UGA ends four-year run as Stadion Classic golf tournament host

There won’t be another Georgia golfer winning the Stadion Classic on his home course this year.

UGA ends four-year run as Stadion Classic golf tournament host
Chris White

The University of Georgia announced on Tuesday morning that it would no longer host the Stadion Classic at UGA, a Tour event played at the UGA Golf Course each of the previous four years. Prior to that, the event, then named the Athens Regional Foundation Classic, was played for four years at Jennings Mill Country Club.

The Tour has not yet found a replacement host but is interested in keeping the tour in the area, according to a Georgia news release.

“The Tour regrets that UGA will no longer be able to operate our event, but we are hopeful that we can identify another host and continue bringing PGA TOUR-caliber golf to the Athens area,” Tour President Bill Calfee said in the release. “Our relationship with the university has been excellent.”

In the four years the tournament was hosted at the UGA Golf Course, a current of former Georgia golfer had won the event.

Russell Henley, a PGA Tour Rookie of the Year candidate, who the tournament as an amateur in 2011 while still a member of the team and a student. Tour rookie Hudson Swafford won it in 2012 and former Georgia golfer Brendon Todd won in 2013. Martin Piller won the inaugural Stadion Classic in 2010, and Athens Regional Foundation Classic winners include Patrick Sheehan (2009), Robert Darmron (2008), Martin Laird (2007) and Paul Gow (2006).

The university has opted to end its run as tournament host as financial obligations ramped up, including an estimated $350,000 for television costs needed to reach the desired level of exposure for the event.

“Our title sponsor, Stadion Money Management, and a number of others have faithfully supported our efforts,” said George Stafford, executive assistant to the vice president for finance and administration at UGA. “But we have been unable to secure a sponsor at the ‘presenting’ level, which would have made a major difference in our ability to continue operations. We don’t foresee the likelihood that this will change in the future.”

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