Jon Show talks to the LPGA Tour's Chris Higgs, who says the tour will have nearly the same number of 2009 events as this year...if you don't know how to count. More alarmingly, a sidebar with the piece says only five events are locked in for 2010, with this ominous note perhaps explaining why the future is bleak:
While most tournaments cited the economy as the main obstacle to finding new title sponsors, the LPGA’s rising sponsorship and sanctioning fees under Commissioner Carolyn Bivens, who took the post in September 2005, have created some obstacles in small to medium-size markets. Tulsa, which lost SemGroup as a title sponsor when the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year, has not found a new sponsor, in part because of the higher price tag.
“It was a tough sell at $2 million a year and now you’re coming back two years later with a $4 million price tag?” said a source close to the tournament. “That’s not an easy proposition.”