There will be a news conference Monday at the TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, with an announcement anticipated that a PGA Tour weekly event will be returning to Minnesota for the first time since 1969.
The expectation is that a 72-hole tournament sponsored by 3M and held at the TPC Twin Cities will replace the event at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia on the PGA Tour’s midsummer schedule. Under this scenario, the Greenbrier event will move to the fall schedule in 2019.
The 2018 Greenbrier will be July 5-8. It is preceded by the Quicken Loans tournament in Washington, D.C., on June 28-July 1. The Quicken Loans is moving to Detroit for 2019.
There’s a possibility that those dates will be shuffled with other summer weekly events when the PGA Tour’s 2018-19 wraparound schedule is finalized.
Previously, the Twin Cities’ chances for a tour event seemed to be tied to the future of the Houston Open. PGA Tour officials announced Tuesday that the Houston Open, whose fate had been in question, will move to the fall in 2019 and remain on the Tour schedule through 2023.
Hollis Cavner, who has been trying to bring a PGA Tour event to Minnesota, said last month that a new Twin Cities tournament could fill that void. The Houston Open had been tentatively scheduled for June 6-9, the week before the 2019 U.S. Open.
On Tuesday, a golf source said the Canadian Open will move from its current late date in July and will be the tournament that precedes the U.S. Open in 2019.
When contacted for an update after Tuesday’s news from Houston, Cavner said, “I would come to media day on Monday is all I can say.”
Talk of a Twin Cities stop on the PGA Tour ramped up in May, when the Houston Open — already without a sponsor — learned the Golf Club of Houston would not host a summer event in 2019.
Cavner said at the time that 3M would sponsor a new tournament at TPC Twin Cities if the Houston Open fell off the schedule.
The executive director of the 3M Championship, a Champions Tour event held at TPC Twin Cities, Cavner added that June dates would work if the Houston Open moved to the fall.
Cavner said last month that any deal to bring a PGA Tour event to the Twin Cities would run for at least five years.
The Champions Tour event — scheduled for its 26th edition Aug. 3-5 at TPC Twin Cities — will be discontinued in 2019, if Cavner and 3M have been successful in landing a PGA Tour event.
The PGA Tour announced Tuesday that it reached a five-year partnership with the Astros Foundation to continue the Houston Open. The Astros Foundation, whose board of directors is led by Houston Astros owner Jim Crane, will be the tournament’s host organization and operator.
Crane jumped into the breach last month, after the Houston Golf Association — which previously oversaw the event — failed to secure a new sponsor by a June 1 deadline.
Shell Oil Co. dropped out as the Houston Open’s primary sponsor in 2017. The new agreement preserves a tournament that was first held in 1946.
Cavner said last month that a PGA Tour event would be “a game-changer” for Minnesota.
“A PGA Tour event is roughly two to three times the size of what we do with a Champions Tour event,” he said.
“The economic impact for the state, the hospitality, everything goes up dramatically.”
The Twin Cities’ prior history on the PGA Tour dates to the St. Paul Open in 1930.
The St. Paul Open event was held at Keller Golf Course from 1930 to ’65; its successor, the Minnesota Golf Classic, was hosted by Keller in 1966 and ’68, Hazeltine National in 1967 and Braemar Golf Course in 1969.
Whatever the potential dates for a PGA Tour event next summer, it will make for a busy few weeks of golf in this market. The KPMG Women’s PGA, a major for the LPGA, will be held June 20-23 at Hazeltine National.