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Golf-PGA Tour sues Ginn Resorts for breach of contract

THE PGA Tour sued Ginn Resorts for breach of contract yesterday, two days after the company had withdrawn its tournament sponsorship of the senior Champions Tour's Ginn Championship.

Ginn Resorts, which is primarily involved in real estate development and sales, had already ended its backing of the PGA Tour's Ginn sur Mer Classic late last year.

"We regret having to take this legal action, but feel we have no other recourse than to try to recover what had been guaranteed to our members through existing agreements with Ginn Companies," PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said in a statement.

"We also had no forewarning that Ginn was planning to cancel the 2009 Ginn Championship at Hammock Beach and only learned of the decision when the company issued a release late Wednesday.

"In fact, we had been in discussions with them on possible modifications to the agreement. Until this issue is resolved through the legal process, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

Ginn Resorts on Wednesday ended its involvement in professional golf, withdrawing sponsorship of the LPGA Tour's Ginn Open and the April 3-5 Ginn Championship because of the global financial crisis.

"It was not a decision that we made lightly," Robert Gidel, president and chief executive officer of Ginn Development Company, told Reuters in a telephone interview. "It was something we fought very hard to keep.

"We've struggled for the last 12 months and we find ourselves having to make what I call some horrific choices between keeping our good people and keeping them focused on the projects that we have and supporting our capital structure.

"You can't possibly reflect on how disappointing this is to us. Golf is a very important part of our business and we have a lot of people dedicated to it."


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