PGA Tour’s 2022 BMW Championship coming to Wilmington
WILMINGTON – Golf fans and Delaware’s tourism industry scored an eagle Tuesday morning, when the PGA announced that the 2022 BMW Championship, one of the highest-profile, non-major tournaments on the tour, will be played at the Wilmington Country Club.
The tournament is the second to last on the annual tour and typically attended by megastars like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and more as they attempt to earn one of 30 spots in the season-ending Tour Championship and the chance to be crowned FedExCup champion.
While the official dates have not been announced, the event is scheduled to be held in late August 2022. The four-day tournament is typically played from Thursday to Sunday, meaning the dates are likely either Aug. 18-21 or Aug. 25 to 28, 2022. It will be the first time a PGA event will be played in Delaware, although the state hosted the LPGA Tour’s McDonald’s Championship at the DuPont Country Club from 1994 to 2004.
“We’re thrilled to be taking the BMW Championship to Wilmington Country Club, one of the finest clubs anywhere in the United States,” said Vince Pellegrino, senior vice president of tournaments for the host Western Golf Association, in a statement announcing the event. “The South Course has everything you look for in a traditional championship layout. It will present a strategic test for the world’s best players and a perfect venue for fans and PGA Tour partners.”
Established in 1901, Wilmington Country Club had 18 holes covering 135 acres. The club relocated to its Kennett Pike home in the 1950s, bringing in renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. to design the South Course, which opened in 1959. Playing over 7,500 yards from the championship tees, the South Course has been recognized as one of the United States’ best golf courses by Golf Digest.
“It is a great honor for Wilmington Country Club to be the first club in the state of Delaware to play host to the PGA Tour, and to the prestigious BMW Championship,” Club President Gary Ferguson said in a statement. “The passion that fans in this area have for golf is unmatched, and they will enjoy the opportunity to watch the best players in the world compete on this spectacular and challenging golf course.”
The event, which saw attendance of more than 133,000 in 2019, is expected to bring an estimated $30 million economic impact to the greater Wilmington area, as fans and media swarm hotels, restaurants, and stores for the tournament. Proceeds for the tournament will also benefit the Evans Scholars Foundation, which awards full tuition and housing college scholarships to deserving youth caddies. The annual event has raised more than $35 million for the scholarships benefitting more than 3,000 caddies, including two from Delaware, officials said.
Gov. John Carney, New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer and Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki all heralded the landing of the mega sports event in Delaware as an opportunity to show up the best of the state.
“The First State has a long and proud golf history and is ideally positioned to support one of golf’s great championships. Not only will the BMW Championship enhance the local economy, it will showcase a wonderful course and dynamic community to a global audience,” Carney said.
By Jacob Owens