Perhaps most interesting in the fine print here is the PGA Tour advancing an "expanded operational relationship" with Liberty National, the oft-reviled design which hosted a few redesigns, two Barclays and will be site of the 2017 Presidents Cup.
The management deal, following the 25-year partnership anounced last August, would seem to move the budding Tim Finchem-Paul Fireman bromance to engaged status.
Derek Sprague Named Managing Director of Liberty National Golf Club
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (January 12, 2016) –Paul and Dan Fireman, co-founders, today announced that Derek Sprague, current President of the PGA of America, has been named as Managing Director of Liberty National Golf Club. Sprague will be employed by the PGA TOUR as part of an expanded operational relationship between Liberty National and the TOUR.
Sprague, 48, comes to Liberty National from Malone (N.Y.) Golf Club, where he has served as General Manager/Director of Golf for 27 years. In addition to his duties at Malone, Sprague was elected in November 2014 for a two-year term as the 39th President of the PGA, which represents more than 28,000 PGA professionals across the United States. Sprague has received numerous awards and has served in a number of leadership roles at the PGA Section and national levels.
“We believe that this new management agreement will provide the expertise and resources that will continue to enhance the Liberty experience into the future. We welcome Derek and look forward to this unprecedented partnership,” said Dan Fireman.
“Liberty National is an iconic facility and under the Firemans’ leadership has established an impressive legacy in a short period of time and has an exciting future,” said Sprague. “I am thrilled to be joining the PGA TOUR team and look forward to serving the Liberty National members and guests as we look ahead to The Presidents Cup 2017. I will always cherish my time at Malone Golf Club and would like to express my gratitude to the Malone Golf Club’s Board of Directors, members and staff.”
PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem joined Paul and Dan Fireman in August 2014 to announce a 25-year partnership while confirming Liberty National would serve as host site for The Presidents Cup in 2017. This long-term agreement calls for Liberty National to host up to 10 PGA TOUR tournaments, including the first of the four FedExCup Playoff events in 2019.
“We are excited to have someone as highly regarded as Derek to serve the Club’s membership and their guests, as well as handle preparations for future high-profile events,” Finchem said.
“We offer our sincere congratulations to Derek on landing this wonderful opportunity at Liberty National – further proof that the most qualified person to manage a golf property is a PGA professional,” said Pete Bevacqua, CEO of PGA of America. “Derek playing a major role at a highly visible championship venue is an extremely positive development for the PGA of America as we are dedicated to growing the game at all levels.”
This also means Sprague recently visited Atlanta for several days with Dr. Conformity, Finchem's handpicked specialist who puts PGA Tour job candidates through a rigorous, multi-point, indoctrination boot camp. Congrats on passing Derek!