PGA Tour’s 15th Puerto Rico Open kicks off
The Puerto Rico Open, an official event of the PGA Tour, is being held once again in the Caribbean island. This year marks the 15th edition of the tournament that runs through Sunday at the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Golf Club’s Championship Course.
The tournament, which is the highest profile golf event in Puerto Rico, has contributed to the sustained growth of sports tourism in the area, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), which has been a partner since the first edition of the event and is its official presenter, said in its press release.
The tournament’s economic impact on the hotel industry is significant, with an occupancy rate of approximately 2,500 rooms per night, mainly in the eastern region of the island, providing a great stimulus for tourism activities in hotels, restaurants and attractions. Carlos Mercado Santiago, the executive director of the government-owned tourism corporation, said the tournament injects around $10 million into the economy and helps to project Puerto Rico as a “first-class destination” for international events.
The tournament creates direct sources of permanent and temporary jobs for a variety of companies that provide services for the event, such as hotel staff, ground transportation, meals, tour operators and tourist guides, rental of venues and equipment, production staff, and ticket sales.
Golf fans will enjoy the internationally broadcast event featuring 120 players from the PGA circuit, including local players Rafael Campos, Robi Calvesbert, Chris Nido, Diego Saavedra, and Eduard Figueroa, along with other international figures. The participants will compete for a prize of $3.8 million and 300 FedEx Cup points.
Kelly Jensen, the PGA Tour’s vice president of business affairs, said that Puerto Rico has been a partner of the PGA Tour since 2008 and has helped launch the careers of many top professionals. Brad Dean, the CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, the island’s destination marketing organization, expressed pride in the island hosting the tournaments that attract worldwide attention.
The Voy Turisteando Village, organized by the PRTC, will feature agrotourism companies; artisans; the Beach Tennis Championship, in which 400 players will play on 13 courts; and a Toro Verde zipline. The musical offerings include DJ Iván Robles on Thursday; the Mastercard Jazz Fest on Friday; Charlie Aponte, La Secta and Manny Manuel on Saturday; and DJ Robles will close the event on Sunday.
The Golf Channel will provide 25-hour coverage of the tournament, showcasing Puerto Rico to more than 3.6 million homes around the world, giving the island more visibility for golfers worldwide. The media coverage is estimated to have an advertising value of more than $10 million.
Matt Truax, the tournament director, said that the Puerto Rico Open showcases the island as a premier golf destination to a broad global audience, while supporting the local community with job creation and economic activity and donations to charitable organizations. Truax said he was excited to kick off “four wonderful days of golf” and was “looking forward to hosting this event for many years to come.”