DOUBLE BOGEY: LPGA DROPS STOPS IN NC AND MN
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).