SBD/Issue 241/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Back On LPGA Schedule For '10

 

The Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic this afternoon will announce a one-year extension with the LPGA to continue holding its event in Toledo through the '10 season. The event will be staged June 28-July 4 in its traditional spot the week before the U.S. Women’s Open, but the purse will drop from $1.4M this year to $1M next year. The tournament will not air on television under the one-year extension, making it the only domestic LPGA event without television coverage in '10. The event had aired three-round coverage on ESPN2. This becomes the 16th confirmed event on the '10 schedule, though that total should swell to 18 in the next month as extensions are completed with the P&G Northwest Arkansas Championship and the Navistar LPGA Classic in Alabama (Jon Show, SportsBusiness Journal). In Toledo, Dave Hackenberg reports it is expected that Owens Corning "will remain the title sponsor and that the event will again be held at Highland Meadows" in Sylvania, Ohio. The tournament was "one of seven U.S.-based tour stops operating without contracts beyond 2009." Hackenberg notes former LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens, prior to her resignation in July, "seemed intent on making greater financial demands on tournament sponsors during a difficult economic climate." But the LPGA "apparently has softened its stance" under Acting Commissioner Marty Evans. The Wegmans LPGA event "broke off negotiations with the LPGA during its event in late June," but last month both sides announced a new three-year deal "with options for additional one-year extensions." The Farr Classic began negotiations with the LPGA "less than one month ago" (TOLEDO BLADE, 9/2).

SOUTHERN EXPANSION? The LPGA is in discussions to bring an event to the Charlotte area, and in Charlotte, Ron Green Jr. wrote local organizers are "bullish about their ability to make this happen though they admit there are still sponsorship issues to finalize." The event "would have to get most of the top players, something that didn't always happen for the Fieldcrest Cannon Classic at the Peninsula Club in the '90s." Getting Michelle Wie is the "ticket but she's still planning on attending college in the fall which could knock her out of playing" (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 9/1).

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