The Web.com Tour and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission are gearing up for the PGA TOUR’s return to Cleveland with the Web.com Tour Cleveland Open.
The event will be played June 5-8 at Lakewood Country Club in Westlake. The PGA TOUR and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission entered into a three-year agreement to host the event in mid-November of last year. The tournament will be hosted and organized by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, in partnership with Milestone Sports Management. The event will generate up to $6-8 million of economic activity.
The Cleveland Open will feature a field of 156 golfers competing over 72 holes of stroke play for a purse of $600,000. Lakewood Country Club is a 7,022-yard par-71 layout designed by the renowned golf course architect A.W. Tillinghast. Opened in 1921, Lakewood is the only original Tillinghast design in the state of Ohio.
Spectators will enjoy a relaxed environment, including on-site amenities that will highlight some of Cleveland’s unique trademarks. The tournament will feature several entertainment, dining and drink options throughout the course, including live music immediately following golf action on Friday and Saturday night. Alongside the par-3 16th, the Great Lakes Brewing Company Beer Pavilion will offer its most popular beers throughout the tournament, while several of Cleveland’s best food trucks will be stationed around the golf course.
“The Cleveland Open will provide a significant boost to the local economy and showcase Cleveland to countries across the world via exposure on the Golf Channel,” said David Gilbert, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. “The event will also provide an outstanding sports entertainment opportunity to the Cleveland area, with championship golf combining with live music and great Cleveland food and drink.”
“We are very excited about the Web.com Tour’s future in Cleveland and our partnership with the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, which has been responsible for attracting and promoting so many successful sporting events in the greater Cleveland area since 2000,” said Web.com Tour president Bill Calfee. “Lakewood Country Club is going to be a terrific host facility and we believe its golf course will quickly become a favorite among Tour players. With so many enthusiastic golfers and golf fans, we look forward to bringing the world-class talents of Web.com Tour players to Cleveland next June as the pursuit of the 50 available PGA TOUR cards heats up.
All four rounds of the Cleveland Open will be televised on Golf Channel from 6:30 to 9:00pm, Thursday through Sunday.
Tournament proceeds will support a number of charitable entities in the Cleveland area, including Cleveland Clinic Children’s and The First Tee of Cleveland. Ticket sales of the tournament will benefit several other Cleveland-based charities through the PGA TOUR’s Tickets Fore Charity Program.
Tickets for the Cleveland Open are now on sale and may be purchased through the tournament’s website, www.theclevelandopen.com. Good-any-day tickets and weekly passes are only $10 and $25, respectively, and all tickets are valid Thursday-Sunday of event week.
Cleveland Open History
The PGA TOUR first played in Cleveland in 1938, when Ky Laffoon defeated Sam Snead by one shot in the first Cleveland Open. After a 25-year hiatus, the Cleveland Open returned in 1963 when Arnold Palmer defeated Tommy Aaron and Tony Lema in a playoff. This would begin the run of 10 straight events played at five different golf courses through 1972. The list of winners included other major champions Lema (1964), Dave Stockton (1968), Charles Coody (1969) and David Graham (1972). Lakewood Country Club played host to Stockton’s win in 1968 as well as R.H. Sikes’ 1966 win.
Prior to the 2014 Cleveland Open, the Web.com Tour played 14 tournaments at two Cleveland-area venues, Quail Hollow Country Club in Concord (1990-2001) and StoneWater Golf Club in Highland Heights (2005-2007), with Australian and now Dublin, Ohio-based Jason Day becoming the Web.com Tour’s youngest winner at age 19 years, seven months and 26 days in ’07.
Reigning PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner is a native of Cleveland who made 123 Web.com Tour starts between 2001 and 2008, winning events in Wichita (2001) and Chicago (2006). Dufner graduated twice from the Web.com Tour to the PGA TOUR, in 2003 and 2006. In two Web.com Tour starts in his hometown, he finished T11 in 2005 and missed the cut in 2006.
Alumni of the Web.com Tour have now won 368 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, including 18 major championships, with Dufner the most recent winner of a major. Three out of four PGA TOUR members are Web.com Tour alums.