Senior tour drops two events

Friday, January 18th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ The Senior PGA Tour began tightening its schedule Friday, announcing that tournaments in North Carolina and Northern California were being eliminated because they could not find title sponsors.

The tournament in Charlotte, N.C., was the second-longest continuous on the Senior tour, dating to 1979 with Arnold Palmer as the tournament host. Organizers had hoped they could find a new sponsor for next year.

The Gold Rush Classic ended a 15-year run in the Sacramento area.

It had been struggling since Raley's supermarket dropped its title sponsorship in February 2000. Maloof Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Sacramento Kings, took over the event, but it lost more than $1 million the last two years.

Tour officials did not fret about losing the tournaments, especially since their goal is to have a reduced schedule with more consistent quality.

Losing those two events drops the number of senior tournaments to 35.

``The senior tour's intent is to reduce its total number of events to encourage stronger player fields, which in turn will enhance the senior tour experience for fans and viewers,'' the tour said in a statement.