PGA Tour Event In Tampa Continues Search For Title Sponsor, Future Uncertain After '13
The PGA Tour Tampa Bay Championship “will be played March 11-17, the same spot it has occupied since becoming part of the Florida Swing” in ‘07 "despite the lack of a title sponsor” for the event, according to Rodney Page of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. Tournament Dir Kevin Krisle said, "We are still actively seeking a title sponsor, and the economic times haven't really changed. But the PGA Tour has a good track record and we're confident we can find a title sponsor for the years to come." Locally based Transitions Optical held the title sponsorship for the event from '09-12, but “decided not to renew its contract after the 2012 tournament.” It is unclear “what would happen to the tournament past 2013 if a title sponsor isn't secured.” The PGA Tour will “cover any costs of the tournament for 2013 that aren't covered by sponsors” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 10/23).
LOWERING THE MINIMUM: GOLFCHANNEL.com's Rex Hoggard reported a byproduct of the PGA Tour’s move to a "split-calendar season beginning with the 2013-14 schedule will be a temporary reduction in a player’s minimum number of starts." Due to the "loss of the fall series events, which will now kick off the new season, players in 2013 will only need 12 starts to maintain their status as voting members." The minimum had been 15 starts (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 10/22). Golf Channel's Whit Watson said, "I think you try it for a year and see what happens. This is a special exemption because of a shortened schedule January to September.” Golf Channel's Damon Hack added, “I don’t want to commit to anything until I see it in action and in real time, but I have a feeling that they're going to keep that number low” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 10/22).