Portland LPGA Event Returns For '13; Safeway To Be Presenting Sponsor
Although some issues still need to be worked out, there "will be an LPGA Tour event in the Portland area this year," according to Mike Tokito of the Portland OREGONIAN. The tournament, "known as the Safeway Classic since 1996, will for now be called the 'Portland Classic presented by Safeway,' and will start in the final week of August." Tournament Golf Foundation, the organization that has run LPGA events in Portland since '72, "committed to running an event this year, even though it continues to negotiate with Safeway on sponsorship." Safeway "has been title sponsor" since '96. TGF President Tom Maletis said that Safeway still is "deciding if it wants to maintain the costlier role of being the title sponsor ... or take on a lesser role." The '13 LPGA schedule, released yesterday, "does not list a course for the Portland event." But Maletis said that he "expects the tournament will return to Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club." He said that TGF "needed to finalize dates and have a better idea of sponsorship before coming to an agreement with Pumpkin Ridge." The Portland event is the "longest-running regular tournament on the LPGA Tour" (OREGONLIVE.com, 1/15).
DESTINATION UNKNOWN: In Florida, Greg Hardwig reports the site for this year's LPGA CME Group Titleholders tournament still is "to be determined." LPGA Dir of Media Communications Mike Scanlan said the location of the tournament "will be announced early this year." The event moved to the TwinEagles Club in Naples last November "after being played at Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando in 2011." The tour "did announce an extension through 2016 with title sponsor CME Group, an increase in the purse to $2 million, and in the first-place prize to $700,000, the highest on the tour." The '12 tournament "had a $1.5-million purse, and $500,000 first-place prize." Octagon Senior VP/Global Events Jeff Kleiber indicated that the "length of the extension tied into the tournament's site" (NAPLES DAILY NEWS, 1/16).