By Ryan Ballengee
As part of Tim Finchem's State o' the Tour address yesterday, he was asked about the possibility of losing sponsorships and tournaments for 2010 given the economic halting this year (that may be thawing now). His response was, well, murky.
I think it's possible we could lose a couple of events. It's probable that we're going to lose some sponsors. They're two different things, really. You lose a title sponsor to an event and you can't replace—you can't keep that particular tournament going -- well, Buick Open going to the Greenbrier is a good example. In losing the Buick Open sponsorship, we also lost a tournament, and we replaced it with a new tournament. There may be some more of that ahead, I don't know, but it most likely will be some more sponsorship loss.
Despite that, he answered a follow-up question on that by saying that it is "unlikely" that the total number of events in 2010 will be lower than in 2009. Prying further, he was asked if some Fall Series events would transition to the big boy FedExCup schedule.
[Y]ou have a tournament that starts out as an event opposite World Golf Championship or something, and then it blossoms into something that is deserving of its own date just because it's demonstrated strength, et cetera, et cetera.
But, that didn't work out for the Turning Stone Championship—the tournament with the richest purse and best field in the Fall Series, and the event most clamoring to get into an open FedExCup date.