Tournament organizers announced Feb. 25 that State Farm will not renew its sponsorship on the LPGA past 2011. The insurance company has headlined the State Farm LPGA Classic for the past 19 years. To date, the tournament has raised nearly $3.5 million for local charities.
“Our attention now shifts to securing a new title sponsor for 2012 and beyond,” Kate Peters, tournament executive director, said in a written statement. “This tournament has been part of the Springfield and Central Illinois communities for more than 30 years, and it has a measurable impact on the local economy and area charities serving families in need. We will find a way to continue that level of support in Springfield and Central Illinois.”
LPGA communications officer David Higdon said the tour was surprised by the timing of State Farm’s announcement, but admitted they were “certainly on our worry list.” Higdon also noted that, in a positive twist, State Farm has committed to match the charitable contributions from this year’s event in 2012 as well.
The tournament, now in its 36th year, will be held June 9-12 at Panther Creek Country Club in Springfield, Ill. There are 13 domestics events, including three majors, on the 2011 schedule.