The PGA Tour has informed its membership that the 2021 WGC–Mexico Championship is relocating to Florida.
The tournament, scheduled to begin on February 25, is not being played at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City due to COVID-19 concerns, according to a message the tour sent to players. Travel between the United States and Mexico is currently limited to essential personnel only.
Stepping into Chapultepec’s place is The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida. Because the tournament will not be conducted in Mexico, the WGC event is searching for a new sponsor for 2021.
This is not the first time the event has changed addresses. It debuted as the WGC–American Express Championship at Valderrama in Spain in 1999 and proceeded to move to five different venues around the world in an eight-year span. (The 2001 event at Bellerive was cancelled due to the September 11 terrorist attacks.) The event then settled at Doral Golf Resort from 2007 to 2016, receiving a new calendar date (March) and sponsor (CA, then Cadillac). During this span Donald Trump bought the Doral property and renamed it Trump National Doral.
In 2016, the tour announced the event was moving again, this time to Mexico City. While this coincided with Trump’s campaign for the US presidency, then-PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem insisted it was merely a financial matter; the tour had reached a deal with Group Salinas, a collection of companies based in Mexico City primarily involved in retail and television, to bring the event south of the US border.
And now the tournament comes for a year to The Concession, a course that’s a Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin collaboration named after Nicklaus’ gesture at the 1969 Ryder Cup, giving Jacklin his final putt to secure the first tie in the biennial match’s history. The Concession flows across a variety of landscapes – meadows, wetlands, oak hammocks and pine forests – with spectacular bunkering and exciting green contours, and is consistently ranked as one of the best venues in Florida.
According to the letter players received, the move to Florida is temporary. “The tour is grateful for its partnership with title sponsor Grupo Salinas and their influence on the success of the WGC–Mexico Championship over the past four years. We look forward to returning to Mexico in 2022,” wrote Tyler Dennis, the executive vice-president of the PGA Tour. Players were also told “there will be no changes to the tournament eligibility criteria as a result of this news”.
The tournament will still be begin on its originally scheduled date. Patrick Reed is the defending champion.