• PGA discussing relocating Grand Slam
• Duval one stroke up on Woods
PGA discussing relocating Grand Slam
By Jaymes Song – ASSOCIATED PRESS
HONOLULU — The PGA Grand Slam of Golf, a made-for-TV event featuring the winners of the year’s four majors tournaments, may be played on Kaua’i next week for the final time.
The PGA of America is considering moving the elite four-man event to another city, an official said Thursday.
“Similar to the PGA’s other major events — the PGA Championship, the Senior PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup — we’ve decided to take it on the road and let spectators from different parts of the country experience the toughest tournament to qualify for,” said Julius Mason, senior director of communications and media relations for the PGA of America.
A number of locations, including Las Vegas and the Caribbean, have expressed interest in hosting the tournament, “but at this stage, we’re not ready to discuss 2006,” Mason said.
The Grand Slam, billed as “the most exclusive event in golf,” has been played at the scenic, oceanside Po’ipu Bay Golf Course on Kaua’i’s southern shore since 1994. It was also played at the Kauai Lagoons Resort in 1991 before spending two years at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.
PGA officials are currently in negotiations, but there is a possibility that the tournament will return to Kaua’i next year.
“We will never rule out returning to Hawai’i,” Mason said. “This is a special place.”
The loss would be a financial blow for the island of Kaua’i. The Grand Slam is the Garden Island’s sole major sporting event and generates $2.4 million in visitor spending and $150,000 in tax revenues.
“Certainly we don’t want to lose the Grand Slam, but the other side of it is, we can’t afford a $5 million Grand Slam,” said Rex Johnson, president and chief executive of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “We’re not going to get into a bidding war with other areas over the Grand Slam.” The state contributed $254,000 this year to host the event.
Johnson said the PGA of America has not asked the state for more money.
This year’s 36-hole, $1 million tournament, which begins Tuesday, includes five-time winner Tiger Woods, defending champion Phil Mickelson, Michael Campbell and Vijay Singh.
Duval one stroke up on Woods
MIYAZAKI, Japan — David Duval went overseas for his final tournament of the year and wound up in truly foreign territory Thursday — atop the leaderboard by one shot over Tiger Woods at the Dunlop Phoenix.
Duval kept the ball in play at Phoenix Country Club and made eight birdies in his round of 6-under 64, putting him in the lead for the first time in three years.
The former No. 1 player has not won since the Dunlop Phoenix four years ago. He has been mired in a mystifying slump brought on by injuries that altered his swing, then confidence after posting so many poor scores. He has made only one cut this year, at the Texas Open.
Duval still feels a few aches in his back and shoulder, but hopes he is turning the corner.
“I played well,” Duval said. “I’ve been playing well for about a month now but just haven’t been scoring well. I’m well aware of how I’ve played over the past few years.”