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Houston Officials Go to Reserves to Pay Charity

September 01, 1985|Associated Press

HOUSTON — The Houston Open golf tournament earlier this year lost more than $100,000, forcing operators of the PGA tour stop to dip into reserve money in order to meet charity commitments, the Houston Golf Assn. said.

"The losses were a little greater than we expected but, considering the losses, I think our board showed optimism," Duke Butler, executive director of the Houston Golf Assn., said.

The financial loss was the first for the tourney since 1966-67, when it was rained out and had to be rescheduled.

Tournament officials had to scramble in their fund-raising efforts when Coca-Cola withdrew its sponsorship, worth $500,000. The break-even point for the tournament was about $1.5 million.

The tournament also incurred extra expenses because it moved to a new course at The Woodlands, Butler said.

He said the chances of finding another major commercial sponsor for next year's event were better than 50-50.

"We knew March 1 that we were going to take a loss," he said. "But I don't think anyone who attended the tournament could tell one bit of difference."

The four-day event in April, won by Raymond Floyd, drew a record 137,500 spectators.

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