Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship
at Firestone Country Club
By Laura Vescovi
PGA TOUR Champions is home to the legends of the golf world, and it’s there that they continue to compete on the world’s best golf courses in the world’s most premiere events. Of those events, few carry as much weight as the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship, the fourth of five senior major championship of the year on PGA TOUR Champions.
The newly-named Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship will return to Northeast Ohio for a second time in its 35-year history after being played at Canterbury Golf Club in Beechwood from 1983-1986. In total, the tournament has been played in nine different cities at some of the country’s top venues including The Philadelphia Cricket Club, Caves Valley Golf Club (Baltimore), Fox Chapel Golf Club (Pittsburgh), Westchester Country Club (New York) and Exmoor Country Club (Chicago) and now Firestone Country Club which will host the event’s 2019 edition the week of July 8-14, 2019.
Although the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS will replace the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, a vast amount of history will return to Firestone Country Club this year. In all, 57 of the 78 players who competed in the 2018 SENIOR PLAYERS Championship have competed in either the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational or the NEC World Series of Golf at Firestone Country Club. Most notably, José María Olazábal captured both the 1990 and 1994 NEC World Series of Golf, while Vijay Singh won the 2008 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at 45 years old.
This tournament is a haven for spectacular golf and in 2019, fans can expect to see the best players on PGA TOUR Champions including fan favorites like Fred Couples, Jay Haas, Vijay Singh, John Daly, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Kenny Perry, Colin Montgomerie and three-time SENIOR PLAYERS champion Bernhard Langer.
In addition to Langer, other notable past champions include Arnold Palmer (1984-85), Jack Nicklaus (1990), Fred Couples (2011), Scott McCarron (2018), and Vijay Singh who notched his first senior major title at Exmoor Country Club last year.
The SENIOR PLAYERS has had its share of exciting finishes over the years, and 2018 was no exception. Vijay Singh started the final round one shot behind in fourth place and went on to card a final round 67 to earn a spot in a playoff against Jeff Maggert. Singh birdied the second playoff hole, defeating Maggert and ultimately earning his third win on PGA TOUR Champions, his first senior major championship and an exemption into the 2019 PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
PGA TOUR Champions has a unique culture that puts fans up close and personal with professional golfers. Fans are encouraged to walk with their favorite group of players, allowing for some great exercise while walking along the 18 holes of Firestone’s South Course. Professional golf is more than just a sporting event, but a social one as well. Live Music will be performed after the last putt drops on Friday and Saturday of tournament weekend and a new venue opens this year called the Water Tower Club.
Venue is where fans can relax, socialize with a drink and get a bite to eat at some of the food trucks on-site including Swenson’s, Hatfield’s Good Grub and Nelly Belly Pizza. Kids 18 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult and are encouraged to visit the Kids Landing where putt-putt golf, ice cream and face painting will be available.
In addition to providing enjoyable fan experiences inside the gates of tournaments, the PGA TOUR is also committed to leaving significant charitable footprints outside the gates in the cities it plays and since its inception has generated nearly $3 billion all-time for charity. In Northeast Ohio, professional golf events at Firestone County Club have generated more than $28 million for worthy causes and in the pursuit of continuing that legacy with the debut of the PGA TOUR Champions in 2019, the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS will be contributing proceeds to six key charities, including the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, Akron Children’s Hospital, The First Tee of Akron, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, Summa Health System and Cleveland Clinic Akron General.
For more information about the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship coming to Firestone Country Club, July 10-14 please visit BridgestoneSeniorPlayers.com.
Photos courtesy of PGA TOUR.
Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship