Finchem Says The Tour Could Lose Events, Sponsors

I missed this article from Doug Ferguson when it came out last week:

Even as the economy shows signs of recovering, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said Wednesday that shrinking marketing budgets of major companies could lead to the loss of title sponsors, and possibly some tournaments.

The PGA Tour schedule for 2010 is not expected to be finalized until its board meeting the first week of November, and except for some juggling of dates on the West Coast the first two months of the year, it likely will look similar to this year.

The bigger concern is some 10 title sponsor contracts that expire after 2010.

“I suspect it’s possible that we could lose a couple more events,” Finchem said at the Tour Championship. “I think it’s likely that we will lose some title sponsors, and they’ll need to be replaced. But thus far, we’ve been able to handle that.”

I don’t think that at this point, the Tour has actually lost any events. The Buick Open was replaced by a tournament in West Virginia. The event at Torrey Pines still is open, but I can’t see that going away. They’ll find someone who wants to fill that slot. The Tour has added SBS, and extended agreements with Bridgestone, Zurich and Travelers.

That’s a pretty good track record.

And even after a rocky few months, the LPGA seems to have righted its ship, retaining the Jamie Farr and other tournaments.

I predict that the worst is over for the Big Tours.

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