By Jay Skurski
The Wegmans LPGA Championship in August at Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford will reportedly be the last one held in the Rochester area.
According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the LPGA plans to move the event to New York City starting in 2015. An official announcement is expected Thursday, according to the paper.
That will end a run of 38 straight years with an LPGA event being held in Rochester. For the first 37 of those, it was at Locust Hill Country Club. This year, after the LPGA made it clear it wanted to rotate courses for its championship, the Tour reached a one-year agreement with Monroe, shifting from its usual spot on the calendar in June to Aug. 14-17.
Moving the tournament away from Rochester meant the Tour ran the risk of losing Wegmans as the championship's title sponsor, as it has been for the past four years. According to the report, however, the LPGA has reached an agreement with auditing firm KPMG to serve as the title sponsor starting in 2015. The opportunities for corporate sponsorship are greater in New York than they are in Rochester.
Of course, what remains to be seen is the level of fan support the championship will get in its new home. While the LPGA does not keep official attendance figures, the Rochester community is known to have been a loyal base for nearly four decades. Despite the opportunity to draw from a much bigger population down state, there's no guarantee that will happen.
A press conference previewing this year's Wegmans LPGA Championship is scheduled for Monday at Monroe.