Hartford May Lose Tournament


PGA Tour (75x100)HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Greater Hartford Open is in danger of being axed from the PGA Tour's 2003 schedule if tournament officials can not scare up $4 million in sponsorship by next month.
The Greater Hartford Open has been without a lead sponsor since Canon ended its relationship with the event in June of 2002. Organizers said on Thursday that they have negotiated with several companies to raise the $4 million as an interim solution if a title sponsor can not be found.
'We remain optimistic that we will achieve a title sponsor relationship,' said tournament chairman Dan Baker. 'However, based on the status of discussions to date and the current state of the economy, the Greater Hartford Open is pursuing its parallel plan to secure additional, significant commitments through this interim approach for 2003.'
Baker said 30 percent of the $4 million tag, which organizers said is the figure necessary to break even, has been raised. If the remainder of the money is not secured by mid-November, the 51-year-old tournament will lose its place on the schedule for 2003 and beyond.
'We still have a significant amount to raise in a short period of time,' Baker said.
Phil Mickelson, the No. 2 ranked golfer in the world, has won the last two Greater Hartford Opens.