CLEVELAND - Professional golf is coming to Cleveland this summer. The Web.com Tour will bring the Cleveland Open to Lakewood Country Club in Westlake June 5-8.
Executive Director of the Cleveland Open Ben Cooke said this tournament will have a huge impact on the local community.
“I think for Cleveland it means a number of things. In terms of economic impact we’re talking about six to eight million dollars to the community and huge charitable donations to the charitable partners,” Cooke said.
The Cleveland Open will feature 156 golfers competing over 72 holes of stroke play for a purse of $600,000. All four rounds of the tournament will be televised on the Golf Channel. Cooke said this will put the Northeast Ohio on a world stage.
"It gives us a chance to tell Cleveland's story to a much wider audience particularly the golf channel audience,” Cooke said. “It's 192 countries and I think we are going to be able to do something’s during the broadcast to show what a great city this is and the great things that have been happening here recently."
Lakewood Country Club opened in 1921 and was designed by A.W. Tillinghast. The noted golf architect also designed Bethpage Black, a course in New York that has hosted multiple U.S. Open’s. Web.com tour professional Chris Wilson said he’s excited to get to play at this historic course.
"Not a lot of players including myself has played Lakewood before but we've heard great things. Having a 1921 Tillinghast golf course definitely will give us some variety on our schedule," Wilson said.
The Cleveland Open will be hosted and organized by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, partnering with Milestone Sports Management of Westlake.
“We really are becoming one of the top cities in this country for the hosting of major events and this will certainly rise to the top of this list,” said David Gilbert, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.
The Web.com tour was founded in 1990 and is owned and operated by the PGA Tour. Last year, it became the path to the PGA Tour with all 50 available PGA Tour cards coming through the Web.com Tour and the season culminating at the four-event Web.com Tour Finals.
“The players that you’ll see in Cleveland in June will be the big names on the PGA Tour in the next few years. It’s also a chance to see world class athletes in a really relaxed setting,” Cooke said.
Many stars on the PGA Tour right now also got their start on the Web.com Tour.
“This tour is incredible. We are televised with the golf channel as our partner and with Bubba’s win we are up to 382 PGA Tour wins from our Alumni and we are pretty proud of that,” said Mary Turnes, Director of Tournament Business Affairs for the Web.com Tour.