If you ever wondered why the FedEx St Jude Classic, the PGA Tour’s umbrella sponsor, was stuck with a date on the schedule that made it hard to draw the top-ranked players, wonder no more.
The PGA Tour announced that starting in 2019, the newly-named FedEx St Jude Invitational would become part of the World Golf Championships series, and replace the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.
“I think this is a great opportunity to take advantage of having this stage to build the profile of St. Jude, build the profile of the PGA Tour, build the profile of FedEx and build the profile of the city I know you all are so proud of, and that’s what gives us great energy about being here today,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.
Reigning FedExCup champion Justin Thomas was on hand as part of the unveiling, and while the 24-year old star has never played the “Classic,” he’s familiar with the southern hospitality.
“I haven’t spent much time here. I’ve been in other areas of Tennessee, but going to school at Alabama and Tuscaloosa, it’s not very far away,” said Thomas, who has won twice already this season.
“I’m not sure of the exact distance, but we’re in the same area, definitely the South, and nice people, which is always fun and enjoyable to be around.
“You know, it’s part of the country and a climate that I’m comfortable with. You know, I’m excited to start to spend some more time here, that’s for sure.”
The dates for the new tournament have not been finalized, but are expected to fall around early August.
The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played for the final time at Firestone Country Club, Aug. 2-9.
FedEx has sponsored the FedExCup, the season-long points race and playoff series, since 2007.
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