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Truth & Rumors: PGA Tour sponsorships rising for 2011

The tanking U.S. economy has affected just about everyone and everything in the last couple of years, and the PGA Tour is no exception. With high profile venues like Riviera, Doral, The Bob Hope, and St. Jude, among others, struggling to find sponsors, and the game's biggest draw playing the worst golf of his career, it's been a tough stretch for golf. There is, however, some good news that could be a signal of better times to come; a recent uptick in PGA Tour sponsorships. 
The biggest pending deal, according to Sports Business Journal, is one that would see GM, under the Cadillac brand, resume it's association with the PGA Tour as the title sponsor of the WGC event at Doral. Last year the event was played as the WGC-CA Championship, and without GM's involvement the Tour could be forced to fork over a significant amount of bucks to sponsor the tournament itself. Fortunately it looks like one of the Tour's most storied venues will have a worthy title sponsor moving forward.  
In addition to the WGC event at Doral, The Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com is also looking good, as the island's tourism company has extended it's sponsorship agreement through 2012. According to the Tour, Banco Popular, the event's previous sponsor, will continue to be involved with the event as well.  Right or Wrong? Sandy Lyle denied HOF admission and Ryder Cup captaincy Anyone who followed golf in the 80's knows Sandy Lyle. Twenty-eight worldwide wins, including The Open Championship at Sandwich in '85 and the Masters in '88, as well as three European Tour Order of Merit wins and a famous Ryder Cup victory at the Belfry, is big-time stuff by anyone's standards. Except maybe the World Golf Hall of Fame. According to sport.scotsman.com, Lyle's denial of HOF membership actually bothers him more than being consistently passed over for Ryder Cup captain.

"I would never close the door on it happening, of course, but it looks like Jose Maria Olazabal will be the next captain in America in two years time and I think Gleneagles in 2014 is too far away for me. The age gap between me and the younger players will be a little too severe by then and that is a big factor. Monty was still playing with and seeing the players on the European Tour whereas I am too far away from it now. But inclusion in the World Golf Hall of Fame would mean more to me than the Ryder Cup captaincy. It's a bit of a mystery to me why it hasn't happened, given the number of times I have been nominated. But it's the one big ambition I have left and it would be a nice way to end my career."
Let us know what you think: of Europe's "Big 5," Faldo, Ballesteros, and Langer are in the HOF, while Woosnam and Lyle are not. Should the folks in St. Augustine wake up and recognize two players who were instrumental in raising the level of European golf to its current, highly competitive state, or not? Are Lyle and Woosie also-rans? You tell us. 

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by Kevin Cunningham