CVS adds to LPGA sponsor struggles

The 16th green at Blackhawk Country Club during the first round of the 2009 CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge.

CVS/pharmacy won’t renew its contract with the LPGA for 2011, according to tournament director Brian Flajole. The tour and Bruno Event Team have begun discussions with several potential title sponsors for the 15-year Northern California event. CVS picked up the sponsorship two years ago after purchasing Longs Drugs.

“We are hopeful and optimistic that we will be able to complete a deal for a new sponsor to begin in 2011 and beyond,” Flajole told Golfweek in an e-mail.

For years, the Danville event was part of a two-tournament fall California swing, along with the Samsung World Championship. Samsung opted not to renew for 2010.

This year’s LPGA schedule features 14 domestic events. The tour already has been seeking title sponsors for two important U.S. events – the LPGA Championship and Tour Championship. Also, Kia stepped in for a one-year commitment in 2010, and Jamie Farr plans to take a one-year hiatus in 2011. Clearly, question marks abound for next year’s schedule, particularly stateside.

This year’s CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge will be held Oct. 14-17 at Blackhawk Country Club. The tour returns to domestic soil for the first time in five weeks Aug. 20-22 at the Safeway Classic in North Plains, Ore.

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