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PGA drops AT&T Classic, Champions Tour in the works

PGA drops AT&T Classic, Champions Tour in the works The PGA Tour announced today that it has removed the AT&T Classic from the 2009 schedule, after failing to find a sponsor for the event. The Tournament, which began as the Atlanta Classic in 1967, was better known as the BellSouth Classic and celebrated its 40th anniversary this spring at the TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, Georgia, as the AT&T Classic, after BellSouth Corp. was purchased by AT&T. But the company notified the PGA Tour that they will no longer sponsor the event and after an unsuccessful search of a new sponsor, the AT&T Classic was dropped from the next year's PGA Tour schedule. According to reports, it costs anywhere between $6 million and $8 million per year to support the tourney. The Atlanta Classic Foundation said it approached 150 companies with the offer to sponsor the event, but due to the current economic challenges, none of them were able to afford the yearly bill.

 The event, which was usually a platform for tuning up before the 2008 U.S. Open, will be replaced by another tournament, the PGA said. A Champions Tour is in the works for 2009, although at this time no exact date has been set. There is an unfilled week on the 50-plus circuit in early May and two others in early June, with one of them being the likely date for the Champions Tour.

 Published on 06/09/2008

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