Senior golf championship won't be played in Baltimore

Change in date means change in location for Constellation event

December 17, 2010|By Mike Klingaman, The Baltimore Sun

One month after saying the Baltimore Country Club would likely host the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship in 2011, tournament officials have moved the golf event to the historic Westchester Country Club in New York.

The change in venue, announced Friday, ends the tournament's association with BCC, which staged it from 2007 through 2009. This year's championship was held at TPC Potomac and Avenel Farm, in the Washington suburbs, with the understanding that it would return to Baltimore for the final year of its 5-year run.

But when tournament officials abruptly changed the date from late September to mid-August, in an apparent effort to boost attendance, BCC agreed to part ways because its agreement stipulated a September/October timeframe. And the Senior Players Championship jumped at the chance to move to Westchester CC, which hosted the PGA Tour from 1967 through 2007.

"Baltimore Country Club had some scheduling issues (in August)," said Lawrence McDonnell, a spokesman for Constellation Energy. "We also agreed that Baltimore weather, in August, is not ideal.

"There is the potential for worsening course conditions. And no one wants to be playing championship golf in 95-degree heat."

BCC general manager Michael Stott told The Baltimore Sun last month that the event was tentatively scheduled for Sept. 19-25.

"We're hoping to build some Baltimore enthusiasm and build it back up for the final year," Stott said at the time. "It's great for the local community. A major sports event is great for Baltimore. It's great for economic development, and it's great for exposure."

Phone calls to tournament and BCC officials were not returned Friday.

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