Sports Outside the Beltway

LPGA may have to Passover South Florida in 2008

A few weeks ago I reported on a new LPGA tournament in my part of Florida. Well, the event may have hit a legal snag.

Before the LPGA’s new South Florida stop could have its formal unveiling, the event has landed in court.

Organizers of an annual 10-day Passover vacation retreat at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle have sued the resort for breach of contract, alleging they are being kicked out to make room for the LPGA.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, asks the court to uphold the contract. Some 500 Orthodox Jews from around the world are expected in Aventura for the retreat.


According to court papers, the Fairmont Turnberry Isle is in the final year of a three-year agreement to hold the Presidential Holidays package. Next year’s retreat is set for April 17-27.

The 2008 LPGA schedule features an April 24-27 stop in South Florida. Although details have been kept under wraps, Turnberry Isle’s role is central to the lawsuit.


The Fairmont Turnberry Isle recently completed a $100 million transformation, including a $30 million redesign of its two championship courses. The resort held the ADT Skills Challenge earlier this month.

According to sources with knowledge of the negotiations, the LPGA event will be a celebrity pro-am in the mold of Pebble Beach.

Resort officials had no response to the lawsuit. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts manages the property for owners FHR TB LLC.

If Turnberry Isle has a contract with the Jewish group, I don’t see any way for the resort to get out of committment. That doesn’t mean the LPGA couldn’t still play in South Florida next April. It would just have to take place at a different golf course.

I do hope the tournament takes place. Like with the ADT Championship, I was hoping to cover it again as a credentialed member of the media.

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