For Finchem, 4 more years

Back when PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem turned 60, conventional wisdom suggested he would navigate one more difficult TV negotiation before leaving the enterprise for one of his deputies.

That was four years ago. The TV deals — a surprising nine years' worth — were signed last fall. Finchem, though, isn't going anywhere.


The commissioner on Wednesday accepted a four-year contract extension through June 2016. He would be 69 if he stays on the job for the full hitch.

"We have accomplished a lot, but there remains a great opportunity to continue to grow over the next four years," Finchem said in a statement.

Finchem became the tour's third commissioner in 1994, taking over when Deane Beman retired. Beman stayed 20 years and three months, which Finchem would surpass in September 2014.

Familiar ground: The LPGA's 27-event schedule shows a gain of four tournaments and more than $6 million in prize money over last season, reversing the downward spiral inherited by Commissioner Mike Whan two years ago.

Much of the surge came from reclaiming old territory. Hawaii, where the Lotte Championship is set for April, was an LPGA mainstay for some two decades. Tuesday's unveiling of the Kingsmill Championship ends a two-year absence from the Virginia resort. The LPGA even co-sponsored an Australian stop for a couple of seasons.

"Getting those LPGA staples back on the schedule, that's what we need to do," Kraft Nabisco champion Stacy Lewis told

Dining green: The Champions Tour's Allianz Championship has set a two-year goal of becoming the first event on any tour to be fully environmentally sustainable — powered 100 percent by renewable energy, with zero waste.

Solar panels will fuel generators for the South Florida stop. And last year, the host Broken Sound Club invested in a composter that turns the club's food waste into fertilizer for the course.

"It actually eats better than I do," defending champion Tom Lehman quipped. "You see the grass out there and you realize it has been fertilized by New York strip while I'm usually eating a hot dog."

Tap-ins: The global economic crisis has taken a bite out of the European Tour's Race to Dubai, cutting the bonus pool for the season-long points race in half to $3.75 million. Also, just the top 10 finishers will receive bonus money; 15 got a cut last season. … The Nationwide Tour's Chiquita Classic is leaving Cincinnati for Charlotte, N.C. Six weeks ago, Chiquita Brands announced a similar relocation for its corporate headquarters.

— Jeff Shain