Houston Open tees off with Astros momentum and a murky future

Friday, November 11, 2022
Houston Open tees off with Astros momentum and murky future
The Cadence Bank Houston Open as golf fans know it may not be the same come next year.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Golf fans are out to see the stars on the course while wearing their stars on their shirts: Astros stars.

"This is an Astros event," Giles Kibbe, president of the Astros Golf Foundation, explained

The PGA Tour's Cadence Bank Houston Open golf tournament, which is put on by the Astros Golf Foundation, tees off this year just days after the Astros won the World Series title.

"I'm seeing everybody sporting the hat," 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose admitted to ABC13 after his first round. "I'll probably buy one for my little boy and take it home to get into the spirit of the city."

Our city's spirit is alive, but could Houston's golf tournament be on life support?

This is the final year the Houston Open is part of the PGA Tour's regular season schedule. Beginning in 2023, players will not receive FedEx Cup points for their performance here in Houston. Those points are how golfers reach the playoffs. We asked Rose how the new status of this event will impact the tournament

"The stars need to come from somewhere," Rose explained, while hinting at a field likely filled with lower-profile players for this tournament beginning in 2023. "It may be a great opportunity to see the next wave of guys coming through."

SEE ALSO: Dramatic changes to PGA Tour schedule could impact Houston Open golf tournament

Kibbe is well aware of the Houston Open's declining place on the PGA Tour and so is team owner Jim Crane.

"Our primary goal is to raise money for charity, and we've been extremely successful at it," Kibbe noted. "But Jim (Crane) always wants to be the best, and he wants to have a premier tournament on the PGA Tour. Our goal is to be played in the spring."

The Astros Golf Foundation is tied to the Houston Open only through next year. If the stars stop showing up to play this event, could the Astros' stars go away, too?

"We're in the fourth-largest market, and our goal is to be the best tournament on the PGA Tour and we're not going to stop until we get there," Kibbe said. "The sooner the better."

The Houston Open, which has been played at Memorial Park Golf Course since 2020, dates back to 1946. Eight of the top 50 golfers in the world are part of the 2022 event.

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