Due to Thursday's announcement, the Pittsburgh area, which hosted seven U.S. Opens and five PGA Championships, will receive its first full-time tour stop. The announcement also means the Philadelphia area will once again be without a spot on the schedule.
The Pennsylvania Classic rotated between the two cities and did not generate much interest, due partially to lower-quality fields. Joe Hardy, the resort owner, and his daughter, 84 Lumber president Maggie Hardy Magerko, took steps to bolster the field by raising the purse from $3.3 million to $4 million. The purse will reach $4.6 million by 2006.
'We will put our energy and our financial resources behind this and make it one of the best tournaments on the tour,' said the 79-year-old Joe Hardy, who founded 84 Lumber.
The venue has not received strong endorsements from pro players who ventured to the course, but organizers realize the problem. The Mystic Rock course will get a new clubhouse, new practice range, new putting green and several holes will be redesigned in preparation for the tournament.
The Pennsylvania Classic was played last week at the Waynesborough Country Club outside Philadelphia. The 2003 Classic was scheduled to be played at Laurel Valley in Ligonier, Pa.