The Legends of Golf, Savannah's signature professional golf event for more than a decade, officially has a new home.
The 2014 Legends will be played in Branson, Mo. under presenting sponsorship by Bass Pro Shops. The Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf presented by Bass Pro Shops will be played on the Buffalo Ridge Course and include play on the par-3 Top of the Rocks Course, making it the first Champions Tour event to include official competition on a par-3 course.
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, Missouri governor Jay Nixon and Kansas City native Tom Watson introduced the new home of the Legends today.
"The Legends of Golf and Champions Tour both share a history of being innovative and engaging properties and that legacy will certainly continue here at Big Cedar Lodge with the introduction of a par-3 course in official competition,'' said Finchem. "If there was ever a par-3 course worthy of PGA Tour tournament play, Top of the Rocks is it.''
In addition to par-3 play, the new Legends will include four-ball and scramble formats.
"We have a tournament here that is unique,'' said Watson. "It is unlike the regular medal stroke-play events we usually play. It's going to be great to see the pros play some other formats than regular stroke play. We're bringing a golf tournament here, but we're also bringing an element of fun.''
The two-man team event will be played June 2-8, meaning the event that helped launch the Champions Tour will continue despite losing the only title sponsor it had for 35 years last year.
The Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf had been played at The Club at Savannah Harbor for 11 years, from 2003 until 2013.
Savannah was the fifth home the Legends had after the event started in Austin, Texas in 1978. The 11-year run in Savannah was the longest it had been played anywhere.
Champions Tour player John Cook also attended today's announcement and was excited that one of the Champions Tour events was continuing despite what had seemed an uncertain future.
"When we were playing the Legends last year in Savannah, there were rumblings that this wasn't going to happen anymore,'' said Cook. "Liberty Mutual was moving on and there might not be a Legends anymore. (Champions Tour players) said ‘we can't let that happen. We've got to do everything possible to keep it going.' This is one of the most important events out that we have. We just can't let it go away.''