It seems like the LPGA might be one sponsor and one event short for 2009. The Fields Corporation has just announced that it will not be renewing its sponsorship for the LPGA Fields Open which for the past three years has been held at the Ko Olina Golf Club. The event, which was begun in 2006, is the second tournament on the LPGA schedule and has been the subject of speculation about title sponsor issues. The withdrawal of the sponsorship is expected to leave an early-season hole in the tour’s schedule for 2009, although the LPGA still has the Kapalua Classic which will be held in Maui and the SBS Open to be held at Turtle Bay. greg nichols of ko olina

Greg Nichols, general manager and director of golf at Ko Olina said in a statement to The Honolulu Advertiser that a tournament in Ko Olina is highly unlikely following the withdrawal of the Fields Corporation sponsorship. According to Nichols, *“A tournament at this late date is unlikely. The timeline is not sufficient to bring in a new sponsor for 2009.” *

Unfortunately, this is not the only case of sponsorship withdrawal that is being felt by LPGA as of now. Attributed partly to the fledging economy, other sponsors have also announced their intentions to withdraw their title sponsorships for 2009. The Ginn Tribute is not expected to return for the next season due to financial issues plaguing the Ginn Development Company. SemGroup L.P., the sponsor of the SemGroup Championships held in Tulsa, just recently declared for bankruptcy. Safeway has also announced its withdrawal of its sponsorship for 2009.

Maree cartujano
Sports Pundit staff writer
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