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PGA Tour announces new sponsor for Houston Open; tournament officially moving back to spring

May 31, 2023

Icon Sportswire

The PGA Tour and the Astros Golf Foundation announced Wednesday that Texas Children’s will be the new title sponsor of the Houston Open.

The event, which has been played in the fall the past four years, is also returning to its historical spot on the spring calendar. Because of the move, the tournament will not be contested in 2023 and instead restart in 2024.

“On behalf of the PGA Tour, we are thankful to Texas Children’s for their commitment to one of the tour’s legacy events in the Houston Open, a tournament that dates back to 1946,” said PGA Tour president Tyler Dennis. “The Houston Open has played a significant role in shaping the PGA Tour’s history through its competitive lineage with golf’s greats playing and winning the event as well as an unwavering commitment to bettering the community. This partnership between the Astros Golf Foundation and Texas Children’s has the opportunity to take the tournament to new heights, most notably in its ability to impact the lives of families in Houston and throughout Texas.”

The Houston Open traces its roots back to 1946, and counts Arnold Palmer, Byron Nelson, Gary Player, Phil Mickelson and Tony Finau among its winners. Historically held in mid-spring, the tournament carved a niche with its pre-Masters spot in 2007, and Redstone Golf Club (now known as the Golf Club of Houston) underwent massive renovations to mirror Augusta National-like conditions. As such, Houston boasted a notable field, filled with those seeking a last-minute tune-up. But the Shell Oil Company, which had underwritten the tournament for 25 years, declined to renew title sponsorship after 2017. Weeks after the tournament was held in 2018 without a sponsor, the Golf Club of Houston told the Houston Golf Association, which ran the tournament, that it no longer intended to serve as the competition's venue.

However, local magnate and Houston Astros owner Jim Crane was working behind the scenes to make sure the tournament didn't fold. He, along with several Houston officials, approached the PGA Tour with a plan to take over the event from the HGA. The tournament moved to Memorial Park, a public course in the city limits that first hosted the Houston Open in 1947 and returned as host from 1951 to 1965. Crane's foundation hired architect Tom Doak to spearhead a renovation of the facility. For good measure, Brooks Koepka was tabbed to serve as the PGA Tour player consultant. Memorial Park is expected to continue to host the tournament well into the future.

“We are excited to announce our partnership with Texas Children’s as the title sponsor for the Houston Open,” Crane said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better partner as we continue our mission of giving back to the greater Houston community. Aligning their values with the efforts of our Astros Golf Foundation provides a special opportunity for both organizations to continue to give back to our community, to grow the game of golf, and to provide a platform to help those most in need.”

The full 2024 PGA Tour schedule is expected to be released within the month.