There are only a couple of things you need to know about the 2017 Shell Houston Open.
1. Russell Henley won it this year, punching his ticket to Augusta. Awesome.
2. The city of Houston doesn’t actually host the tournament, the suburb Humble does.
And that second one pisses off Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. On hand to witness the final day of the tournament, Turner told reporters he plans on working with the Houston Golf Association to bring the SHO within the city limits.
The Houston Chronicle’s Brian Smith has the full transcript.
Mayor Turner on PGA tournament, suburbs, Houston.
“I don’t think you can do things on the outskirts … of Houston.” pic.twitter.com/v5IdJZCEqL
— Brian T. Smith (@ChronBrianSmith) April 2, 2017
Now is as good a time as any for Turner to bang this drum. Sunday marked the end of Shell’s 26-year long title sponsorship of the tournament, leaving Houston Golf Association President Steven Timms in search of a new one.
“We’ve had a lot of activity, a lot of conversations,” Timms told the Houston Chronicle last week, “but we don’t have anything that’s imminent to announce. I’d like to be able to say definitely what the timetable would be. We’re working hard to get [a new sponsor] and we’re confident we will get it done. But these things typically take a while to put together and, remember, we haven’t had to do this for 26 years.”
Once a new sponsor is secured, talks could begin on relocating the Houston Open.
The Houston leg of the PGA Tour has bounced in and around the city since 1946 where it began at the River Oaks Golf Course. Bringing it back into the city would make Houston the epicenter of a nearly $25 million economic uptick. Turner mentioned Memorial Park Golf Course (which hosted the event in 1947 and between 1951 to 1963) as a possible option.
A lot of this could amount to “political grandstanding” that any self-respecting city mayor would engage in. It’s a noted part of Turner’s vision for Houston to be internationally recognized. While the Super Bowl was in Houston this year, Turner spent time with Hollywood leaders hoping to convince them his city would make the perfect backdrop for big-budget movie productions.
— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) April 2, 2017