Booz Allen Hamilton chairman Ralph Shrader said Monday that his company will not renew its sponsorship contract when it expires after this year's tournament.
'As we look to the move to the fall, we feel we would be constrained to have the world-class event that we sought,' Shrader told The Associated Press.
Shrader hoped to work with the tour to give the tournament a much-needed boost when Booz Allen Hamilton became the title sponsor in 2004. The event has struggled over the years to attract a marquee field, largely because of its unpredictable place on the tour's June calendar and because of criticism of the tournament's TPC at Avenel course in Potomac, Md.
Shrader felt he had reached an agreement with PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem on a plan to overhaul the Avenel course and clubhouse and give the tournament a more steady spot on the calendar, preferably before the U.S. Open. The event was moved to the prestigious Congressional Country Club last year to give the tour time to renovate Avenel.
Instead, no work was done, and the tour announced in January that the event would be moved to the fall in 2007, essentially a demotion for the tour's only regular visit to the Washington area.
'I was surprised by the decision because it had not been part of our discussions before,' Shrader said, 'and I was disappointed in it.'
This year's Booz Allen Classic will be held June 22-25. The dates for its fall debut in 2007 have not been announced.
Shrader said that Booz Allen Hamilton will sponsor the tournament on a more limited basis in 2007, spending at least $1 million, but the tour will have to look elsewhere to find a company willing to spend the money to put its name in the title.
'We would have liked the circumstances to be different,' Shrader said.
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