New event at Sea Island gives PGA Tour a full 2010 schedule

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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The PGA Tour added a final component to its schedule of events for the 2010 season by announcing a new tournament on Tuesday.

The $4 million McGladrey Classic will be held from October 7-10 as part of the Tour's Fall Series and will be played on the Seaside Course at the Sea Island Resort, Georgia.

Veteran Tour player and Sea Island resident Davis Love III, whose foundation will be the host organization, will act as tournament chairman.

Fellow American and 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson, who is also a Sea Island resident, will add further player power to the mix by serving on the tournament board.

"We've been working on this concept for about a year-and-a-half," Finchem said in a teleconference call.

"This represents a partnership between a dynamic new sponsor, a host organization founded by a prominent member of the PGA Tour and a world-class resort serving as the host venue.

"This unique collection of partners, combined with the direct involvement of Davis and Zach, brings distinction to the tournament that is unlike any other we have on Tour."


The Farmers Insurance Group, a management and holding company, will back next week's event at Torrey Pines and has an option to extend its sponsorship beyond 2010.

"Yesterday's announcement as it relates to San Diego and today's announcement for the Fall Series really caps off our announcements for this year," Finchem said. "We are done.

"We have a full schedule ... the total playing opportunities for our players are consistent with the last couple years. Our prize money this year will be up slightly over 2009."

Finchem played down the likely economic impact on the Tour due to the absence of world number one Tiger Woods, who is taking an indefinite break from the game.

The 14-times major champion, who has given no timetable for his return to competition, has been in hiding since admitting last month he had cheated on his wife.

"People think because Tiger spikes ratings, which he does, and spikes interest, which he certainly does, that if he's not playing, it just doesn't work," he said.

"For the last 13 years, we've averaged about 47 tournaments a year on the PGA Tour and in those years Tiger has averaged playing about 17.

"We just had Tiger out for eight months in '08 and we had our all-time record charity year at $125 million," Finchem added, referring to the absence of Woods while he was recovering from reconstructive knee surgery.

"But he's doing the right thing right now in dealing with his issues. In the meantime, we're moving forward, and we're going to have a great year."