducks in a row so that Houston can continue to host the event moving forward because it really is a great event and the Houston area is particularly good for a PGA Tour event.