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PGA Tour looking to add events in California

PGA Tour officials are closing in on deals that would bring two events to California in the autumn of 2007.

One tournament would be in Fresno at Running Horse Golf Club, which is being designed by Jack Nicklaus II and is scheduled to open this autumn.

What makes it unique is that the charitable partner will be U.S. war veterans. Running Horse Club Spokesman Tim Ummel said a California Veterans Home is being built adjacent to the gated community, with U.S. and San Joaquin Valley veterans benefiting from the tournament.

"We'll honor a veteran every year, and we would like to tie this in to players with fathers or grandfathers who were veterans," Ummel said.

Jack Nicklaus is helping his son with the course, and the Nicklaus clan was on site two weeks ago as plans for a PGA Tour event were coming together.

"Although the deal is not totally done, we like the way it's coming together," Tour Spokesman Bob Combs said. "And we like even more the potential for the event. We think the community support in Fresno and throughout the San Joaquin Valley is going to be absolutely tremendous."

Ummel said Running Horse was negotiating with three potential title sponsors, and an announcement was expected next month at The Players Championship.

Also in the works is a tournament near San Jose that would be sponsored by Fry's Electronics on a private course called The Institute, which is owned by Silicon Valley mogul John Fry.

During the WGC-American Express Championship at Harding Park last October, a few players took part in an outing at The Institute. Fred Funk was said to have shot the lowest score (75) on a course that measured about 7,900 yards.

February 15, 2006


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