Kapalua event 1-and-done


POSTED: Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Chalk up The Kapalua LPGA Classic as a one-hit wonder.

Its inability to find a title sponsor forced Kapalua Land Co. to pull out of its contract to host the event, forcing the cancellation of the tournament scheduled for Oct. 12-18 at the Bay Course in Kapalua, Maui.

“;We need to have a title sponsor to host the event and unfortunately we were not able to find one to host it this year,”; said Gary Planos, senior vice president of Resort Operations for Kapalua Land Company.

Morgan Pressel won the 2008 inaugural tournament that didn't have a title sponsor either. Kapalua served as its own host, but was in no position to do so again this year.

“;Unfortunately in today's economic world, that's not possible in 2009,”; Planos said.

The company is a subsidiary of Maui Land & Pineapple Inc. It lost $70.6 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a $4 million loss in the prior year's same quarter.

The company had a five-year agreement with the LPGA and Planos hopes “;there is a future, but we'll have to see how things work out.”;

Earlier this year, The Seoul Broadcasting System pulled its sponsorship of the SBS Open at Turtle Bay, killing Hawaii's other LPGA event. Currently, there are no LPGA tournaments in Hawaii on the schedule for 2010, a first since 2004.

LPGA deputy commissioner Libba Galloway said yesterday in a news release that the association is “;extremely disappointed”; with the decision not to conduct the event in October. She says the LPGA will vigorously enforce its legal rights under the contract.