AKRON, Ohio – PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and Bridgestone executives announced a four-year title sponsorship extension on Sunday that will keep the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on the annual schedule through the 2018 season.
“I think the relationship has been very, very positive,” Finchem said. “Since Bridgestone's coming aboard in 2006, this tournament has continued to grow, and I think it's a product of the commitment of everyone at Bridgestone to not just have a golf tournament, but make it a very special tournament.”
Finchem maintained that he expects the tournament to remain in its current slot prior to the PGA Championship every August.
If there’s one thing that could throw a wrench into those plans, it’s the 2016 Olympic Games, which will be contested during the event’s usual week on the schedule.
“We just haven't quite finished sorting out the run in mid-summer in those weeks, but it's not going to affect this week because the World Golf Championships have to have priority positioning, and the date will reflect that as it relates to the PGA Championship and for the Olympic competition, as well,” Finchem explained.
The commissioner also said he expects this event to remain at Firestone Country Club rather than moving to other venues.
“Our intention would be to play here every year,” he said. “The golf course is terrific. The players all love it. It's interesting that you see players this week and every year that struggle. It's a very difficult challenge, which speaks a lot to Tiger [Woods’] position right now. But they respect the golf course. It's a very fair golf course. It's difficult but fair, and you have to be on your game, and that's what the best players in the world like to see.
“So when you have a golf course that is so popular globally with all the best players, you have to have a pretty good reason to move away from that because it makes everything else work so well.”