After Hurricanes Maria and Irma devastated Puerto Rico three months ago, it has been decided that the Puerto Rico Open next year will be changed to a charity event before returning in full in 2019 and 2020. The PGA Tour made this announcement on Thursday about the event opposite the WGC-Mexico Championship.
The charity event will be an unofficial PGA Tour tournament (sort of like the Hero World Challenge in December) and will “bring together PGA Tour players, athletes, celebrities and sponsors benefitting island charities.”
It will be played at TPC Dorado Beach.
“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,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said. “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.”
The island was pummeled by winds up to 155 MPH and has been in deep recovery mode since the hurricanes swept through. It will be years, if not decades, before everything returns to how it once was, of course, but that doesn’t mean professional golf on the island is lost forever.
In fact, it might be just the opposite.
“There’s no doubt once this is said and done, we’re going to have an incredible, vibrant island,” Puerto Rico Open tournament chairman Sidney Wolf told Golfweek recently.