LPGA Kingsmill Championship Continues Search For Title Sponsor
Last week's LPGA Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va., was marked by a "world-class leaderboard, extended Sunday television coverage, average crowds and a continued sponsor search," according to David Teel of the Hampton Roads DAILY PRESS. Attendance was "more important this year as Kingsmill's owner, Xanterra, looks for a title sponsor to continue the event." The LPGA's two-year contract with Xanterra "expired after Sunday's final round but includes an option" for '14. Kingsmill VP/Golf & Club Operations Wayne Nooe yesterday said, "I thought we had good crowds. I thought Saturday was probably affected by the weather more so than any other day. ... There's no doubt that four days in a row of that (cool, breezy) weather affected how much turnout we could have had." While attendance figures were not yet finalized, Nooe estimated that the event "attracted similar crowds to last year's 62,700." He said Kingsmill's record for an LPGA tournament is "a little over 64,000," which was set in '04 as Michelle Wie was in the field for the first time. Nooe said, "Even if you're a sponsor in a skybox, you do like to see people around." He added, "We had some (prospective sponsors) that were here Friday and Saturday, and then we had some folks that were here Tuesday and Wednesday. I think they all left impressed. The process is never as fast as you'd like it to be." Nooe said Kingsmill and the LPGA contractually are scheduled to decide on '14 "by early fall." Nooe: "But if we are close to getting a partner, or if our company decides to do it ourselves, I think the date is flexible" (Hampton Roads DAILY PRESS, 5/7).