PGA head comes here seeking Classic support

Senior event's future hazy, minus title sponsor

Golf

January 24, 2002|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem will be in Baltimore today, meeting with community and business leaders for breakfast at the Camden Club to discuss the future of the Greater Baltimore Classic.

The Senior PGA Tour event is scheduled for June 21-23 at Hayfields Country Club in Hunt Valley, but tournament officials are still trying to get sufficient corporate support to ensure that it will go ahead as planned.

"What they're looking for is a strong commitment from the community," Brian Thompson, the tournament's executive director, said yesterday. "Hopefully, that's what will come out of this meeting. That's the goal."

Previously known as the State Farm Senior Classic, the tournament lost its title sponsorship after last year's event. Thompson has said that there will likely be no title sponsor this year, but he hoped that several local corporations would become more active in supporting the event.

This year's tournament will be played for the second year at Hayfields after being held at Hobbit's Glen Golf Club in Columbia the previous three years. The event ran into financial problems after drawing small crowds and little corporate support in Howard County.

Finchem was not available for comment yesterday, but Senior Tour spokesman Jeff Adams said that "the success of this year's event will be very telling for the future of the event."

Asked if there was any doubt about whether the Greater Baltimore Classic will be played, Adams said, "It's on the schedule."

This year's tournament is scheduled to be played a week before the U.S. Senior Open at Caves Valley Golf Club in Baltimore.

Adams said that Finchem's appearance today "is to support the efforts of Brian and the other people who are working hard to develop sponsorship."

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