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Economy

The Bridgestone Invitational Golf Tournament is Leaving Akron

Tee box near Firestone CC club house
TIM RUDELL
/
WKSU
Firestone Country Club golf course

Jay Monahan
Credit TIM RUDELL / WKSU
/
WKSU
PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan

It's official.  After this year, the Firestone Country Club will no longer be home to the Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament.  The Commissioner of the PGA was in Akron Thursday to announce that starting in the summer of 2019 Akron will host the Tour Champions  championship tournament instead.

Commissioner Jay Monahan calls the change a business decision involving sponsorship strategies but is not elaborating.  He describes the Tour Champions championship as a “major” on that tour.  He says it can be an exciting alternative for Akron.

He doesn’t believe there will be a problem marketing it locally to a community that’s just learned its being abandoned for main PGA events “I, I think the word ‘abandoned’ or ‘abandonment’ is…I don’t think that’s fair, because abandonment would have us not here.  OK?  We’re here. We’re here for four more years, with Bridgestone, and a major championship.”

Bridgestone excutives in the front row
Credit TIM RUDELL / WKSU
/
WKSU
PGA and Bridgestone combined news conference

The World Golf Championship tournament that became known as the Bridgestone Invitational in 2006, has been played in Akron since 1999 except for one year.