PGA could move Grand Slam of Golf from Kauai
HONOLULU -- The PGA Grand Slam of Golf, a made-for-TV event featuring the winners of the year's four majors tournaments, may be played on Kauai next week for the final time.
The PGA of America is considering moving the elite four-man event to another city, an official said Thursday.
"Similar to the PGA's other major events -- the PGA Championship, the Senior PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup -- we've decided to take it on the road and let spectators from different parts of the country experience the toughest tournament to qualify for," said Julius Mason, senior director of communications and media relations for the PGA of America.
A number of locations, including Las Vegas and the Caribbean, have expressed interest in hosting the tournament, "but at this stage, we're not ready to discuss 2006," Mason said.
The Grand Slam, billed as "the most exclusive event in golf," has been played at the scenic, oceanside Poipu Bay Golf Course on Kauai's southern shore since 1994. It was also played at the Kauai Lagoons Resort in 1991 before spending two years at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.
PGA officials are currently in negotiations, but there is a possibility that the tournament will return to Kauai next year.
"We will never rule out returning to Hawaii," Mason said. "This is a special place."
The loss would be a financial blow for the island of Kauai. The Grand Slam is the Garden Island's sole major sporting event and generates $2.4 million in visitor spending and $150,000 in tax revenues.
"Certainly we don't want to lose the Grand Slam, but the other side of it is, we can't afford a $5 million Grand Slam," said Rex Johnson, president and chief executive of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. "We're not going to get into a bidding war with other areas over the Grand Slam."
The state contributed $254,000 this year to host the event.
Johnson said the PGA of America has not asked the state for more money.
This year's 36-hole, $1 million tournament, which begins Tuesday, includes five-time winner Tiger Woods, defending champion Phil Mickelson, Michael Campbell and Vijay Singh.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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