RTO should be back next year

RENO - Barring an unforseen problem, it appears the Reno-Tahoe Open will be around for one more year.

"We have a contract for Montreux to host it next year," said Wayne White, director of tournament business affairs for the PGA, who made a short visit to the Reno-Tahoe Open media room at Montreux Golf & Country Club Wednesday afternoon. "There is no reason to believe anything different. The people here work extremely hard and do the best they can."

That last remark might sound like a putdown, but it isn't. The RTO has always been hurt by the fact that it plays opposite to the NEC Invitational, which attracts the top 50 players in the world, and doesn't have its own date.

After next year, the landscape of golf could change. The PGA Tour is currently in negotiations (for the 2007-2010 seasons) , and it's no secret that TV took a little bit of a beating in the last negotiations.

Golf ratings, save for the majors, have never been extremely good. It is especially tough in the fall when the PGA Tour has to compete with pro and college football for viewers. Football is going to win hands down.

"There is a lot of speculation," White said. "We're trying to do the best we can for the PGA and its players.

"There are models where contraction (getting rid of tournaments) has been discussed. Just as equally, things could stay the same."

White indicated that the PGA Tour is approached all the time by communities wanting to host a PGA event. Between the PGA, Champions and Nationwide tours, more than 100 tournaments are played each year.

White said that a tournament would have to back out for the RTO to have its own date pending the upcoming negotiations. Even then, the RTO wouldn't be a cinch to get that open date. White said that the PGA officials would sit down and make a decision.

Darrell Moody can be reached at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281


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