Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Future of the Farr

Thanks to Mostly Harmless for the link to this Toledo Blade piece on the future of this week's LPGA Tour event, the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic. It is eerily like columns coming out of Rochester. The piece also gives some great background on the sponsorship challenges over the years and how they have been answered.

There's also more chatter about Lorena Ochoa opting to take another fine instead of play at the Farr, as well as the absence of other significant players:

Can the Farr continue to thrive or will its week be the one that the big-name, big-game-hunting golfers opt to skip?

Ochoa would rather pay a fine than adhere to the LPGA’s “1-in-4” participation rule that mandates she play in the Farr this year. Her last and, for that matter, only appearance at Highland Meadows was in 2004.

Annika Sorenstam, who is No. 2, won’t be making the Farr part of her farewell tour despite being a former champion. No. 3 Suzann Pettersen won’t be here. Elsewhere in this section is a story about Morgan Pressel, last summer’s Farr runner-up and one of the LPGA’s most popular young players, opting to accept an appearance fee to play in the Ladies Irish Open this week instead of a domestic tour event.
Given the way Pressel has struggled, it may make sense to do that. Still, it seems like a slap in the face of the "Middle America" events.

In general, the theme appears to be a growing divide between the LPGA of past generations and the Bivens vision for the future. As I have noted on multiple occasions, there has to be a balance - not the "rip the band-aid off" approach that Bivens has taken throughout her entire term as LPGA Tour Commissioner.

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