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Phillips 66 sponsors Houston Open as it returns to heart of city

Phillips 66 will become part of golf history in its second year sponsoring the Houston Open, with a roster of A-list golfers teeing off at the city’s iconic Memorial Park Golf Course for the first time in 57 years.

The Houston Open, a professional golf tournament on the PGA TOUR, has been held at a number of golf courses during its 74-year run. It was last at Memorial Park in the heart of the city in 1963, before moving to courses across Houston and eventually outside the city limits. For the last 17 years, it's been held in Humble, Texas, about 20 miles north of the city.

“For Houstonians, the move back to Memorial Park is deeply nostalgic,” said Phillips 66 Manager of Social Impact Claudia Kreisle. “This year’s tour is shaping up to be one to watch for multiple reasons. Viewers tuning in on TV are going to see some of the best golfers in the sport.”

A tournament of added significance

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson and 2017 Masters winner Sergio Garcia headline the Nov. 5-8 edition of the tournament, officially known as the Vivint Houston Open.

It will be the first stop on the PGA TOUR since the start of the pandemic to allow spectators to return in person, with a reduced number of 2,000 fans allowed per day.

The Vivint Houston Open also takes on added significance this year because it is the last PGA TOUR date before the Masters, which moved to the fall this year because of COVID-19. The Masters is one of golf’s four major championships.

$34 million makeover

Memorial Park Golf Course underwent an 18-month, $34 million renovation in preparation for hosting this year’s tournament. The Astros Golf Foundation, a charity of the Houston Astros — also a Phillips 66 partner — funded the multimillion-dollar renovation with the support of corporate partners and donors.

The goal was to give Houstonians a world-class golf course. The course was designed by renowned golf course architect Tom Doak, with golfer Brooks Koepka, currently ranked No. 12, serving as a design consultant. Koepka also will be playing in this year’s Vivint Houston Open.

Phillips 66 signed on as a major sponsor of the tournament, which has raised more than $70 million for charitable causes in its history, from 2019 through 2023.

“Each year this is a great event that brings visibility to the city of Houston and helps raise money for the community,” said Kreisle.