HOUSTON -- Astros owner Jim Crane and the Astros Foundation announced a five-year partnership with the PGA Tour on Tuesday to operate and host the Houston Open beginning in 2019.The commitment to the Houston Open from the Astros Foundation and supporting local sponsors is in place through 2023. The 2019
HOUSTON -- Astros owner Jim Crane and the Astros Foundation announced a five-year partnership with the PGA Tour on Tuesday to operate and host the Houston Open beginning in 2019.
The commitment to the Houston Open from the Astros Foundation and supporting local sponsors is in place through 2023. The 2019 tournament will be held at the Golf Club of Houston during the fall of the PGA Tour's 2019-20 FedEx Cup Season.
"We want to take a look at all the best tournaments around the country and really try to run a first-class tournament," Crane said Tuesday, "and maybe be the best tournament in the country at some point. It's going to take some time to get that, but we'll work hard at it."
Crane said the Astros Foundation's new partnership is advocating for moving the Houston Open -- which is likely to assume a new name once principal sponsors further collaborate with the PGA -- from a fall date to a cooler date in the spring.
A long-term goal for the Astros Foundation's new partnership is to work with the city and the Memorial Park Conservancy to renovate the Memorial Park downtown-area golf course before possibly relocating the tournament closer to downtown Houston to enhance appeal and attendance, Crane said.
The Astros Foundation is the official team charity of the Astros, seeking to elevate local baseball and softball programs as well as recognizing the U.S. military, awareness for childhood cancer and efforts to reduce homelessness.
"My goal when we bought the Astros was to get the foundation -- which would stay with the team no matter what -- to a big number [so] that we can continue to have a great impact on the city," Crane said. "This is a way that will help us give something back to the city."
The Houston Open, which was first played in 1946 and has been held at the Golf Club of Houston since 2003, has made hefty contributions to the Houston community by raising nearly $69 million up to 2017 for charitable causes, according to the Astros Foundation.
"The PGA Tour has a rich history in Houston dating back to 1946, and we're thrilled to share this great news today regarding the Houston Open," PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a news release. "The event has always made a significant charitable impact by virtue of tremendous partners and outstanding community support, and thanks to the Astros Foundation and Jim Crane, these works including support of The First Tee of Greater Houston will continue."
Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.