Monday, March 10, 2008

Ultimate Game Pining for LPGA Team

The Ultimate Game, if you remember from last year, is a 64 team field of 2 person teams where each team ponies up $50,000 just to get into the event. By winning matches in the format, they earn more and more cash. Ultimately, the purse is $2.4 million with $1 million to the champions. You have to win 2 matches to get your cash back.

There is a catch, though. You cannot have status on any major men's tour in the world if you enter the event. Notice, I said men's. That means a LPGA Tour player could jump in on the action. Cristie Kerr was intending to do so with instructor Jim McLean, but the date of the event changed and that create a problem.

The problem is the new dates of the Ultimate Game, with a May 3 and 4 finals, are the same dates at the LPGA's SemGroup Championship in Oklahoma. SemGroup is one of Kerr's sponsors, so Kerr is obligated to play in that event. Jastrow said the shame is that Kerr has already made a few trips to the Stadium Course and was shooting low scores at the course from the men's tees.

But other LPGA players could still join the field, Jastrow said, if the LPGA gives them an exemption for the week.

If an LPGA player did play and did make the weekend semifinals or finals, to be broadcast by The Golf Channel, the Ultimate Game would have to pay a sanctioning fee to the LPGA for putting one of its players on television. Jastrow said that wouldn't be a problem.

"We would love that. We'd be happy to pay their sanctioning fee if we had an LPGA player reach the weekend," Jastrow said.

A lot of the players seemed to enjoy the SemGroup event last season, so getting defectors may be hard to do. But, it would be great promotion for the Ultimate Game if this somehow happened to work out with another prominent LPGA Tour player.

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