Upgraded: By the PGA Tour, its annual stop in Memphis, Tenn., to World Golf Championships status, beginning in 2019. The dates for the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational were not announced. In a nod to tour season-long sponsor FedEx, the Memphis event, at TPC Southwind, will replace the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, on the calendar. Earlier Thursday, the PGA Tour threw a bone to Akron and Firestone Country Club, which has played host to the tour since 1954, by announcing that the Champions Tour’s Senior Players Championship will move to Firestone beginning next year and be sponsored by Bridgestone. The tournament dates will be July 11-14, 2019. This year’s FedEx St. Jude Classic on June 7-10 and the WGC Bridgestone Invitational on Aug. 2-5 will be played as scheduled.
Announced: By the U.S. Golf Association, that it will honor the winners of its 14 annual national championships with a Celebration of Champions. The four-hole exhibition will debut on June 12, the Tuesday of U.S. Open week, at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., site of this year’s Open. The 2017 USGA champions will play in a two-person, mixed-team event using an alternate-shot format on holes 10, 11, 12 and 13. Jack Nicklaus, an eight-time USGA champion, will be the honorary starter, and the event will be televised on FoxSports1.
Committed: Tiger Woods, to play in the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y. This is the last year that Woods will be exempt from his 2008 U.S. Open victory at Torrey Pines, when he defeated Rocco Mediate in an epic 19-hole playoff. Woods, 42, owns three U.S. Open titles among his 14 major championships and 79 overall Tour victories. As part of his announcement, Woods produced a video on the Open’s return to Shinnecock at www.usga.org.