June 29 2011
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. -- Is the PGA TOUR headed back to Philadelphia and Detroit? If it has its way, yes.
This is the final year Aronimink is playing host to the AT&T National, which moved from Congressional Country Club just outside Washington D.C. after the 2009 tournament as that course underwent renovations to host this year’s U.S. Open. The tournament will return to the Bethesda, Md., course next year.
That said, PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem said the support of the AT&T National at Aronimink has been “fantastic” and that he would like to see the TOUR return to the Philadelphia area.
”This is a terrific sports town with a terrific economy of its own,” Finchem said Wednesday. “We have a strong fan base here. There was terrific enthusiasm by the membership.
“[That] certainly leads us to conclude that we would definitely like to continue an involvement here in Philadelphia, and we're actively looking for ways to do that.”
As Finchem pointed out, there currently aren’t any open dates on the schedule, but he could see a return to the area following the 2013 U.S. Open, which will be held at nearby Merion Golf Club.
”This is a place where you don't want to be gone for very long,” Finchem said. “That's not good for the sport. So we'll be looking at that.”
Finchem also acknowledged that the TOUR is actively seeking a return to the Detroit area after losing the Buick Open following the 2009 tournament.
“We have a working discussion going on with General Motors, which has shown strong interest,” Finchem said. “Our hope is that depending on how our schedule works out for the long‑term that we will be able to figure out a way to get them on the schedule because we do think it would be a very positive addition. I just am not in a position to say how it's going to happen just yet.”