RICHMOND, Texas – The LPGA Playoffs won't be on the tour's schedule for a second straight season next year, but tour officials are aggressively seeking to bring them back in 2011.
In fact, Zayra Calderon, the LPGA vice president of tournament development, told GolfChannel.com Wednesday that the tour has approached ADT about returning to the tour as title sponsor, possibly in its former role as host of the playoff finale.
“We have renewed conversations with them,” Calderon said.
The LPGA Playoffs, a season-long points competition with the richest paycheck in women's golf ($1 million to the winner), culminated with the ADT Championship, last played at the end of the 2008 season.
The playoffs ran for three seasons, all of them ending with the ADT Championship at Trump International in West Palm Beach, Fla. ADT ended its sponsorship following a breakdown in negotiations with former commissioner Carolyn Bivens’ team. ADT officials said at the time that they would have been interested in staying on given a more favorable sponsorship renewal offer and date. The tour gave ADT's season-ending date to Stanford Financial as host of the LPGA Tour Championship. Stanford Financial’s sponsorship collapsed after the company fell under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This week's LPGA Tour Championship is being played with Rolex as presenting sponsor but no title sponsor.
The LPGA’s conversations with ADT are preliminary.
“There have been no formal talks about any proposal,” said Bill Marshall, president of Team Marketing, ADT's sports marketing agency. “At this point, we are just talking.”
Bivens explored the possibility of moving the LPGA Playoffs' finale to the start of the season following the playoffs, so it wouldn't conflict with football in the fall and receive better exposure. Calderon said the tour is still exploring a number of possibilities for changes to format and date.