World Golf Championship leaving Firestone CC after 2018 event

World Golf Championship leaving Firestone CC after 2018 event

Bridgestone is shifting its sponsorship to Senior Players Championship next year

Doug Ferguson AP Golf Writer
image (AP File Photo/Tony Dejak)
Hideki Matsuyama gives a fist pump after clinching last year's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.

Firestone Country Club in Ohio is going from hosting the world's best players to hosting the world's best over 50.

The PGA Tour says Bridgestone will switch its title sponsorship at Firestone next year from a World Golf Championship to the Senior Players Championship, which the tour regards as one of the five majors on the PGA Tour Champions.

Firestone has been hosting premier events since the Rubber City Open in 1954 and the original World Series of Golf, which began in 1962 as a four-man exhibition. The South Course also hosted the PGA Championship three times, the most recent won by Jack Nicklaus in 1975.

A World Golf Championships event has been held at Firestone every year since 1999, except for 2002, when it was played at Sahalee in Washington state.

Hideki Matsuyama is the defending champion of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, which will be played at Firestone for the last time this year. That WGC event will move to Memphis, Tennessee, in 2019. An announcement is expected later Thursday.

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