LPGA Entertaining Three Potential Title Sponsors To Succeed Kraft Nabisco
LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan on Thursday said that he is "entertaining three potential title sponsors" to succeed Kraft Nabisco for the season's first major, according to John Strege of GOLF DIGEST. Kraft's title-sponsorship ends following this week's event, and Whan said, "It's a 75, 25 we're sitting here next year with a sponsor" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 4/3). In Palm Springs, Larry Bohannan writes it is "arguably the most recognizable event in women's golf." Nabisco's name has "been on the tournament for 33 years," with Kraft's name added in '02. Whan said of host site Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., "As I said to the GM here a couple of nights ago, we are coming back." He added, "What makes Palm Springs nice is if you are talking to a sponsor in Asia, California is a pretty easy trip." Whan said that he "wouldn't negotiate a new sponsorship deal for a major championship for less than five years, but that he has learned that where a sponsor has its corporate headquarters doesn't really matter to the success of a tournament" (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 4/4). GOLFWEEK's Beth Ann Nichols noted it costs about $6.5M "to take control" of the tournament. Whan said that the LPGA will "assume ownership of the event for now and the tournament staff will remain in place." A change in date is "not being discussed." Whan: "In my commissioner tenure, I'm not going to lose this major" (GOLFWEEK.com, 4/3).