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It's Official - LPGA to Return to Columbia Edgewater
After a four-year stint at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, the LPGA Tour will return to its former site at Columbia Edgewater in Portland, Ore., in late-summer. Also returning is Safeway as the title sponsor, with the event now called the Portland Classic Presented by Safeway.
Tournament Golf Foundation, the nonprofit organization that has run the event since its inception in 1972, announced the changes on Tuesday. The 2013 event, previously played over 54 holes and the longest continuously running event on the LPGA Tour, will be four rounds when it's held August 29 to September 1.
Safeway signed on to sponsor the tournament for only a one-year extension, with TGF president Tom Maletis saying that TGF has options for 2014 and 2015 to return to Columbia Edgewater.
"We're happy to have Safeway back, and we're going to be working with them, hopefully before this year's tournament, on their participation for 2014 and beyond," Maletis told Mike Tokito of the Oregonian on Tuesday.
The LPGA has been moving away from 54-hole events this year; there are only two on the 2013 schedule. "The players like a four-day event, especially the better players - the cream usually rises to the top by the fourth day," Maletis told Tokito (for his full story visit http://www.oregonlive.com/golf/index.ssf/2013/03/golf_safeway_classic_will_retu_1.html).
"It's been kind of the goal of the LPGA to get all of their events in a 72-hole situation."
Maletis added that Pumpkin Ridge was a great host during its four years as the host, with the tournament setting its highest attendance marks over that stretch.
But because of the 72-hole format and a reduced pro-am, it was decided to move back to the Columbia Edgewater, a classic-Pacific Northwest, tree-lined layout in northeast Portland designed by Arthur Vernon Macan and opened in 1925.
During its earlier run as the host Columbia Edgewater was regularly rated among the most popular courses by LPGA players.
"It was very bittersweet when we made the announcement (of moving) in 2008," Maletis said of the switch from Columbia Edgewater to Pumpkin Ridge.
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