Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TOUR NOTEBOOK; Finchem: Economic Problems Haven't Affected Tour

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TOUR NOTEBOOK; Finchem: Economic Problems Haven't Affected Tour

Article excerpt

Byline: GARRY SMITS

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said the U.S. economic crisis hasn't yet resulted in title sponsors being unable to fulfill their contracts, but there are contingency plans should that be the case.

"We are impacted by the economy and economic challenges like everybody else," Finchem said Tuesday in a news conference at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, site of this week's Tour Championship. "We have a lot of customers and sponsors in economic sectors that are impacted negatively by the volatility in the economy. Thus far, we have not suffered any major damage."

There are more than two dozen PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour events with title or presenting sponsors that are banks, insurance companies, credit-card companies or other financial institutions.

Finchem said if any sponsor had to break its contracts, the Tour could operate those events from reserves. He said a reduction in purses would come only "in a worst-case economic scenario."

"I don't see that happening at this point," Finchem said. "Even though there are parts of the economy that are very, very challenged, there are other parts that continue to do quite well."

Finchem also said he'd take his chances if companies re-examine their priorities and take into account the Tour and the squeaky-clean image of its players.

"Companies work harder at evaluating their investment," he said. "That usually works to our benefit because most companies we deal with are involved in multiple sports. And on the value proposition, we always pencil out very, very good."

WUERFFEL HITTING THE COURSE

Former University of Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel will play in the pro-am of the Ginn sur Mer Classic, scheduled for Oct. 29 at the Ginn Hammock Beach Conservatory Course in Palm Coast.

Wuerffel's Desire Street Ministries in New Orleans and Baton Rouge is a charitable partner with the PGA Tour Fall Series event, which is scheduled to be played Oct. …

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