84 Classic Follow Up

Gerry Dulac has a little more insight into the impact of 84 Lumber's "aggresive three-year business plan," but the end of this emerging event is still a shocker:

The decision came as a surprise to just about everyone because the tournament recently reached a new six-year agreement with the PGA Tour to move the event to mid-June, beginning in 2007 -- a time spot that had long been targeted and desired by tournament host and sponsor Joe Hardy.

What's more, since the inception of the tournament, Mr. Hardy had spent more than $80 million to improve facilities, upgrade the Mystic Rock golf course that hosted the event and make the tournament one of the best late-summer stops on the PGA Tour.

In a statement released yesterday, Maggie Hardy Magerko, owner and president of 84 Lumber Co. and Mr. Hardy's daughter, said the tournament will be discontinued as part of a strategic growth plan in which the company wants to add 125 stores and hit $10 billion in sales by 2009. The firm also plans to close 67 "underperforming" stores; that move would affect 600 employees.

Mrs. Magerko unveiled the financial plan last week and immediately informed PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. But the announcement that the 84 Lumber Classic will cease to exist didn't come until yesterday, when a tournament in Hartford, Conn., sponsored by the St. Paul Travelers Co., was named as a replacement.