Posted at: 11/13/2012 11:41 AM
Updated at: 11/13/2012 7:31 PM
By: Robin De Wind
The Wegmans LPGA Championship will return to Locust Hill in 2013. But the future of this major in Rochester has been up in the air since the two-year contract to host the event expired after the 2012 tournament in June.
If you are a golf fan, Rochester will be the place to be next summer with Rochester hosting two titles, the best in men's and women's golf will be on display.
The Wegmans LPGA Championship set for the first week in June, and the 95th PGA Championship will be hosted by Oak Hill Country Club in August.
Locust hill has hosted an LPGA event since 1977 and had hoped to announce a contract extension in July to continue hosting this major. The timetable was pushed back to October and negotiations continued until Tuesday's contract extension announcement was made.
Local LPGA officials didn't have any real explanation for why the discussions went on as long as they did. Wegmans Spokesperson Bill Strassberg says the company is proud to be the tournament sponsor, but Wegmans is not interested in going to back to sponsoring a tour stop, it wants to stay at a major status.
The LPGA has been trying to expand its brand across the U.S., but it has been difficult finding cities that offer community support in the way Rochester does.
Jerry Stahl, tournament co-chairman, “A couple of years ago, it was agreed that events on this tour had to become a more international tour which it has become. I think there are as many outside issues involved but I think there's great progress I think they're still struggling with the economy and supporting golf tournaments.”
Costs for the tournament have continued to increase since Wegmans became the primary sponsor in 1998. The long-term future of the tournament may ultimately depend on having additional or other sponsors step forward.
The purse for the LPGA championship will be announced next week when the LPGA officially announces it's 2013 schedule.