Corning Classics long run coming to close

By Associated PressMay 20, 2009, 4:00 pm
LPGA Tour _newCORNING, N.Y. ' Rosie Jones wasnt going to miss saying so long, not to her adoring public along New Yorks Southern Tier and the golf course she once dominated.
 
The realization that the Corning Classic wont be here after this year really kind of hits home, Jones, the only repeat winner of the tournament (1996-97), said Wednesday. Its not one of our big, huge events on tour, but it was a big, heartfelt event. It was one of our signature tournaments, and those are hard to come by, hard to keep.
 
The Corning Classic, the lone event on the LPGA with the same title sponsor and held at the same venue since its inception, begins Thursday and will end for good on Sunday, another victim of the depressed economy.
 
Corning Inc. announced a month ago that it would no longer be able to continue as title sponsor, and that was enough to kill the tournament, which began in 1979 and has been staged at Corning Country Club every year.
 
Jones, who retired in 2006 but came back on a sponsors exemption to play last May, is the Corning Classics all-time leading money-winner with $564,630 earned over 78 rounds. Laura Diaz, the only native New Yorker to win the tournament, ranks second with $301,334.
 
Diazs victory here in 2002 was her second LPGA triumph ' she hasnt won since ' and the prospect of playing Corning for the final time wasnt something she was looking forward to.
 
Its very sad. Its been a great 11 years, Diaz said. The LPGA greatly appreciates everything this town and the Corning corporation have done for us. Its sad because the town is hurting. I feel like were friends of this community, and it pains me.
 
Although its outlook is improving, Corning Inc., an American manufacturer of glass, ceramics and related materials, has been hit hard in recent months. It had to cut 3,500 jobs worldwide this year and saw its first-quarter profit fall 99 percent.
 
Other factors in the Corning Classics demise were declining attendance and a lack of volunteers. The friendly, small-town atmosphere often was not enough to attract many of the games top players, in part because of Cornings spot on the schedule, just ahead of the McDonalds Championship.
 
The finale of the tournament, which has raised over $1.5 million for local charities over the years, will be different. The field for the 31st Corning Classic includes eight of the top 10 players on the money list and 28 of the top 30.
 
Among those returning is Paula Creamer, who also counts Corning as one of her favorite tour stops.
 
Its kind of shocking. You can understand, too, with the times that were going through right now, said Creamer, No. 9 in earnings this year. The fans here are just unbelievable. Its a small town, but the people have big hearts, and they really enjoy womens golf. Its just a different feeling. You get all types of generations that come out here.
 
One thing is certain. Jones, who reveled in the fact that she could be herself here ' she was seen more than once playing air guitar and singing in the front window of a restaurant downtown ' will remain the only back-to-back winner of the Corning Classic. An aching back forced defending champion Leta Lindley to withdraw from the only tournament shes won in 14 years on tour.
 
It has been an emotional week being here, said Lindley, who beat Jeong Jang in a one-hole playoff a year ago to become the ninth player to count the Corning Classic as her first triumph on tour. Ive shed a few tears along the way. It was a really hard decision for me to withdraw. I would feel differently if I knew I was coming back for 10 years, but knowing this is the final Corning Classic, and I dont get to participate, its really sad for me.
 
LPGA Deputy Commissioner Libba Galloway allowed a moment of hope for the future when tournament officials announced they would not renew their contract with the LPGA after this year.
 
Well miss it, Galloway said. But when things turn around, we would love the opportunity to come back to Corning.
 
Who knows? The guys last night were talking about, you know what, we can bring this back, added Jones, who is not playing and plans to return home before the tournaments end. There is a lot of optimism. I dont think people are ready to let go of womens golf here. Were always willing to come back.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' LPGA Corning Classic
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

    The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

    There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

    Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

    An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


    Playing with the pros

    Tiger, DJ and Faxon

    Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

    Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

    Rory faces criticism

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'


    President at the Presidents Cup


    Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

    Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

    Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump


    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

    Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

    Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


    Cart on the green


    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


    Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open


    Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

    Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

    Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


    Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


    Trump golf properties

    Vandalism

    Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

    Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses

    Finances


    Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

    Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

    Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

    Reportedly fake TIME covers


    Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


    Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

    Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

    Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up


    Pros comment on the president

    Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

    Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.