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Published: Sunday, 8/10/2003

Farr could stay in August

BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

The Jamie Farr Kroger Classic will be staged in August again next year, tournament director Judd Silverman said.

The tentative date for the 2004 Farr is the week of Aug. 1, with actual tournament competition taking place on Aug. 5-8.

The Farr has traditionally been staged in early July, often in concert with the Fourth of July holiday.

It was moved back to August this year to avoid conflict with the June 26-29 U.S. Senior Open at Inverness Club, and it appears that by doing so the Highland Meadows event has forfeited the early July date for the foreseeable future.

“Yes, we requested the July date for next year, but it wasn't granted [by the LPGA Tour],” Silverman said. “We'll see what happens in 2005.”

Prior to this year, there have been only two occasions since 1989 when the Farr was not staged during the same week that included the July 4 holiday. Both times, in 1998 and 2002, the U.S. Women's Open requested that date and the Farr was moved back one week.

In 2003, the Women's Open again filled that slot and was followed by the Canadian Women's Open, with which the Farr basically traded dates.

Sponsored by the BMO Financial Group, the Canadian event offered a $1.3 million purse - $300,000 more than is paid by the Farr - and that kind of money apparently spoke volumes when the Canadian sponsors lobbied for the same dates in 2004.

Unfortunately for the Farr Classic, its 20th anniversary event next summer will follow on the heels of the Women's British Open.

“Certainly, strength of field will be a question mark when that kind of travel is involved,” Silverman said.”But, hopefully, the players will recognize that it's our 20th anniversary and will make every effort to come back and support us.”

This year's event features the latest start ever for the Farr Classic and marks just the second time the tournament has been contested in August.



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