European Tour will not sanction WGC-Bridgestone in 2016
August 11, 2015
- August 11, 2015
- A scheduling conflict has led the European Tour to announce it's not sanctioning WGC-Bridgestone in 2016. (Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
Due to a date clash with next season’s Alstom Open de France, The European Tour announced Tuesday it will not sanction the 2016 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
Withdrawing the sanction means that the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will not be part of the 2016 European Tour international schedule, nor will money won in it count towards The Race to Dubai or for Ryder Cup points.
The Bridgestone Invitational is one of four World Golf Championships events jointly sanctioned by the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes golf’s five world governing bodies – the European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organization, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour.
Since the debut of the World Golf Championships in 1999, the Bridgestone Invitational has been played in August at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.
The schedule for the 2016 Bridgestone Invitational was shifted to June 30-July 4 in order to avoid conflict with the Olympic Men’s Tournament, which will be held Aug. 8-14 in Rio de Janeiro. Golf is part of the Olympic competition for the first time in 112 years and will include a field of 60 international players.
The PGA TOUR issued a statement Tuesday that read: "Coordinating a worldwide professional golf schedule always has its challenges. Those challenges were even more acute for 2016 with addition of golf's inclusion in the Olympic Games. Several events were impacted and while we have had numerous conversations with the European Tour with respect to the scheduling of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, we were ultimately unable to find a solution that satisfied all parties. We look forward to staging a successful Bridgestone Invitational in 2016."
The 2016 Bridgestone dates are the same for the Alstom Open de France, which will be held at Le Golf National.
The Alstom Open de France is the oldest national Open Championship in Continental Europe, and has been a fixture on The European Tour schedule since the Tour’s formation in 1972. The 2016 event is the 100th staging of the event.
The European Tour announced that further details surrounding the 2016 Alstom Open de France will be released in due course, including information on the increase in the prize fund.
“The Albatros Course at Le Golf National is currently undergoing renovation to prepare not only for next year’s landmark tournament, but also for the staging of The Ryder Cup in 2018,” said Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of The European Tour. “The Alstom Open de France has been a staple on our Tour since 1972 and we are confident that next year’s event, with an increased prize fund alongside the current renovations to the golf course, will properly reflect the importance of the tournament alongside the 100th anniversary celebrations.”