The future of the Manulife LPGA Classic is suddenly in question as Manulife has announced that 2017 will be the last year it will be the title sponsor.
The tournament will run from June 7-11 at Whistle Bear Golf Club in Cambridge, Ont.
“Manulife is proud to have brought this world-class professional sporting event to the Waterloo Region for the past six years,” said Marianne Harrison, president and CEO Manulife Canada.
“The tournament has been a great opportunity for us and one that lasted longer than we originally expected with our two extensions in 2014 and then again in 2016,” said Harrison.
“The community has been very supportive and we will ensure fans and volunteers have the same great experience at the 2017 tournament,” she said.
LPGA commissioner Mike Whan called Manulife “a wonderful title sponsor and partner to the LPGA.”
“The Waterloo Region is full of tremendous golf fans and the support shown by the community has helped to make this a very successful event both on and off the golf course,” said Whan.
“We look forward to another great Manulife LPGA Classic this June and will continue to work to bring an LPGA tournament back to this area in the future,” he added.
The tournament drew a strong LPGA Tour field, with the purse being raised to $1.7-million for this year’s event.
The 2016 event had more than 68,000 fans attend and the support of approximately 700 volunteers.
“Sports Properties International (SPI) is thankful for the support and partnership with Manulife over the past six years. Together, we have created one of the premier LPGA events on Tour,” said Hugh Morrow, CEO Sports Properties International, which manages the event.
“The Manulife LPGA Classic has raised over $1.6 million for St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation and injected over $50 million in economic impact to the Waterloo Region,” added Morrow.
“The support we’ve had from the community of Waterloo Region and Southern Ontario has been tremendous and we are committed to finding a new title sponsor to continue this event,” he said.