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DOUBLE BOGEY: LPGA DROPS STOPS IN NC AND MN
Published November 24, 1998
Charlotte organizers have been "forced" to "abandon efforts to bring an LPGA event" to the city in April due to "an inability to land a title sponsor," according to Ron Green Jr. of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. Raycom owns the LPGA Charlotte event and Exec VP Ken Haines said that it had received a commitment from a title sponsor in August, but that the company, who he declined to name, "reconsidered its commitment in the wake of volatile stock-market conditions." Haines said, "We are not able to obtain financial security to our satisfaction from the title sponsor we were dealing with." Green Jr. writes that it is "uncertain" whether a Charlotte stop will return in 2000 (CHAR. OBSERVER, 11/24). NORTHERN EXPOSURE: In Minneapolis, Jon Roe reported that, after nine years, the Twin Cities' LPGA event will not return in '99 due to "problems with sponsorship and scheduling." Tournament Dir Michael Stearns, who said the event would return in 2000: "The LPGA had wanted to put our tournament in September, and we just didn't think that was a good time for the event. We also didn't have the sponsor backing we needed to put on the kind of event we wanted to run." Stearns added that IMG would keep the tournament's rights, even though its losses since the tournament began are "estimated" at "more than" $250,000 (STAR TRIBUNE, 11/21). ADDITIONAL BACKING: USA TODAY's Jerry Potter reports that LPGA Commissioner Jim Ritts will announce later this week a '99 schedule of 43 events worth $36M in prize money. The average purse will be $860,000, and 11 events will have purses of $1M, up from six last year (USA TODAY, 11/24).