The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone in Akron, Ohio is no more, as the WGC event will move to Memphis starting in 2019.
The PGA Tour announced Thursday that a new World Golf Championship event will be played in Memphis starting in 2019. The event will replace the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which had been played at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio for 19 years. The final installment of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will take place from August 2-5.
The reason for the change, according to PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, is because Bridgestone did not want to continue as the title sponsor.
"You've got to have a sponsor," Monahan told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. "Bridgestone's strategy was changing and involving. Once we realized continuation with the WGC wasn't going to happen, we worked hard and they really worked hard as a great partner did and does to try and do everything they could to keep professional golf here again in Northeast Ohio."
The Memphis event will be rebranded as the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, according to a tweet from FedEx. The event has been known as the FedEx St. Jude Classic and has been played on TPC Southwind since 1989. This year's tournament will be played the week before the U.S. Open (June 7-10).
Firestone CC will play host to the PGA Tour Champions' Players Championship starting in 2019, and the tournament will be sponsored by Bridgestone. The Players is considered one of the senior tour's five major championships.
There are three other World Golf Championships on the schedule for the 2018-19 season: the WGC-HSBC Champions (Oct. 25-28) at Sheshan Golf Club in China, the WGC-Mexico Championship at the Club de Golf Chapultec and the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship at Austin Country Club.