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Ginn-Sponsored LPGA Event To Take Place Of ShopRite Classic
Published July 18, 2006
|Sorenstam To Host Ginn’s
New LPGA Tournament
SHOPRITE: In Philadelphia, Joe Logan reports the Ginn Tribute event will take the place of the ShopRite Classic next year on the LPGA schedule — the first week in June, before the McDonald’s LPGA Championship. ShopRite Classic officials have threatened a lawsuit to prevent the move. ShopRite Classic Exec Dir Ruth Harrison said in a statement, “We have binding agreement through June 2008 that ensures our date on the LPGA schedule. And we intend to take any and all steps, including legal action if necessary, to enforce that agreement.” Tournament officials said that they are “not angry at [Sorenstam] or, for that matter, at Ginn” over the new event. But ShopRite Classic Dir of Communications Rodger Gottlieb “took a swipe” at LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens, saying, “Any of the prior leadership of the LPGA would have done it in a way so that it wouldn’t be a direct affront to another tournament.” While the LPGA did not issue an official response yesterday, Bivens had said Harrison and ShopRite have “not had a contract with the LPGA for five years.” Logan notes the ShopRite event’s purse was only $1.4M (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/18). While Harrison indicated that the event “hasn’t had a formal contract with the LPGA since 2000, she points to a letter tournament organizers consider binding.” The June 29, 2005, letter, signed by then-LPGA VP/Tournament Business Affairs Rob Neal, “outlines the LPGA’s plan for the event to be played at the end of May through 2008” (Scott Hamilton, SBJ, 7/17 issue). More Harrison: “I feel like somebody punched us in the stomach. We were talking to them about a contract, and they were negotiating behind our backs with someone else” (ATLANTIC CITY PRESS, 7/17).