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SBD/May 15, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
LPGA Announces Two Alabama Tour Stops Next Season; Renewing Mobile Bay Event
Published May 15, 2013
CHANGING MAJORS? Rochester-based WHEC-NBC's Robin De Wind reported the future of the Wegmans LPGA Championship in Pittsford is unknown, as the contract between Wegmans and the LPGA only "extends through this year." Wegmans has said that the future of the tournament in the market "may hinge on having additional sponsors step forward." Tournament co-Chair Jerry Stahl: "I'm not sure whether we have a sponsor that could sponsor this event even as a tour stop, so I'm not sure what that would hold for the future of golf" (WHEC.com, 5/13). Despite Whan saying that the LPGA is "full up with five majors", the VIRGINIA GAZETTE examined what it would take to possibly bring an LPGA major to Williamsburg, Va., site of the Kingsmill Championship. What is "critical is landing a title sponsor," and a "handful of potential takers were on site" during the tournament earlier this month. Also important is attendance, as "most major tournaments on the LPGA attract more than 100,000 spectators." Whan said, "There is no reason to go through the process of 'what it takes to be a major,' as I simply don't have that to offer them (or anyone else)." He added, "At this point, Kingsmill is perfect. No reason to go down that path, unless an opportunity were to come available in the future" (VIRGINIA GAZETTE, 5/11).
FARR, FARR AWAY: In Toledo, Dave Hackenberg noted this will be the first year actor Jamie Farr's name will not be attached to the LPGA's annual stop in Toledo since the event debuted in '84. The tour in January announced the July 18-21 event would become the Marathon Classic, and tournament Exec Dir Judd Silverman said, "Jamie was fully aware we needed to fill a void financially." Silverman: "With the timing of Marathon stepping up, and considering Jamie's professional schedule and the things going on in his life, I think he felt the timing was right to step away knowing the tournament would be in good hands." Farr in an e-mail wrote, "On July 1, I'll be 79 years old and to be truthful, I am slowing down. My mind is quite a bit younger than my body usually feels. I am a hands-on individual and always enjoyed playing in every event we offered during tournament week. But I discovered recently I just cannot participate without aching for weeks after." Hackenberg noted Farr's name will "remain associated with the tourney through its scholarship program" (TOLEDO BLADE, 5/12).