HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Open, the city's longtime PGA Tour event, is not going anywhere, but it will be making a move.
On Wednesday, the Astros Golf Foundation announced the Houston Open will move to a spring date in 2024 and be part of the PGA Tour's schedule. Additionally, the Astros Golf Foundation has extended its agreement with the City of Houston and the PGA Tour through 2028.
The 2024 Houston Open will mark the first time the tournament, while under the leadership of the Astros Golf Foundation, will have a spring date. The event was held in November from 2019 to 2022.
"This is a great day for the Houston Open and a great day for the City of Houston," Astros Golf Foundation President Giles Kibbe said. "We are moving back to the PGA's prime schedule and we are back on national TV. We are positioned to continue doing great things for the City of Houston and so many local charities."
The PGA Tour's Houston Open is the single largest fundraiser for the Astros Foundation and also benefits the City of Houston, First Tee of Greater Houston and countless local charities. About $3.5 million were given back to the greater Houston community following the 2022 tournament.
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Due to the shift, the Houston Open will not be held in 2023. The tournament will remain at Memorial Park.
"We have a full year now to really work on that course," Kenneth Allen, director of Houston's Parks and Recreation Department, told ABC13. "We've done some wonderful things with the Astros. To maintain a PGA course and allow everyday golfers to experience that is a wonderful opportunity to the everyday golfer."
For his part, Mayor Sylvester Turner gave credit where credit's due.
"The return of the Houston Open to the City of Houston and to the PGA Tour's spring schedule is something I have advocated for and supported since I became mayor," Turner said in a statement. "The fact that it happened so quickly must be credited to Astros owner Jim Crane and is a testament to what can be accomplished by a true public and private partnership and this community's support of the Astros Golf Foundation, which raised $34 million to renovate the Memorial Park Golf Course and improve its facilities."
The new spring date has yet to be announced, but ABC13 was told the Houston Open is expected to replace the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, which was held annually two weeks before The Masters. The 2023 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play took place on March 20.
After eight years, Austin is losing the event, and Houston is expected to benefit.
"It's a really good course. It's a hard golf course and the better players love it," Kibbe added. "If we get this positioned right on that date, we're going to have a lot of the top players here."
Last year, just eight of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings played the Houston Open.
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