HOUSTON – The PGA Tour’s Houston Open and the Houston Golf Association have generated $2.145 million this year for city charities.
Association officials and Mayor Annise Parker announced the total at a news conference Tuesday.
The Houston Golf Association has been funding youth-development programs since 1974. A total of $53.1 million has been donated to charities through the HGA – about $49.38 million since Shell Oil became the tournament’s title sponsor in 1992.
The money benefits about 200 charities in the Houston area. The HGA raised $2.124 million in 2009, down from $2.395 million.
“The last couple of years have been challenging for sure,” Timms said. “Across the PGA Tour, all of the tournaments have experienced challenges, depending on their markets. We’ve had to work harder and continue to deliver value to our sponsors.”
The Houston Open is the 10th oldest event on the tour schedule. It recently moved to the weekend before the Masters, and the switch has lured many of the world’s top players, including Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood and Vijay Singh.
“The players have really embraced it,” Timms said. “They now look forward to it, and know what to expect. Our philosophy is to not only provide them with a quality championship, but also a great event to lead them into the first major of the year.”
Next year’s tournament will be held on March 28-April 3, the same weekend that the NCAA Final Four comes to Houston.