LPGA Championship's Future In Rochester Remains Uncertain Amid Renewal Talks
The Wegmans LPGA Championship begins today at the Locust Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., but the two-year contract the tour signed with the course and title sponsor Wegmans “expires Sunday afternoon, and the future of the tournament is very much up in the air,” according to Sal Maiorana of the ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE. Tournament Coordinator Linda Hampton said, “We haven’t negotiated anything because we opted to wait until after the 2012 tournament week to do it. In the 31 years I’ve been doing this there’s been a new contract almost every five years, and most of those were negotiated during tournament week and we were taking away from being able to enjoy the week that we just worked a year to put on. So we’re letting this experience speak for itself and that’s our strategy going into negotiations with the LPGA.” LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan, who “thinks the sides might sit down sometime in July, was fine with that decision.” Maiorana notes the LPGA, Wegmans and Locust Hill in ’10 “agreed to a two-year contract extension, mainly because the LPGA wanted to keep its options open.” But now the LPGA “may want to find a more visible and cosmopolitan city than Rochester to become the permanent host.” Maiorana asks, “With a great sponsor, great course, great history, tradition and support, what more could the LPGA possibly want for its own major championship?” The “most interesting aspect of the coming negotiations will be the answer to this question: What if the LPGA decides to move the championship out of Rochester, but asks Wegmans and Locust Hill to return to hosting a regular tour stop?” Tournament co-Chair Jerry Stahl said, “Anytime in life you move back from where you’ve been, it becomes a tough situation, so yes, it would be a challenge” (ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 6/7).