Heritage still searching for sponsor to keep event on schedule next year

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. --- The 2011 Heritage is complete, and Brandt Snedker has been crowned as the new champion. Now, tournament director Steve Wilmot will resume his search for a title sponsor so the tournament can continue in 2012 and beyond.

"We will not be making any announcement regarding a new title sponsor today, but the sponsorship search continues in earnest," Wilmot said in a statement released Sunday afternoon. "Trust that as a new or repeating champion is crowned today, the efforts of the (Heritage) Foundation and the PGA Tour will continue with the care that The Heritage name and tradition deserves."

The tournament's future has been in doubt since Verizon ended its sponsorship of the tournament in 2010 after a 24-year partnership. The Heritage was able to go on this year by using its reserves and securing $1 million commitments each from the Town of Hilton Head and Beaufort County.

Jim Furyk , the 2010 winner, was asked after Sunday's round if one of his sponsors, Royal Bank of Canada, was going to become the new title sponsor.

"It would be news to me, but I hope so," Furyk said. "It would be interesting for them to pick up two events."

RBC already sponsors the Canadian Open, which will be held in July.

Tournament winner Snedeker said he "loves" the Heritage and hopes to come back for "many more years to come."

"It's the one I put on my calendar every year. Everyone loves being here," Snedeker said. "There's the people, the town, so much fun. Kind of like a vacation for us, even though we are playing golf. It's such a cool place."

Tim Herron , who finished tied for fourth Sunday, agreed. He has been playing at Harbour Town regularly since 1996.

"I'd like to see them keep the tournament. It's a great place to bring my family," Herron said. "This week it hasn't been a vacation. Usually the last 15 years I had my (spot on the money list) and it was more of a vacation. It's a great place. The community needs it, and the charities, and hopefully they'll keep it and the tour will support it."

Wilmot praised the quality of the leaderboard and also thanked the support from the community.

"This has been a tremendous week of community and community spirit and everyone at the Heritage Classic Foundation appreciates the way the Lowcountry has been part of this Heritage -- they have been wonderful hosts to the players and their families as well as each and every visitor to our island.," Wilmot said.

GAINEY CLOSING IN: Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey is still looking for his first PGA Tour victory.

After shooting 68 on Sunday to finish third, Gainey will leave with confidence and the knowledge that it shouldn't be too long before he gets his first win.

"I'm pretty happy about that," he said. "But I'm disappointed in the same breath."

Gainey bogeyed two of his first three holes, and he failed to make birdie at the par-5 second hole.

"I hit one bad shot in three holes and I was 2-over," he said. "I was steaming pretty good, needless to say."

But Gainey rallied with an eagle at the fifth, and he played the final nine in 2-under.

The South Carolina native and resident lists the Heritage as the "second-best" event in golf.

"I think everyone would agree that No. 1 would be Augusta," he said of the Masters Tournament.

FURYK COLLAPSES: Furyk, the defending champion, suffered an uncharacteristic collapse on the final nine holes en route to a closing 76.

He made double bogeys on two of his final four holes.

"I tried to squeeze one in there on 15 and got in a bad spot, and ended up 3-putting to modify problems," he said.

On the final hole, Furyk lost his ball when his approach shot sailed left of the green and into the marsh.

"I just made a bad swing," he said. "I just kind of got on a bad roll and it snowballed on me today," he said.

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soldout
1280
Points
soldout 04/25/11 - 08:54 pm
0
0
I assume ticket sales, TV

I assume ticket sales, TV money etc doesn't produce enough to cover prize money etc.

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