Jamie Farr Steps Aside; Marathon Steps In For LPGA In Toledo

Jamie Farr, the longtime host of the LPGA’s Toledo stop will step aside this year, as Marathon Petroleum steps in as title sponsor.

The Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning and O-I will be played July 18 – 21 in its traditional location at Highland Meadows Golf Club just outside Toledo in Sylvania, Ohio.  Unlike last year, the event will air on television via the Golf Channel.

I had a great time as a member of the press corps there last year and hope to return again this summer. The host committee and the LPGA run a very friendly operation that offers a lot of value for the entertainment dollar. Hopefully, with Marathon on board, the tournament will be able to do even more for its patrons.

It’s more evidence, I think, that Mike Whan and company have the LPGA on the upswing.

Press release follows:

Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning & O-I to air worldwide via Golf Channel and the LPGA’s international television partners

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA, January 8, 2013 – The LPGA and the Toledo Classic, Inc. Board of Trustees today announced that Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: MPC) has joined the LPGA family as title partner of the Toledo-based tournament, to be played July 18-21, 2013 at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio. The Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning & O-I will return to global television this year via Golf Channel and the LPGA’s international television partners that will bring the 28th edition of the northwest Ohio tournament to more than 160 countries across the world. Over the past 28 years, the tournament has contributed $7.75 million to more than 100 children’s charities in northwest Ohio and southeastern Michigan.

South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu (pictured) won last season’s Toledo Classic with a final-round 9-under-par 62 that helped her earn Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year honors in November.

“This is tremendous news for the LPGA and the loyal golf fans of northwest Ohio,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “Marathon Petroleum is an extremely successful and well respected company and we are excited to welcome them to the LPGA family. Our players have always enjoyed playing in northwest Ohio and now thanks to Marathon’s title sponsorship, fans across the globe will get to see the LPGA’s stars at one of their favorite tournaments.”

VIDEO FROM COMMISSIONER WHAN

Longtime tournament host Jamie Farr added, “Because of pending show business concerns which may prevent me from hosting the tournament in the future, I have decided to pass the baton to Marathon. I will always appreciate the loyal and generous support of our faithful sponsors, volunteers, fans, media and LPGA golf professionals and I extend a special thanks to all of them. Please extend to Marathon your generous support which you so devotedly gave to me over the past 28 years.”

Marathon Petroleum Corporation President and CEO Gary R. Heminger stated, “We’re proud to be supporting children’s charities through this premier LPGA event. We see a bright future for the tournament. Mr. Farr has left us a great legacy, and we are looking forward to partnering with Toledo Classic, Owens Corning and Owens-Illinois to continue the tournament’s success. We are committed to keeping it a favorite among LPGA players and fans.”

Toledo Classic, Inc. Board Chairman Richard Hylant said, “We are elated to have Marathon Petroleum as the title sponsor, which will keep the tournament going strong for years to come. Marathon’s long-term commitment to the tournament, along with the support of our loyal presenting sponsors Owens Corning and Owens-Illinois, provides the solid financial foundation to potentially increase the money raised for area children’s charities. We are incredibly proud of the history of the tournament. Now with the live broadcast on The Golf Channel for all four days of the tournament and larger purses in the future, we are in a position to elevate the tournament to a new level.”

Hylant continued, “Jamie Farr has been the host of the tournament for the past 28 years. On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Toledo Classic, Inc. we want to express our deep appreciation and gratitude to Jamie for everything he has done over the years.  Jamie’s contributions and loyal support cannot be overstated, as the tournament and the community have been affected immeasurably by his involvement. With great enthusiasm, and as a reflection of everything that Jamie has meant to the tournament and the community, Toledo Classic, Inc. has permanently named our scholarship fund the “Jamie Farr Scholarship Fund” to preserve his legacy with the tournament.”

This afternoon’s news follows yesterday’s announcement of the brand-new Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, to be played in May. Stay tuned for more announcements from the LPGA in the coming week.

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