Sports Outside the Beltway

LPGA Tour won’t return to Oklahoma in 2009

Will the last US based non-major LPGA event turn off the light. From the Tulsa World-

The annual LPGA tour stop in Tulsa won’t be back in 2009.

The tour that includes the highest level of women’s professional golfers was forced to cancel its event in Tulsa after SemGroup — the title sponsor — filed for bankruptcy this year. No title sponsor could be found as a replacement during an economic downturn, according to a press release from Octagon, the organization that operates the event.

“The support of the Tulsa community has been tremendous throughout this process,” said tournament director Doug Eibling, of Octagon, in a press release. “However, given our current economic climate, finding someone to commit the needed money has proven to be an extremely difficult task.”

The LPGA had been making tour stops in Tulsa since 2001 and was scheduled to return the final week of May in 2009.

The event annually attracted the world’s top players and had been expanding in recent years — raising purses and increasing the number of championship rounds. But SemGroup’s sudden
collapse and eventual bankruptcy filing on July 17 left the golf tournament’s future uncertain. Event organizers tried to find a title sponsor for months as the economy worsened.

It’s possible the LPGA could return after 2009, Eibling said in the press release.

This news doesn’t come as a surprise. The tournament was in jeopardy as soon as Semgroup filed for bankruptcy. Juli Inkster won’t get to lose a playoff in Tulsa 3 years in a row now.

In all seriousness, how many mainland US LPGA events will there be in 2009?

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