Hawaii without LPGA Tour events in 2010

By Associated PressJuly 2, 2009, 4:00 pm
LPGA Tour _newHONOLULU ' Michelle Wies home state, which promotes itself as a golfers paradise with year-round sunny weather, has bid aloha to the LPGA ' for now.
The number of LPGA events have dwindled from a record three in 2008 to one this season and none scheduled for next year as corporate sponsors and golf courses try to cut marketing costs amid global economic declines. The tour is hoping a new sponsor will step up soon so Hawaii wont be left off the 2010 schedule.
Every sport, every corporation, every family is feeling the recession, so its not easy, LPGA spokesman David Higdon said. But were going to work hard and we know we have a great sport, a great circuit and a great history in Hawaii.
The Kapalua LPGA Classic said this week that it has pulled out of its contract to host the event with four years remaining on its five-year contract. LPGA Tour deputy commissioner Libba Galloway said the tour is extremely disappointed and plans to vigorously enforce all our legal rights under the contract.
Kapalua, owned by Maui Land & Pineapple Co., sponsored the events inaugural event last year, which was won by its touring pro, Morgan Pressel. Kapalua said is unable to present the tournament in October without a title sponsor.
Its disappointing but a reality in todays current economic climate that title sponsorships are difficult to secure, said Gary Planos, Kapalua Land Co. senior vice president.
Kapalua is the third event erased from this seasons LPGA calendar. The Ginn Open in Florida is dead and the Bell Micro LPGA Classic in Alabama was moved to next spring. The Corning Classic in Corning, N.Y., lost its sponsor for next year and the fates of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic in Ohio and the Michelob Ultra Open in Virginia also are uncertain.
Higdon said hes not worried about others following Kapaluas lead because of contractual obligations.
Also gone from the islands are the SBS Open and the Fields Open, which used to open the LPGA season. Fields Corp., a Japanese gaming machine developer, didnt renew sponsorship after last years event.
The SBS and the LPGA ended a long relationship in a bitter breakup to start the season.
The Korean media giant felt disrespected when the tour agreed to a lucrative, long-term deal with SBSs much-smaller competitor, J Golf, for an exclusive TV deal in the golf-crazed Asian nation.
They have moved Tiffanys from 57th Street in Manhattan to Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, SBS president Sang Chun told Golf World in February.
SBS, one of South Koreas four major networks, in turn agreed to a 10-year deal with the PGA Tour to sponsor its season opener in Kapalua, which had been previously sponsored by Mercedes-Benz. SBS also extended its exclusive agreement to show PGA Tour events in South Korea.
The LPGA says it was actively seeking to secure a new title sponsor to replace SBS and hopeful that Hawaii wouldnt be left off the schedule next year for the first time since 2004.
Michael Story, sports manager for the Hawaii Tourism Authority, said the state realizes the importance of pro golf as a marketing tool. The state usually contributes $50,000 to each LPGA Tour event held in the islands.
Its what we would consider part of our competitive set, when we talk about what Hawaii has to offer as a destination, he said.
However, Story said he realizes theres just not as much money to go around to host tournaments.
I think theres a lot of business reevaluating what they direct their money to, and thats not something we can control, he said.
Besides the balmy winter weather and its proximity to Asia, one key reason why the LPGA wants to be back in Hawaii so badly is the Wie factor.
Why do we have three tournaments in Mexico? Players drive our business, said Higdon, referring to the draw of top-ranked Lorena Ochoa. If Michelle Wie took off, the business model will probably change a little bit more and well be fielding more calls and options.
Wie has played well in Hawaii, drawing huge galleries ever since she qualified for an LPGA event on the Big Island at age 12 and two years later shooting a 68 in the PGA Tours Sony Open to miss the cut by a stroke.
She opened her rookie campaign in February by finishing second at Turtle Bay, where she tied for second in 2005 as a 15-year-old amateur.
Higdon said the SBS in February was a huge success for the LPGA, which experienced the second-highest traffic on its Web site for a non-major event. It was topped only by the 2006 Evian Ladies Masters, where Wie finished tied for second.
You look at how amazing Tiger Woods has been and what a draw he is. Of our players, Michelle Wie has that quality, Higdon said. So we hope that she can develop because she already has that strong following. If she turns into a great player, it will be amazing for the sport and those are the kinds of things that will play in Hawaiis favor down the road.
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    Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

    Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

    The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

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    And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

    Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

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    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.