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Kemper drops sponsorship of PGA event

Kemper Insurance has withdrawn as title sponsor of a PGA Tour event after 35 years because of economic problems.

The Kemper Open will be called the Capital Open at Avenel when it is played June 5-8 on the TPC at Avenel. The PGA Tour said Tuesday it is talking to several companies about replacing Kemper as the title sponsor.

Prize money will remain at $4.5 million.

Arnold Palmer won the first Kemper Open in 1968. Its field has been weak the past several years, and the tournament has been known for producing first-time winners - seven in the last 11 years.

The PGA Tour is in the first season of a four-year television package. It scrambled until late last year to make sure its schedule was fully sponsored, and added blue chip companies such as Ford, Bank of America and Wachovia Bank to its lineup.

Kemper is the first company to withdraw its sponsorship this year.


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