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New deal for BC Open through to 2006

The B.C. Open signed a commitment with the PGA Tour to keep the annual golf tournament in Endicott through 2006.

The agreement also calls for the tournament's purse to rise from $2 million to $3.5 million by the end of the contract.

Beginning in 2002, the B.C Open will be televised on the USA Network, reaching a potential audience of 100 million homes. It had been broadcast on the Golf Channel, which reaches 45 million homes.

The tournament has been played at En-Joie Golf Club since its inception in 1971. But recent turmoil over the management of the public golf course triggered rumors that the infighting might cause the tour to move the event out of the area.

``This is a Broome County Community Charities event that is going to stay in Broome County,'' said Alex Alexander, executive director of Broome County Community Charities.

The tournament will continue to be played in July during the same week as the prestigious British Open, one of golf's major championships. This means the B.C. Open will continue as a domestic playing opportunity for golfers who do not qualify for the British Open.

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