Washington Politics

Thanks to Jim A. for the heads up on this Leonard Shapiro story on the Washington event, and the contradicting views of those involved in the event's demise move to the fall.

"Booz Allen made it clear from Day One about certain date limitations after the U.S. Open," Finchem said. "That more or less dovetailed with our attitude that continuing to move the tournament back and forth [before and after the Open] was not consistent with being able to stage the kind of event and to have continuity of sponsorship. The main thing, the main point of Booz Allen, is they did not want to play anything after the Open. That was troublesome for us."

Booz Allen chairman Ralph Shrader disputed Finchem's version of events. He said the last formal communication he received from the tour on dates for the tournament came in February 2005. He said the tour at that point offered a four-year sponsorship cycle that would have included three dates before the Open and a fourth after the Open, with the possibility of staging all four before the Open.

"That was the last formal communication we had with the tour," Shrader said. "At that point they also said they would finalize the plans to renovate the course at Avenel and they'd get back to us. They got back to me two hours before they said [in a news conference in January] they had moved the event to the fall.

"We did not have the opportunity to say no. I won't allow it to be perceived that Booz Allen cost the Washington area the event. We worked too hard and spent too much money [about $30 million over three years] to make it a first-class event. I'm not going to accept any blame for what happened. It's all in the tour's court."