Golf’s PGA Tour has announced that the Puerto Rico Open will return as an official event in 2019, with an unofficial tournament to be held on the island next year to support recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Puerto Rico was one of the areas most affected by the storm, which hit in September. Next year’s event will feature PGA Tour golfers, athletes and celebrities and is designed to help the rebuilding process on the island, while celebrating golf and tourism.
The PGA Tour has partnered with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company to host the event. The Tour said it considered all factors following the hurricane to determine the best route to take next year, before concluding that a special, unofficial event would provide the greatest support and economic impact.
The event will be held at TPC Dorado Beach in March, with more details to be finalised in the coming weeks.
The Tour added that as part of a renewed sponsorship commitment from the PRTC, the Puerto Rico Open, which celebrated 10 years of PGA Tour golf in Puerto Rico in 2017, will return as a four-day, official Tour event in 2019 and also in 2020.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said: “The Puerto Rico Open has been part of the PGA Tour for the last 10 years and our commitment to golf on the island has never been stronger. Our hope is that this special event in 2018 will benefit Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts to the fullest extent, while reminding the world that Puerto Rico is a premier golf and travel destination.”
José Izquierdo, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, added: “We are very pleased to have formalised an agreement with the PGA Tour for the 2019 and 2020 Puerto Rico Open. Better yet, being able to host a special charity event this upcoming March is just what we need to show the world that the Island is open for tourism, that we continue to be a premier destination for golf in the Caribbean, and that recovery efforts are moving forward, in alignment with Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s commitment to rebuild a better and stronger Puerto Rico.”
The event’s chairman, David Chafey, said a fundraising target of $500,000 (€422,000) has been set for next year’s event, with funds to be donated to 20 local non-profit organisations.
D.A. Points (pictured) of the US is the defending Puerto Rico Open champion.