I was just praising the PGA Tour for making a concerted effort to go to classic venues in the playoffs and now they announce an unprecedented 25-year partnership with Liberty National, the twice-renovated Bob Cupp-Tom Kite course next to New York City.
The course's claim-to-fame? Manhattan skyline views. The actual ground on which they play? Not so much. Liberty National was voted the second worst course on the tour in Golf World's survey of PGA Tour players.
After the 2017 Presidents Cup and a Barclays every three years, my math says there is still room for something else in there.
For Immediate Release...
Liberty National selected to host The Presidents Cup 2017,
Start of 25-year partnership with PGA TOUR
Paul Fireman announces $5 million donation to The First Tee, with half to benefit area chapters
JERSEY CITY, N.J. – At a flag-raising ceremony today overlooking the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty, PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem officially announced Liberty National as host site for The Presidents Cup when it is next staged in the United States, in 2017. The announcement is part of a 25-year partnership between Liberty National and the PGA TOUR, which will bring up to 10 PGA TOUR events to the venue over the course of the agreement. Joining Finchem to mark the occasion were Liberty National co-founders Paul Fireman and Dan Fireman, as well as New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.
Liberty National will be just the fourth golf course in the United States to host the prestigious team match-play competition, joining Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Prince William County, Va., (1994, 1996, 2000, 2005), TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Calif., (2009) and Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio (2013). The Presidents Cup 2017 will take place September 25-October 1.
“We’ve had several very compelling announcements relative to the future of The Presidents Cup so far this summer,” said Finchem, alluding to the announcement of Jay Haas and Nick Price as 2015 captains and TPC Harding Park in San Francisco being named 2025 host, “but standing in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty today to announce Liberty National as our next U.S.-based host of the event is really icing on the cake. The Presidents Cup has come so far in its relatively short history, and seeing the world’s best players compete in this market, on this incredibly fantastic venue with such an amazing backdrop in 2017 is something fans of this great game will never forget.
“I’d like to thank and congratulate Paul Fireman and his son Dan for their partnership through the years, which has previously brought the PGA TOUR to Liberty National for The Barclays in 2009 and 2013 and has now resulted in a long-term relationship that will see some of the TOUR’s biggest and best events staged here over the next quarter century. Paul and Dan have exemplified a true dedication to the future of the game, and we are thrilled to work with them to showcase Liberty National and the PGA TOUR in an incredible way.”
“Being chosen by the PGA TOUR to host the 2017 Presidents Cup is every golf course’s dream,” added Paul Fireman. “We at Liberty National Golf Club are proud to receive this honor and will dedicate our efforts to live up to both the TOUR and the players’ expectations. This new 25 year agreement is a mutual acknowledgement of trust and respect between Commissioner Finchem, the PGA TOUR, Liberty and our membership. We embrace this selection with great pride and look forward to fostering this relationship for years to come.”
One of the world’s most picturesque golf courses, Liberty National is located along the Hudson River in Jersey City, N.J., with striking views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Manhattan skyline. The golf club fittingly opened on July 4, 2006, and is guided by the vision and leadership of former Reebok Founder/Chairman & CEO Paul Fireman, currently chairman of Fireman Capital Partners, and his son Dan Fireman, managing partner of Fireman Capital Partners. Designed by U.S. Open Champion Tom Kite and esteemed golf course mastermind Bob Cupp, Liberty National has been the proud host to the first event of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs, The Barclays, in 2009 and 2013.
Esteemed golf course mastermind. There's a keeper.
The Barclays 2009 at Liberty National was won by Heath Slocum in dramatic fashion as he holed a 21-foot putt for par on the last hole to deny Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods the chance at victory. The Barclays returned to Liberty National, which has been part of the tournament’s rotation in recent years over some of the area’s best courses, in 2013 and again provided an incredibly compelling finish. Adam Scott carded a final-round 65 and then waited nearly two hours as the likes of Justin Rose, Gary Woodland and Woods all narrowly missed an opportunity to force a playoff.
As part of today’s event, Paul Fireman also announced a $5 million commitment to The First Tee over five years (beginning in 2015), with half of that amount earmarked for programs in the New York/New Jersey area: The First Tee of Metropolitan New York; The First Tee of Raritan Valley; The First Tee of Monmouth & Ocean Counties; and The First Tee of Greater Trenton. In addition, Liberty National will host an annual fundraising event for The First Tee, with any additional money raised through those events to benefit the local chapters.
Matthew Chung, a member of The First Tee of Metropolitan New York, performed the National Anthem before Lt. Governor Guadagno, Finchem and Paul and Dan Fireman raised The Presidents Cup 2017 flag in a newly constructed flag garden to forever commemorate Liberty National’s selection and the Fireman’s commitment to The First Tee.
“As The First Tee moves closer toward our goal of reaching 10 million additional young people with character-building programs, support from Paul and Dan Fireman is significant and will have a far-reaching and lasting impact,” said Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., chief executive officer of The First Tee. “We are grateful for their continued investment in young people through The First Tee, and for their commitment to the four chapters in the New York Metropolitan area.”