Originally created 03/08/06

Honda motors into PGA National in '07



PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - A long-expected deal moving the Honda Classic from The Country Club at Mirasol across the street to PGA National was formally announced Tuesday by the PGA Tour.

The six-year pact starts next year, when the Honda opens what will be a four-event Florida tour swing. The deal gives the oft-moved tournament a home through 2012; it's been at six courses since 1995.

"We know that the tournament has moved several times," said American Honda vice president Richard Colliver, who lauded Mirasol's effort as a host. "We made the decision. We felt that if we were going to stay in golf, we needed to go to a resort where we could have a permanent home."

This year's event opens Thursday at Mirasol's Sunrise course, which has hosted the event since 2004. The Champion course at PGA National hosted the 1983 Ryder Cup and the 1987 PGA Championship, plus the Senior PGA Championship 28 times.

It was designed by Tom and George Fazio and opened in 1981, then redesigned by Jack Nicklaus in 1990 and further renovated by Nicklaus Design in 2002.

"We're very pleased with being able to bring the best players in the world back to this particular venue," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said.

Next year's Honda Classic will be March 1-4, taking the schedule spot traditionally held by Doral. Starting in 2007, Doral will play host to the CA Championship, a World Golf Championship event, the last week of March.