Curry-hosted PGA Tour event likely to land at Lake Merced

San Francisco Chronicle - - SPORTING GREEN - By Ron Kroichick

Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City moved closer this week to land­ing a new PGA Tour event, which would be hosted by War­riors guard Stephen Curry and played for the first time in Septem­ber.

Lake Merced mem­bers over­whelm­ingly ap­proved a pro­posal to make more than $3.6 mil­lion in course up­grades, a pre­req­ui­site to hold­ing the tour­na­ment. Oc­tagon, the sports man­age­ment com­pany set to run the event, will cover $2.8 mil­lion of those costs, ac­cord­ing to an email sent by club pres­i­dent Jeff Pero to Lake Merced mem­bers on Nov. 16.

More than 80 per­cent of the mem­bers sub­se­quently voted in fa­vor of the pro­posal. The club’s board of di­rec­tors rat­i­fied the re­sults at its meet­ing Thurs­day.

PGA Tour of­fi­cials pre­vi­ously ap­proved Lake Merced as the tour­na­ment venue, pend­ing an agree­ment on course changes. That leaves a ti­tle spon­sor as the only re­main­ing ob­sta­cle, and

Oc­tagon and tour of­fi­cials are close to a deal with an East Bay-based com­pany.

Curry, in his role as tour­na­ment host, is ex­pected to ac­tively re­cruit tour pros to play in the event. He told The Chron­i­cle he would not play in the tour­na­ment at Lake Merced; Curry, a scratch golfer, ac­cepted a spon­sor ex­emp­tion in the Tour event in Hay­ward each of the past two years.

Curry’s char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion also would be heav­ily in­volved in the op­er­a­tion of the Lake Merced tour­na­ment.

Among the no­table course up­grades out­lined by Pero, the club pres­i­dent, in his email to mem­bers: ⏩ Lake Merced plans to ex­pand its driv­ing range and move it to the left, es­sen­tially trad­ing places with the 10th hole. The club then will re­build No. 10, mak­ing it a 411yard par-4 with a slight dog­leg left.

⏩ The club will add sev­eral new “back tees,” at the PGA Tour’s re­quest, to stretch the course to ap­prox­i­mately 7,300 yards, com­pa­ra­ble to most venues for tour events.

⏩ Lake Merced will ren­o­vate four greens (Nos. 7, 12, 14 and 16), add sev­eral fair­way bunkers and ex­pand the short­game prac­tice area.

Rees Jones, noted golf­course ar­chi­tect, will de­sign these changes. Lake Merced must com­plete the pro­ject on a tight time­line, with two mar­quee pro­fes­sional events sched­uled in the next 9½ months.

The LPGA an­nounced its 2019 sched­ule Thurs­day, and it in­cludes the LPGA Medi­heal Cham­pi­onship on May 2-5 at Lake Merced. The Curry-hosted PGA Tour event is slot­ted for Sept. 19-22, one week be­fore the Safe­way Open at Sil­ver­ado Re­sort in Napa.

Michael Ma­cor / The Chron­i­cle

Lake Merced Golf Course is likely to host two pro tour­na­ments in 2019, one on the LPGA Tour and one on the PGA Tour.

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