Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Blue Working to Promote Women's Golf

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Blue Working to Promote Women's Golf

Article excerpt

LINCROFT, N.J. - Since he became commissioner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association five months ago, Bill Blue has been working feverishly to upgrade the image and increase the exposure of women's golf.

Finding sponsors to fill the gap for open dates that the LPGA tour has this season has been Blue's priority and he says he has lined up six new tournaments for next season.

``We expect to have a full schedule from Feb. 1 to Sept. 30,'' Blue said Friday in the opening round of the $275,000 Chrysler-Plymouth Classic at Bamm Hollow Country Club.

Laura Davies of England shared the first-round lead with Cindy Rarick and Marci Bozarth with a three-under-par 70 on the wet 6,140-yard course.

Nancy Lopez, the defending champion, who has captured the tournament four times in its 14-year history, was a shot behind the leaders, along with Sherri Steinhauer.

Blue said the LPGA would have 40 tournaments next season. Four of the new ones will be played in February and March and two in August.

The LPGA had four dates open early this season and has two weeks open in August. One of the August dates is expected to be filled by a tournament in Westchester County. A previous tournament there lost its sponsor two years ago.

Including this week's Chrysler-Plymouth Classic, Blue has been to all 13 events staged thus far to evaluate each one and to deal with immediate problems.

A possible replacement for Chrysler may be on top of Blue's list of priorities. Finding replacements for lost sponsors, however, seems to be one area that Blue has had plenty of success with.

When Mazda withdrew its $300,000 sponsorship of a season-long bonus pool, Blue completed a deal with the Jamaica Tourist Board for a $500,000 pool. …

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