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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    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.


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    President at the Presidents Cup


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    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

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

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    Cart on the green


    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green


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

    Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National


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    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


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    Pros comment on the president

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    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.