Hotel Steps in As New LPGA sponsor

Wednesday, July 30th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ A hotel owner's sponsorship of the LPGA Tour stop in Tulsa could secure the tournament's future through 2006.

John Q. Hammons and the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center signed a one-year deal that will renew 30 days after this year's tournament Sept. 5-7 at the Tulsa Country Club, LPGA officials said Tuesday.

Upon renewal, the tournament, now called the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic, will return the next three years.

``The addition of this title sponsor gives our lone LPGA event in Oklahoma the final ingredient that will help make it one of our most successful events of the season,'' LPGA commissioner Ty Votaw.

Williams Cos. previously sponsored the tournament, but when the Tulsa energy giant ran into financial difficulties last year, the event's future was in doubt.

Annika Sorenstam won last year's tournament by four strokes. The tournament, which benefits local charities, offers $1 million in prize money.