We have mutually agreed to cancel the 2009 and 2010 Ginn Tribute events, said LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens. The popularity and interest of the LPGA is at an all-time high thanks in part to sponsors like Bobby Ginn. We also appreciate all of the fan support that the LPGA received in Charleston and from throughout South Carolina, and look forward to returning to the South Carolina market in the future.
The event, which debuted in 2007 in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. near Charleston, was played on the Arnold Palmer-designed golf course at RiverTowne Country Club. The tournament offered a $2.6 million purse, one of the highest on the LPGA Tour. In both years, the event drew one of the top fields on Tour.
According to Bobby Ginn, chairman and CEO of The Ginn Companies, LLC, while the tournament was an attendance and ratings success, it did not draw the necessary sponsorship to continue.
The golf tournament business is primarily fueled by economic support, Ginn said. We did everything in our power to generate the sponsorship necessary to continue with the Ginn Tribute, but given the current market and corresponding cuts in corporate spending, it was an uphill battle.