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Economic Woes Hit Women's Events

THE Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic may be the next United States LPGA tournament to miss the cut.

The Farr, named for the actor who played a reluctant corporal on the classic TV series "M.A.S.H.," is being played for the 25th time - and possibly last - this week at Highland Meadows Golf Club in suburban Toledo, Ohio.

"I don't know what the intricate details are, they'll have to figure those out," Jamie Farr said on Wednesday. "We have a 50-50 chance for next year."

The Farr's US$1.4 million purse is among the smallest on the US LPGA Tour. In tough economic times, tournament officials have pared US$450,000 to US$500,000 this year from an already bare-bones budget. The contract with the title sponsor expires after this tournament.

The US LPGA had 34 events last year and that number is falling. Organizers of the Kapalua Classic in Hawaii announced on Tuesday that financial problems would cause them to pull out of the last four years of their contract. Tour officials threatened to pursue "legal remedies."

The Corning Classic in New York ended in May after 31 years when its title sponsor called it quits. Along with the Farr, the Michelob Ultra Open's future in Williamsburg, Virginia, is also uncertain.


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