Safeway ending sponsorship of Phoenix tourney in favor of Portland event

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Safeway will consolidate sponsorship of its two LPGA Tour events, leaving the Phoenix area after this year despite the tournament becoming one of the strongest events in women's golf.

Safeway will remain title sponsor of the LPGA event in Portland, moving the tournament to Pumpkin Ridge.

The Safeway International is where Annika Sorenstam in 2002 became the first woman to shoot 59. This year's tournament at Superstition Mountain has the top 75 players in the world.

Mike Minasi, the marketing president of Safeway, Inc., said both its LPGA events have grown so quickly that it had to consolidate sponsorships.

The Portland event will be held on Ghost Creek, which is next to the Witch Hollow course that held the 2003 U.S. Women's Open.

The LPGA Tour said it would look for a title sponsor to keep the tournament in Arizona.