The Houston Open has been saved by Houston Owners owner and business magnate Jim Crane.
According to Fox 26 in Houston, Crane has signed a five-year deal with the PGA Tour to keep the Houston Open on the PGA Tour schedule. The 2019 edition of the tournament will be played in October at long-time host, the Golf Club of Houston, while a drive gets going to raise money to renovate the municipal Memorial Park Golf Course, located inside the city limits, to hold a PGA Tour event. The goal would be to play the 2021 Houston Open at Memorial Park, bringing the tournament back inside the country’s fourth-biggest city.
Mark Berman of Fox 26 reports the deal will see the Houston Astros Foundation benefit from the event.
Crane won’t be the only businessman putting money into the Houston Open, with some 10 sponsors kicking in the estimated $12 million needed annually to run a PGA Tour event.
The Houston Golf Association will no longer run the event, which was first presented in 1946. After losing Shell as title sponsor following the 2017 event and unable to find a title sponsor this year, the HGA put up millions of money it had in reserves to keep the event alive in hopes of landing a long-term title sponsor beyond 2018. When that didn’t materialize, the PGA Tour gave the HGA a June 1 deadline to submit a plan to save the event. They reportedly did not, but Crane did.
This move cements the PGA Tour schedule for 2019, which was to have been announced at The Players in May. The Houston Open and Greenbrier Classic are expected to move to the fall, with The National and the Dell Technologies Championship leaving the schedule. New events in Detroit and a likely new event in Minneapolis will be added.